9 March 2012
Calls for social justice mark Int’l Women’s Day
DAVAO CITY–“The government engrosses itself on the Corona impeachment trial in an effort to conceal its sluggish action, if any, regarding the concerns of Filipinos,” declared Mary Ann Sapar, Gabriela-Southern Mindanao Secretary General in an interview.
Gabriela has mentioned the economic woes of women in various sectors in earlier statements, decrying the dwindling value of the Philippine peso and the impacts of this on women.
She added, “Poor women are economically and politically underprivileged in a feudal-patriarchal society such as the Philippines. While women suffer from the country’s chronic inflation as consumers and home managers, systemic discrimination of women has made it more difficult for them to find employment. If they do, they are usually given menial jobs and positions with lower salaries. They are also subject to sexual harassment and other malpractices in the workplace.”
“Crimes against Filipino women are being committed on a daily basis,” according to the Center for Women’s Resources (CWR), citing 14, 201 recorded rape incidents from January 2000 to August 2011.
The CWR mentioned 13 rape cases attributed to the AFP, PNP, and paramilitary groups from January to June 2011. Furthermore, the CWR underscores women persecuted by the aforementioned repressive state agencies – from July 2010 to December 2011, six women are victims of extrajudicial killings, while 35 are currently political prisoners.
Gabriela referred to cases in Davao region such as those of Rebelyn Pitao, murdered daughter of New People’s Army (NPA) leader Parago, and of Vanessa de los Reyes, an hor de combat in custody of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), in substantiation of the CWR report.
“The persistence of human rights violations especially against women and the number of political prisoners testifies to the hypocrisy of the Aquino government in seeking social justice. Gabriela commits to further advance women’s socio-economic rights in the struggle for genuine social change,” declared Sapar.
On March 8, in solidarity with women over the entire globe, women’s organization Gabriela, along with other people’s organizations, commemorated the 102nd International Working Women’s Day at Rizal Park, addressing economic and socio-political concerns of Filipino women.
The organizations in attendance registered protests against the failure of the government’s land reform program, the inhumane minimum wage workers are receiving, the education crisis, recent oil price hikes, mounting crime rates, the United States’ military intervention, extrajudicial killings and human rights’ violations, and the ineptitude of the Aquino administration in tackling the country’s socio-economic problems.