Hundreds of women
march to decry VAW, poverty, contractualization, federalism
March 8, 2018
MANILA – Hundreds
of women marched to Mendiola on International Women’s Day to decry
the present administration’s inaction and contribution to the
inequality that continues to be experienced by Filipino women today.
Members of women’s
movement Oriang denounced President Duterte’s frequent anti-women
statements and failed policy promises as major threats to the state
of Filipino women’s rights, particularly to their rights to work,
livelihood, health, and security.
“Duterte stepped into the
presidency bearing the promise of real change, but he has delivered
nothing but the same dismal conditions to Filipinos – if not worse,”
said Flora Asiddao Santos, National President of Oriang.
“His failure to end labor
contractualization along with his betrayal of the poor through the
deadly War on Drugs and the burdensome TRAIN Law have exacerbated
the marginalization of the most vulnerable groups in society –
primarily, women,” said Santos.
“On this International Day
of Women, it is important that we surface the very distinct and dire
manner by which women experience social inequalities,” said Oriang
Secretary General Oyette Zacate.
According to Oyette Zacate,
apart from the usual impacts of issues like labor contractualization,
unemployment, violence, and environmental degradation, women
experience additional pressures and burdens due alone to their
position as women.
“Women are hit harder by
this administration’s unequal policies. We see this in the
discriminatory retrenching of pregnant women in labor contracting
firms, in the greater rate of violence against female OFWs, in
greater rates of land grabbing and unpaid agricultural work
committed against rural and indigenous women, in the harsher impacts
of TRAIN-caused high prices on poor women and women vendors, and in
many other issues of social inequality,” said Zacate.
Kimberly Arriola, Oriang
Vice Chairperson, then condemned Duterte’s proposed federalism as
another so-called ‘change’ by the administration that threatens to
breed a host of inequality impacts for women.
“As long as patriarchal
and elite governance is the norm in the country, federalism will
only serve to bolster the marginalization of vulnerable groups like
women – especially poor women – while fattening the pockets of
existing political dynasties and corporations,” said Arriola.
Arriola also condemned the
Duterte administration’s unapologetic misogyny, as manifested in
lascivious and violent remarks thrown frequently by various
officials, led by the President himself.
“The Philippine society’s
perception of the rights and dignity of women as human beings is at
a danger of being in decline due to a trend of misogyny within our
government,” added Arriola.
“Although done under the
guise of humor, this behavior of our leaders is no laughing matter
for women at actual risk of greater discrimination and harassment,”
According to Flora Santos,
the administration’s gross neglect and trampling of women’s rights
and women’s issues serve as a wake-up call for women all over the
country to collectively push back.
“Duterte and the rest of
his administration have revealed themselves as false agents of
change in this country, especially in the lives of women who have
had to suffer through age-old sexism through countless
administrations,” said Santos.
“We thus call on Filipinas
to rise up and actively resist an administration that has
unapologetically shown contempt for women and other vulnerable
sectors,” she said.
“The International Day of
Women has taught us that it is not through select leaders, but
through the organization and collective action that true equality is
achieved and preserved,” she concluded.