babae joins women all over the world in celebrating International Women’s Day. Today is a reminder of the escalating oppressive conditions of international women, but more importantly, today is a testament to the unyielding solidarity of women across oceans and land. Millions of women, internationally, are united in raising awareness and fighting against the systemic and widely tolerated injustices against them.
Injustices imposed upon international women cannot be separated from the oppressive systems of imperialism, feudalism and partriarchalism. The conditions under these existing systems harm the majority of women all over the world.
In the Philippines, under the Macapagal-Arroyo regime, women have suffered under severe and relentless economic and political repression. Women are experiencing mass unemployment, forcing them to leave the Philippines in search for job opportunities abroad. In 2005 alone, more than 700,000 Filipino women have left the country.
The current human rights violations in the Philippines under the de facto and fascist regime of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo are increasing. After the declaration of Proclamation 1017, many women and men striving to address the majority of Filipino people’s needs are being wrongly accused for plotting to overthrow the current government. Liza Maza, Congresswoman for the Gabriela Party List, has been falsely charged and placed under arrest, along with 58 other individuals, organizers, and Congressional representatives.
Even within the United States itself, hard-won women’s rights and welfare are under fire. The reproductive rights of women are constantly being challenged. Immigrant women are under attack through Congressional Bills such as HR 4437 (Sensenbrenner Bill), which criminalize immigrants and agencies that provide services for them. Women who are lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered or unwilling to conform to traditional women’s roles are experiencing discrimination in the context of this patriarchal society. Filipinas in the United States endure intense acts of domestic violence that are overlooked by civil and federal governments.
Around the world, women are bought, sold, and forced into prostitution because of the neglect and incapability of governments to protect and employ their women. In Darfur, Sudan, women and girls are sexually victimized under government-sponsored attacks, including abductions, rapes and kidnappings. In Mexico, Central America, and South Africa, women’s reproductive biological traits are used to exclude them from unionizing and obtaining fair worker benefits.
As a direct result of the conditions under which women are experiencing oppression internationally, we are taking on these systemic injustices with arms linked and fists raised. Lost are the fears of naivetÃ© and hesitancy, women all over the world are organizing their communities, struggling and fighting to find resolutions to their situations. The international women’s movement is strikingly resilient despite the relentless offensives taken against the well-being and human right of women.
babae denounces any and every human rights violations against women internationally. Our practice reflects the growing strength of the international women’s movement. Finally, we stand in solidarity with women all over the globe who are fighting for women’s emancipation.
Long live international solidarity!
Continue the struggle for women’s liberation!
Rise up against Imperialism!
Celebrate International Women’s Day!
Valerie Francisco, Mass Campaigns Officer, babae San Francisco, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.babaesf.org