Independent anti-sexual harassment and abuse and anti-gender-based violence advocacy group by the Amateur Media Association of Philippine Scouts conducted the #ThisIsSASHA webinar on Saturday, December 10 in an attempt to fight the wrong mindsets that are still prevalent in society and change them.
Scouts Against Sexual Harassment and Abuse which was launched on November 25 held their first webinar on December 10 to discuss gender equality from a sustainability perspective as discussed by AMAPS Vice President for Sustainability Bianca Mae Elpedes; SOGIESC and Safe from Harm policies of the World Organization of the Scout Movement and Boy Scouts of the Philippines by Amber Quiban of Philippine Anti-Discrimination Alliance of Youth Leaders (PANTAY); as well as the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act and Safe Spaces Act of the Philippines moderated by the chief legal counsel of Labor Advocate for Women and Workers’ Services Atty. Virginia Lacsa-Suarez.
Lacsa-Suarez was a co-counsel for the family of Jennifer Laude, a transwoman who was killed by US Marine Joseph Pemberton.
The event was graced by the Regional Youth Representative Chairperson to the Asia-Pacific Regional Scout Committee Dianne Eden Villasis, BSP-Central Luzon Region Director Manuel G. Isidoro III, and AMAPS President Win Sharm Cinco.
It was attended by some 300 participants, Scouts and Adult Leaders alike from all over the Philippines.
However, two adult participants of the said webinar ironically left offensive remarks against women and the LGBTQIA+ community according to the statement released by the group.
“In the early part of the program after showing videos produced by the UN, particularly the What Were You Wearing exhibit highlight, a certain Adult Leader from Manila Council claims that ‘sometime[s], women are harassed by the way they speak or act’,” SASHA told in a statement.
Another unsolicited reminder was also said calling gays and transwomen “feeling babae” which other participants of the webinar felt offensive.
“Nakakalungkot man po isipin, kaso mukhang hindi pa rin nag sink in sa iba yung mga sinabi ng speaker[s] dito sa webinar, as an adult leader, I just want to say na kahit anong damit mo, katayuan mo sa buhay o kahit na anong gender mo or how you identify yourself ay hindi dapat maging excuse para ma-harass ka or makaranas ng violence o diskriminasyon sa ibang tao,” a Scout Leader participant from Zambales said.
These remarks were immediately called-out leading one of the participants to be removed from the webinar due to being disrespectful.
You may read the full statement below:
SASHA also said that this event only marks the beginning of a long fight for gender equality and a safer community in the Scouting movement.