By Eunice Ciocon, Mark Leonar, and Micole Locsin
In Asia, the Philippines is regarded as one of the countries that gives high regard for women, therefore equal protection and opportunity is upheld by women advocates. It cannot be denied that part of this success are the women in the workforce which paved way for jobs that can afford them a transport vehicle of their own and break away from the period when men used to drop and pick-up women to drive home or to whichever destination. Indeed, the Philippines has come a long way from a conservative culture and norms that women were bound to. Despite the fact that women still experience road related harassment as regards to their manner of driving or simply by the fact that a female driver is not a good driver.
The aim of this research is to determine the prevalence of women who have experienced harassment in public roads. The researchers will conduct a digital survey among male and female drivers as to the frequency of harassment they have experienced and compare the data that will be obtained.
Harassment of women as they go about their everyday lives is a common, yet largely ignored problem. However, such experiences are not only traumatic, but have a long term effect on a woman’s sense of worth and mobility patterns. Looking at the transport system as a whole, as required by new mobility paradigms and whole journey experiences, the continued evidence of sexual harassment may be seen as leading to inequality and reductions in transport inclusivity (Jane Osmond and Andree Woodcock, 2015). Street harassment consists of unwanted comments, whirling-whistles, catcalling, and other actions by strangers in public areas that can be unnerving and discomforting. This research is motivated by road related harassment among female drivers which the researchers aim to address at the end of this study.
Harassment as (either harris-meant or huh-rass-meant) n. the act of systematic and/or continued unwanted and annoying actions of one party or a group, including threats and demands (Law.com). Harassment prohibits speech or action which is severe or pervasive enough to create a “hostile or abusive work environment.”(FindLaw.com). According to the UK government, the legal definition of harassment also includes making “someone feel intimidated” by their personal comments.
The Philippines have numerous provisions protecting women’s rights from discrimination and harassment. However, none of these laws are specific to what women encounter in their everyday life as drivers. In the Philippines, physical forms of sexual harassment occur mostly in and around public transport wherein 58% of the incidents happen on the streets, major roads, and eskinitas. Such events mostly occur in schools, public washrooms and other public spaces according to the survey conducted by the Social Weather Station (Rodriguez, 2016). The street harassment is often done with the intent to frighten or dominate the targeted individual even if few people admit to have committed such acts, said Laura Nielsen.
One city in the Philippines provided a law to protect women against sexual harassment. Quezon City called it the Gender and Development Ordinance (Ordinance No. SP-1401, S-2004) that aims to remove the unwanted harassment on the streets, considered as light violations includes: using words that embarrasses or humiliates a woman like wolf-whistling, cat-calling, and asking a woman’s number while stalking, visual and suggestive gestures such as winking are considered as medium violations. For major violations, acts that includes pinching, touching, or brushing up against the body of a woman are included. Violators caught stalking women or making rude remarks in the city would be fined P1,000 to P5,000 and jailed from one day to one year (2016). Although this is a law that aims to protect women and their self from harassment, this law is not specific to sanction people who catcall female drivers.
Republic Act 4136 also known as “Land Transportation and Traffic Code.” This law provides qualifications for aspiring drivers in the Philippines to be issued a drivers license. This law also defines a person as the driver of vehicles and how vehicles are classified. However, as regards to the violations committed by the drivers which would warrant sanctions such as revocation or suspension of drivers license, this law does not include any form of harassment in relation to infractions of the law on traffic. Article I, Section 2 provides for the scope of the law, define different types of vehicles, and sanction among drives who violate the traffic law.
SECTION 2. Scope of Act. – The provisions of this Act shall control, as far as they apply, the registration and operation of motor vehicles and the licensing of owners, dealers, conductors, drivers, and similar matters.
Article II, Section 3 provides for the important traffic terms, persons and classification of vehicles, public or private and its capacity for use in mobility.
(d) “Driver” shall mean every and any licensed operator of a motor vehicle.
(f) “Owner” shall mean the actual legal owner of a motor vehicle, in whose name such vehicle is duly registered with the Land Transportation Commission.
(j) “Highways” shall mean every public thoroughfare, public boulevard, driveway, avenue, park, alley and callejon, but shall not include roadway upon grounds owned by private persons, colleges, universities, or other similar institutions.
SECTION 7. Registration Classification. – The classification of vehicles shall be:
(a) Private. – Motor vehicles registered under this classification shall not be used for hire under any circumstance.
SECTION 27. Authority to Suspend, Revoke and Reinstate Driver’s License. – Without prejudice to the authority of the court in appropriate cases and except as herein otherwise provided, the Director shall have exclusive power and authority to suspend or revoke for cause any driver’s license issued under the provisions of this Act.
- The Director may suspend for a period not exceeding three months or, after hearing, revoke any driver’s license and may order such license, whether confiscated by, and/or in the possession of, any other law enforcement agencies deputized in accordance with paragraph (d) (1) of Section four of this Act, to be delivered to him whenever he has reason to believe that the holder thereof is an improper person to operate motor vehicles, or in operating or using a motor vehicle in, or as an accessory to, the commission of any crime or act which endangers the public. Any deputy of the Director may, for the same cause, suspend for a period not exceeding three months any driver’s license issued under the provisions of this Act; Provided, that such suspension may be appealed to the Director who may, after reviewing the case, confirm, reverse or modify the action taken by such deputy.
SECTION 29. Confiscation of Driver’s License. – Law enforcement and peace officers of other agencies duly deputized by the Director shall, in apprehending a driver for any violation of this Act or any regulations issued pursuant thereto, or of local traffic rules and regulations not contrary to any provisions of this Act, confiscate the license of the driver concerned and issue a receipt prescribed and issued by the Bureau therefor which shall authorize the driver to operate a motor vehicle for a period not exceeding seventy-two hours from the time and date of issue of said receipt. The period so fixed in the receipt shall not be extended, and shall become invalid thereafter. Failure of the driver to settle his case within fifteen days from the date of apprehension will be a ground for the suspension and/or revocation of his license.
Under the Republic Act 11313, which is the Safe Spaces Act, an act defining gender-based sexual harassment in streets, public spaces, online, workplaces, and educational or training institutions, providing protective measures and penalties. This act particularly protects and upholds the value the dignity of every human being and guarantee full respect for human rights in conjunction with pertinent laws regarding street harassment are provided for under the Republic Act 7877: Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995, Republic Act 9710: Magna Carta of Women, and Republic Act No. 9262: Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004.
The Women’s Municipal League in New York City promoted the women only subway cars (Kearl 2011; Schultz and Gilbert 1996). In other countries such as Japan, they had women-only transit cars since 1912 (Krieger 2012); at the present time, 15 countries offer women-only options on public transportation (Jones, 2011). Therefore, street harassment has been made clear from these accounts that it is not a problem unique to the modern era (Manalo, et al., 2016). Through research, the issue of sexual harassment among women drivers would spawn interest and significance. The intent of this research is to determine whether or not female drivers are more harassed than male drivers and their experiences in the streets and roads of Bacolod City.
This study entitled Prevalence Rate of Road Related Harassment Among Female Driver of Private Vehicles made use of descriptive research design to determine the prevalence rate of Road Related Harassment among female drivers of private vehicles. The researchers will conduct a digital survey using a questionnaire constructed by the researchers that will determine if the respondent drivers have experienced harassment on roads. The data collected will be interpreted comparatively if there are significant difference between the two genders in relation to the Prevalence Rate of Road Related Harassment Among Drivers of Private Vehicles. The data collected were based on experience of each respondent within two years preceding the time they answered the survey.
Respondents of the Study
The respondents in this study are chosen randomly in convenience by the researchers. The respondents are a group of private vehicle drivers who regularly pass the road and with no particular gender, both male and female, aged 18-48 years old coming mostly from friends of the researchers who have agreed to be a part of the research.
A questionnaire was constructed in order to gather data from the target respondents. The research questions are composed of 7 closed and 6 open-ended questions that would answer both general and specific objectives.
Procedure for Data Collection
A preliminary questionnaire was constructed via an online survey maker and based each question on the objectives of the study. A message regarding the survey stating the research purpose was included as well as the respondents` consent to take the survey.
Data Treatment and Analysis
The data gathered from the survey were counted, classified, compared, and analyzed. Final results were presented nominally and in graphic format. Percentage counts were utilized to closed questions determining the drivers` responses regarding their experiences of harassment on roads. Frequency was used to count responses to open-ended questions.
Presentation, Discussion and Interpretation of Results
This chapter presents the result of the research investigation, its analysis, and corresponding interpretation of the gathered data.
The following data presented provides the results to address the aim of the research work “Prevalence Rate Of Road Related Harassment Among Female Drivers Of Private Vehicles”, therefore containing the result which aim to compare on which gender is frequently harassed as a driver in Bacolod City.
Data are presented in a tabulated form with corresponding graphs and through this process comparisons and analyses were efficiently produced.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
This chapter presents the summary of the findings, the conclusion of the study and the recommendations necessary.
SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS:
This study aims to determine the prevalence rate of road related harassment among female drivers of private vehicles in Bacolod City. A descriptive and retrospective research design was utilized in this paper. Frequency and percentage counts were utilized to closed questions determining the drivers` responses regarding their experiences of harassment on roads. Mode was used to count responses to open-ended questions. Among the genders, men and women are equally harassed based on their experience on as drivers on the road. The gender of the driver is not a factor that greatly impacts discrimination or harassment.
CONCLUSION OF THE STUDY:
- Men are as equally harassed as women drivers are. Gender does not play a huge role as to the prevalence of discrimination among drivers.
- There are no laws specifically address or sanctions people who harass anyone during road accident or encounter.
- The Land Transportation Office does not sanction or revoke driver’s license of people who, during an encounter with any person, male or female. The LTO do not have any provisions that address such issue.
- There is no mention of an anti-harassment awareness educational programs in their pre-exam lecture before driver’s license applicants take the test.
- The issue of road related harassment is frequently encountered by both men and women drivers, however because of lack of awareness to prevent harassment the issue is undermined.
This study is recommended to people who calls for prevention of any form of harassment regardless of the gender among drivers. This study is also to improve the driving experience not only of residents of Bacolod City, but also of other individuals who will consider to settle in the city. Based on the gathered data, city ordinances and special laws may be devised and passed to include anti-road related harassment educational programs among applicants of driver’s license. This will sanction drivers who result to misbehavior to threaten another driver during a road encounter instead of settling the matter amicably. As a tool for prevention, this will lessen violent encounter on the road that will result to a more serious crime. Lastly, gender sensitivity should be inculcated among drivers who wish to apply for a driver’s license so that any form of catcalling harassment will be prevented for a safer and peaceful drive in our roads.