For Immediate Release
March 8, 2011
Reference: Raquel Redondiez, Chairperson, GABRIELA USA, email@example.com
Filipino Women in the U.S. Stand in Solidarity and Sisterhood with Women’s Struggles Across the World
GABRIELA-USA’s Statement on the Centennial of International Women’s Day
On March 8, 2011, over ten thousand women in the Philippines took to the streets, in what are the largest International Women’s Day actions organized by GABRIELA, the world-renowned Filipino women’s alliance. The women demanded relief from the economic crisis in the form of price controls of basic goods, national wage hikes, immediate repatriation and protection for migrant women, comprehensive reproductive health services, education for all, and housing for poor families. In addition, GABRIELA highlighted their unity with the rest of the Filipino people in calling for fundamental change and national liberation.
Filipino women across the US are participating in activities throughout the week of March 8 to commemorate International Working Women’s Day and expose the dire impacts of the long-term global economic crisis on the lives of Filipinas in the nation and around the world. Filipino women are taking to the streets and are engaging their communities to confront and expose the role of U.S. imperialism in the prolonged crisis of joblessness and increased attacks on women’s rights and livelihood.
In the Philippines, women face an economic crisis of epic proportions as the prices of basic commodities like sugar, rice, and gas continue to increase beyond affordability. Households suffer as utility rates skyrocket, leaving families no choice but to live without electricity or running water. On top of the increased prices of commodities, the Aquino administration also imposes an excessive 12% tax called the Expanded Value Added Tax (EVAT). With every increase, it is traditionally the women who must carry the burden of managing the household and its shrinking budget.
In the United States, Congress continues to balance the budget on the backs of women and children by proposing cuts to basic services like health care assistance to pregnant women, new mothers and children, education, and reproductive healthcare. Republicans are attempting to pass a budget that cuts nearly $60 billion in federal funding, a move that would do irreparable damage like slash 700,000 jobs through 2011 and strip all funding from Planned Parenthood, the largest women’s health provider in the nation.
As these attacks against women are being committed, both the Aquino and Obama administrations continue to paint a rosy picture that claims that the economic crisis is lifting and that the lives and welfare of Filipinas and other women are not in danger.
GABRIELA USA chapters are participating in activities throughout the nation such as a women’s day rally in Harlem, a mother’s march in Los Angeles, a domestic violence vigil in Seattle, and a forum on women’s issues in San Francisco, to expose the true nature and situation of Filipinas, as well as take action in commemoration of the historic militant women’s movement that continues today. The demands of Filipino women for protection against unfair price hikes and cuts against social services light a fire that fuels women to take to the streets and fight against anti-women and anti-people policies.
“The centennial of International Women’s Day is an important reminder and inspiration for us to continue to struggle for full women’s emancipation, especially as we are confronted with relentless attacks against women’s rights, and the erosion of social services that women and children need more than ever,” stated Raquel Redondiez, Chairwoman of GABRIELA-USA.
On this occasion, we honor the legacy of Gabriela Silang, and all of our grandmothers, sisters, daughters, and especially all the working women who have dared to organize and struggle in defense of their rights and for the advancement of future generations of women.
Join GABRIELA USA in standing in solidarity with our sisters and mothers worldwide struggling against U.S. imperialism’s attacks on our women’s basic rights, our families’ livelihood, and the public social safety net.
MABUHAY ANG KABABAIHAN!
Long Live International Women’s Day!
Photos by Tudla Productions and Luis Liwanag