Contact: Raquel Redondiez, GABRIELA USA Chair,firstname.lastname@example.org,
Culture of Silence on VAW within the Filipino Community
On March 6, 2010, GABRIELA USA participated in the World March of Women, joining women from over fifty countries to stand for women’s rights. In the Philippines, over 200 women’s organizations are mobilizing with GABRIELA, sacrificing a day’s wages to demand human rights and a pro-people women’s voice in government. The calls for the World March of Women are resisting poverty, militarization and violence against women. GABRIELA USA, an alliance of Filipino women’s organizations in the United States, marched with women around the world to call for all communities to take a vow to fight violence against women and children.
In the Philippines, poverty and lack of job opportunities has forced 10% of the population to work abroad in temporary jobs with no security, as undocumented workers or as permanent migrants. The vast majority of them are women who are forced to leave the country despite the increasing number of cases of abuse, maltreatment and mysterious deaths of Filipino women migrants in other countries.
In the 9 years of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration, state violence has been a main feature on top of the many problems that plague Filipino women. In February 2010, 43 health care workers, 26 of whom are women including a doctor, nurse, midwife, and two pregnant women, were illegally arrested and continue to be illegally detained and tortured. Most of the health care workers volunteer to serve communities with no access to health care due to the high rates of export of the nation’s migrant health care workers. Women usually carry this responsibility and responded to this need by volunteering their time. Clearly, GMA’s administration takes no note of the rising need for health care and of the women responding to this need.
In the US, the reach of the economic crisis affects not only women’s worsening work conditions, or skyrocketing unemployment and financial instability, but is also seen in the exacerbation of domestic violence. Recent studies show rising stress over economic problems resulting in rising rates in reported domestic violence cases. Simultaneously, the budgets for domestic violence services and shelters are being cut back, most notably in California where statewide funds have been completely withdrawn. The attack on women is three fold, in their workplaces, their homes and even by the state.
To respond to these conditions, GABRIELA USA has launched a campaign called Voices Of Women to Fight Violence Against Women. The campaign mobilizes women and men alike to stand up for women’s rights to jobs, reproductive rights, safety, access to health care and education, and self-determination. In a nationwide educational effort, GABRIELA USA organizations in New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles have already initiated community discussions and forums to move communities to sign on. To take a vow to fight violence against women and get involved in this campaign, contact email@example.com.
No to Violence Against Women and Children!
Free the 43 Health Workers in the Philippines!
US Troops Out Now!