March 8, 2018
Rage for Rights Against Misogyny and Tyranny
Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan (KAISA KA) marked International Women’s Day,March 8, also known as International Working Women’s Day with creative actions in Manila, Cebu and Baguio to underscore the message that as long as one among us is subjected to violence and abuse whether physically, psychologically or even economically, no woman can be truly emancipated.
In Manila, women conducted a jog-protest against violence and tyranny from Recto to Mendiola while in Cebu, KAISA KA joined the women of Cebu Citizen’s Alliance (CCA) as they march from Sto. Rosario to Metro Gaisano in the morning. The action opens the month-long commemoration of International Women’s Day with the theme: Rage Pinay, Women Resist! which will be punctuated by learning sessions in schools and communities.
In Baguio, creative interpretations of the theme: Stop Misogyny, Uphold Women’s Human Rights and Dignity will be done in the afternoon at People’s Park.
According to KAISA KA Chairperson Attorney Virginia Suarez, rather than blaming women’s sensibilities for being offended and degraded by the words of the President, offensive and degrading speech has no place in the Presidential lexicon. Rather than promoting women’s rights he is doing the exact opposite – promoting a climate that breeds misogyny, sexism and encourages violence against women.
“This government has been especially hard on strong women who are taking a stand against a tyrannical ruler, especially one bent on appropriating more power by undermining checks to executive power,” added Suarez referring to Supreme Court Justice Chief Justice Sereno and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales and Senator Leila de Lima.
“Making “change work for women” will not go beyond lip service unless this normalization of violence against women is addressed,” pointed out Suarez.
KAISA KA cited that though there are strides globally with respect to human rights the global trend of ultra-right and ultra-conservative leaders further constrict whatever “safe space” remains for women to enjoy a life of dignity.
Poverty and VAW
“We anticipate that as the economy worsens, so would more women fall prey to abuse and violence,” added Suarez as studies have shown a correlation between poverty and violence against women.
KAISA KA pointed out that in many Filipino households; it is the wife and mother who is tasked with trying to stretch the meager family finances or “gumagawa ng paraan”. And with inflation now at 4.5% (or a 4 year high) due to the direct and indirect effects of Tax Reform and Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN, the finances are insufficient to cover the bare minimum of subsistence.
TRAIN took away from the already poor while on one hand giving back to the already rich citing that the 40 % of the riches Filipinos earning a combined income of 4.1 Trillion pesos got 137 Billion pesos as a result of the lowering of the Personal Income Tax while the poorest 60 percent of the population earning a combined income of 2.1 Trillion pesos got nothing from TRAIN and in fact will be squeezed further because of it.
Women become more prone to abuse and violence, the more that they are economically disenfranchised or marginalized. Some even resort to anti-social activities to tide over their families.
For KAISA KA, to continue to assert women’s rights and welfare in these troubled times is a challenge especially since alongside the culture that normalizes misogyny is a palpable culture of fear and passivity as a result of weaponizing the war against drugs against the poor and down-trodden including women and children
“No woman can be safe until all are safe, we must rage against the impending darkness so that we can be able to the dawning light of day,” ended Suarez.###
About KAISA KA
Founded in 1998, Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan Para sa Kalayaan or KAISA KA (Unity of Women for Freedom) is a national organization of grassroots women advocating for emancipation of women from the three-tier oppression as a people, as a class and as women,
In the past KAISA KA has been very vocal against the ill effects of unequal security relations between the US and the Philippines (MDT,VFA, MLSA, and EDCA) It believes that violence perpetuated against women is more systemic in nature and should be addressed in a more holistic and comprehensive manner such as affecting a change in the policy as well as a change in the existing value systems.
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