Training on Reproductive Health and
RPRH Law for the Deaf in Albay
In partnership with the Albay Association of the Deaf, with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Forum held series of trainings, “Fulfilling the Promise of RPRH Law: Training on Reproductive Health and the RPRH Law for the Deaf”, over the summer of 2016. The trainings were held at Legazpi City, Ligao City, and Tabaco City.
The Training for the Deaf helped the members of AAD and other deaf in Albay to know their reproductive health and RH rights under the RA 10354 (RPRH Law). There was a discussion on Adolescent Reproductive Health, Sexuality Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression, and orientation on RPRH Law and HIV/AIDS.
The RPRH Law has 12 elements – along mental health and elimination of gender-based violence, the training was designed to integrate the topics: Anti Violence against Women and Children (Anti VAWC) and Anti-Sexual Harassment Law, and how to report related cases. Equally important, the training allowed the deaf community in Albay to get closer to the Provincial PNP as they rendered the topic regarding Sexual Harassment and Violence against Women and Children.
The activities served as a venue for the deaf to openly discuss issues on RH, anti VAWC and anti-sexual harassment. For some, this was an opportunity to learn while for the others, the discussion allowed them to share their lived experiences and stories of other deaf they know. The trainings held made a realization to the PNP that there is really a gap in addressing reports and cases filed by deaf individuals. The issues raised were: a deaf person is most often overlooked and discriminated when reporting a case, the deaf community finds it difficult to communicate with the authorities due to lack of trained interpreters in the barangay stations and in police stations, and there are very few opportunities for the deaf to know more about laws and their rights.
The recommendations were, for the PNP to have a trained interpreter to help a deaf with filing reports or cases of abuses; for the PNP and the deaf community explore the use of visual arts in reporting like drawing or sketching; and for the Albay Association of the Deaf to help members file their complaints.
The final activity was a planning workshop which enabled the deaf participants to identify the needs of their community and create a proposal to further promote sexuality and reproductive health and rights among their peers.