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Migrante-Canada's call on International Women's Day 2010:

Working class women, unite against imperialist globalization!

 

Toronto, Canada

 

 

Manila     Baguio      Calamba    Davao     Negros     Hong Kong    Toronto

 

 

March 8, 2010

 

 

 

 

As we observe the 100th anniversary of the birth of the militant women's movement, we pay tribute to all the courageously spirited toiling women who then fought to advance equal rights in society, better pay at work and the right to vote. Even as there have been significant changes in the status of women since then, imperialist globalization today poses new challenges and forms of exploitation.

In the Philippines like in other developing countries, women continue to be highly exploited, marginalized, and perennial victims of violence and repression. Massive poverty, unemployment, and the capitalist-inflicted economic crisis persist in plaguing the country under the US-Arroyo regime. Right now there are 10 million Filipinos looking for jobs; 2.71 million are unemployed; 7.41 million are underemployed; and 4.6 million are contractual workers. Most of them are women.

This terrible economic situation forces many Filipinos to leave the country to work abroad in temporary jobs, or to live there as permanent migrants. Around 3,400 Filipinos leave the country every day, more than half of them are women.

 

--- From the statement of Migrante - Canada

 

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Photos courtesy of Migrante - Canada
           
           

 

Migrante Canada
Statement on the Centenary of the International Women's Day
March 8, 2010

Continuing the struggles of the working class women's movement

As we observe the 100th anniversary of the birth of the militant women's movement, we pay tribute to all the courageously spirited toiling women who then fought to advance equal rights in society, better pay at work and the right to vote. Even as there have been significant changes in the status of women since then, imperialist globalization today poses new challenges and forms of exploitation.

In the Philippines like in other developing countries, women continue to be highly exploited, marginalized, and perennial victims of violence and repression. Massive poverty, unemployment, and the capitalist-inflicted economic crisis persist in plaguing the country under the US-Arroyo regime. Right now there are 10 million Filipinos looking for jobs; 2.71 million are unemployed; 7.41 million are underemployed; and 4.6 million are contractual workers. Most of them are women.

This terrible economic situation forces many Filipinos to leave the country to work abroad in temporary jobs, or to live there as permanent migrants. Around 3,400 Filipinos leave the country every day, more than half of them are women.

In Canada, tens of thousands of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who are mainly women, work as nannies, caregivers and maids. They were brought to Canada under a temporary foreign worker program called the Live-In-Caregiver Program, or LCP. They were lured by the promise of landed immigrant status, but only if they could put up with the live-in conditions for a "mere" two or three years, conditions which often turned out to be oppressive, exploitative, racist and heartless.

Temporary foreign workers, including OFWs, have been subject to arbitrary and shifting employment conditions with little ability to defend themselves or seek alternative employment. The TFW is often paid substantially less than their Canadian co-workers, the working conditions are often significantly different from those promised. For example, an administrative assistant arriving to find she was to work at a gas station; chefs from 5-star hotels spending half their time washing dishes and floors, mechanics being told their job is apprentice-mechanic with pay lowered accordingly. Housing provided is substandard, crowded and costly. Those who complain are often threatened to be deported or imprisoned.

Despite the increasing number of cases of exploitation, abuse and even mysterious deaths, the Arroyo administration continues to advertise its shameful labour export program of sending more than 1 million Filipino workers abroad every year. While dollar remittances from migrant workers are increasing, the supposed basic services from government agencies become sluggish or most of the time inaccessible when these are most needed.

Meanwhile, the attack on women and other sectors of the progressive movement goes on under the pretext of war on terror by the fascist US-Arroyo regime. The recent illegal arrest of 43 community health workers in Morong, Rizal is an indication that the ruling administration is hell-bent on continuing its anti-people policies and practice of undeclared martial law. Most of the arrested and currently detained health workers are women, some of whom complained of torture and sexual abuse while in detention.

These workers who unselfishly dedicated themselves for the good of the poor should be treated fairly rather than subjected to state-sponsored hostility. In fact, the government should be pleased with people like them for providing the health services that the State itself fails to provide its own people. On the contrary, the government has demonized them by tagging them as “enemies of the state”. Adding insult to injury, the government awarded the military men with medals. Instead of stroking the ego of its armed goons, the ruling Arroyo administration should end fascist repression. We demand the unconditional release of the Morong 43!

To continue the struggles of that women’s movement that started a century ago, we need to have the tenacity to join hands with militant women activists, trade unionists, migrant workers, and other allied forces. We need to raise our voices against any attacks to our rights and welfare. We need to raise our clenched fists against pro-imperialist economic policies and measures that displace millions of women and other working people from their jobs, their homes and their lands around the world.

As the Philippines prepares for the May 2010 national and local elections, we migrant Filipinos should push for the advancement of alternative political and economic platforms e.g., for national sovereignty, national industrialization and genuine land reform, and lend our support to those candidates and progressive party formations that sincerely have the people’s interests at heart. Even then, we are one with the millions of women and the rest of the Filipino people in the ongoing struggle for genuine national freedom, and a just and liberating peace.

Long live International Women’s Day!
Long live women migrant workers!
Working class women, unite against imperialist globalization!

 

     
     
     
           
     
     
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 NEWS RELEASE
2 March 2010
Reference: Emmi de Jesus, WRIT Convenor and GABRIELA Vice-Chairperson
(09173221203)
Sr. Ailyn Binco, Religious of the Good Shepherd, WRIT Convenor

Women resist impunity and tyranny,
issue writ of eviction to Arroyo

Women Resist Impunity and Tyranny or WRIT, a recently formed alliance of women against impunity and tyranny of the Arroyo administration, gathered this morning at Mendiola to issue a symbolic writ of eviction to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“Any woman who yearns for freedom and respects human rights cannot just stand back and allow Mrs. Arroyo to cling to power. At this point, the first step in addressing the disquieting situation of human rights in the country and to deliver justice to numerous victims of human rights violations is for the Filipino people to ensure that Arroyo immediately vacates Malacanang and to frustrate any of her schemes to further hold on to power,” said Emmi de Jesus, WRIT convenor and GABRIELA vice-chairperson.

WRIT convenors and members delivered a writ of eviction addressed to Arroyo and padlocked the gates of a makeshift Malacanang Palace to symbolize their demand for Arroyo to step down from power and immediately “return possession of [her] usurped authority to the Filipino people.”

In their Unity Statement, WRIT convenors and members conveyed their immense disapproval of “the disquieting situation of human rights in the country, which has already claimed the lives of an unprecedented number of our fellow Filipinos since the Marcos regime through extrajudicial killing, enforced disappearance, summary execution, displacement, torture, harassment, and illegal arrest and detention. We also register our utmost indignation at the sexual abuse suffered by our fellow women who have fallen victims to torture and political persecution.”

WRIT specifically cited the November 23 Ampatuan massacre that killed 58, of whom 23 are women, as well as the illegal arrest, detention and torture of 43 health workers, of whom 26 are women, in Morong, Rizal, as recent cases of grave human rights violations spawned by the culture of impunity under Arroyo’s tyrannical leadership.

WRIT, an alliance of women lawyers, academicians, health workers, artists, church people, and youth was launched on February 23 in Quezon City. Its convenors include former senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani, Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) Reps. Liza Maza and Luz Ilagan, Sr. Ailyn Binco of the Religious of the Good Shepherd, UP Faculty Regent Dr. Judy Taguiwalo, Miriam College Women and Gender Institute Executive Director Prof. Aurora Javate-De Dios, GABRIELA Vice-Chairperson Emmi de Jesus, lawyers Evalyn Ursua and Clara Rita Padilla, and visual artists Nikki Luna and Kiri Dalena.

In the commemoration of the International Women’s Day on March 8, the convenors and members of WRIT will join thousands of women to underscore their call for an end to political repression under the Arroyo administration.###

Public Information Department
GABRIELA National Office
(+632) 3712302
 

     
     
           
     
   
     
     

 

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY 2010 COMMON STATEMENT

IWD 2010 Organizing Committee*

Delivered at the March 13 IWD Event

 

We live under a world system of imperialism and capitalism marked by deep crisis which

affects everyone and the women more so.

 

Capitalist government agenda around the world is to attack women in all aspects. By cutting social services, reducing the number of schools, cutting children’s food budgets, closing down of public services, women centers, nurseries and so on, these governments are meeting their goal, which is making more and more profits.

 

On the other hand they give tax relief to the big corporations. They increase their military budgets.To maintain their profits, they need markets, resources and cheep labours. So, they go to the other countries for investment. They support the most despotic governments as long as these governments cope with their wishes; otherwise they plan for a coup or for an invasion and occupation, like what happened to Haiti, Iraq, Afghanistan and Honduras.

 

It is an undeniable fact that women are among the worst affected, wherever they may be in the world, by patriarchy and backwardness, by poverty and war, by militarization, by domestic violence, by lower wages, by the burden of family responsibilities and also by religion.

 

In response, women are in the forefront of various struggles but not only for women's rights. Women also stand firmly in the frontlines of a growing international people’s movement against imperialist war and plunder, occupation, exploitation and oppression.

 

As women, we take courage and inspiration from the struggles and triumphs of women who continue to struggle against the oppression which is three fold -- in their workplaces, their homes and even by the state.

 

As women who live in Canada but with strong ties to our home countries, we link hands and stand in solidarity with the -----

 

-         The women of Afghanistan who continue to oppose occupation and dare expose

 the hypocrisy of a war ravaging their country under the guise of liberating them. They are living under an Islamic rules that is supported by all means by NATO and the United States

 

-         The women in Guatemala who continue to fight against “femicide” or the widespread, gender-based killings committed with impunity, and who continue to fight for justice for the nearly 2,200 women and girls who have been murdered since 2001.

-         The women of Iran who have been fighting with a sexual theocratic apartheid regime over the last 30 years. Women who demand separation of church and state and demand for freedom and equality are brutally oppressed, arrested, jailed, tortured and executed.

 

-         The women in the Philippines who stand on the front lines of the struggle for national and social liberation, opposing the US-backed war on terror perpetrated by their government which has taken hundreds of lives of community and human rights activists;  with the Filipino women political prisoners and the mothers and wives of the missing activists in the Philippines.

 

-          Iraqi women whose lives are affected by violence caused by war and occupationand who continue to live under an Islamic regime backed by the U.S. military.

 

-          The women of Mexico who fight for justice for the hundreds of women killed with impunity around the export-processing zones of Ciudad Juarez;  the housewives in Oaxaca, Mexico, when they took part in a people's takeover of the city in defiance of governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, where they managed to run a local television station in 2006; with the Zapatista women in rebel Zapatista communities who through the Women's Revolutionary Law now have a right to health, nutrition, education, the ability to choose the number of children they will bear and care for, and the ability to not be forced into marriage. They also banned the consumption of drugs and alcohol because they felt they are the most affected by the poverty and violence it causes.

 

-         The Tamil women of Sri Lanka who have fought a genocidal regime while the major powers, including Canada, watch in complicity.

 

-         The Native women in Canada who fought to regain their Indian status when they married non-aboriginal men and who continue to fight government bureaucracy and gender discrimination so that their children, grandchildren and all future descendants are not shut out; with the Native women in Canada who continue to seek justice for the missing Native women,

 

 

-         The Indigenous Women everywhere who work the land, who are most severely affected by development aggression and environmental degradation, yet struggle against the loss of land and lives.

 

-         The women of Palestine who, as a result of sixty years Israeli’s occupation, have not only been subject to increasing violence, but their responsibilities within households have expanded due to the death, imprisonment or unemployment of male members of households.

 

-         With our lesbian sisters and transgendered sisters who have to fight against attacks and homophobia and who continue to fight for their human rights.

-         Sex trade workers in all countries who experience violence to an exceptional degree.

 

-          With South African women whose government is failing to adequately protect women working in commercial farming areas.

 

-          With women in Uganda, Cameron and other parts of Africa who are subject to the increasing risk of contracting  HIV.

 

-         With the women of El Salvador who fight against big mining corporations in their country at great risk to their lives and families.

 

-         With women in Bosnia who are forced by the thousands into prostitution by traffickers, with thousands of Thai and Burmese women who are “trafficked” every year into Japan where many of them endure slavery-like conditions in the Japanese sex industry.

 

It is obvious that women’s situation around the world is quite similar to each other. Because under the world that we live in, the capitalist system is looking for profit. And the profit can only be maintained by sustaining inequalities in the human societies.

 

Canada is no different.

 

Every day we hear news of factories, hospitals and public services shutting down and  the consequent layoffs.  And we see that women are the first victims of these layoffs. In fact unemployment and poverty is being feminized. We link hands with -------

 

-         The many migrant women in Canada forced to leave their families to work overseas and who work in isolation inside their employers' homes, in hotel and service industries as temporary foreign workers and in the farms as seasonal agricultural workers but who try to assert their rights as workers, women and as human beings.

 

-         Thousands of women in Canada who continue to fight for gender equity so that women's wages are not lower than that of men with similar qualifications; the women who fight hard to get the message of universal childcare in Canada, and to the women who continue to battle against funding cuts to women's and children's programs.

 

As women, we know where our place is and that is in the struggle -- in the struggle for a global militant women's movement for a better life for all humankind.

 

And we will march, like the women before us in many parts of the globe, and the people will hear us singing: Bread and roses, pan y rosas, tinapay at rosas, bread and roses.

Long live International Women’s Day! Long Live International Solidarity!

 

-Brittania Community Centre, March 13 2001

IWD- 2010 Organizing Committee

 

*Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights ~ Iranian Centre for Peace, Freedom and Social Justice ~ New Noise (Mexico) ~ Migrante BC~Bureau for Latin America and Caribbean Solidarity ~ Nishga'a Native Women Organizing Committee  ~ Cultural House of Malawna (Afghanistan) ~ FMLN-Vancouver (El salvador) ~ UNAM-Guatemala ~ International League of People's Struggle-Canada

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ELECTIONS 2010
           
           
 
     
       
   
 
   
   
   
 

Makabayan Senatoriable Ka Satur Ocampo's Online Q&A

   
   
Songs and campaign jingles
     
■    Satur Ocampo - Liza Maza Campaign Jingle ■    Satur Ocampo Jingle ■    Liza Maza Jingle
     
■    JIngle in Cebuano ■    Jingle in Ilongo ■    JIngle in Tagalog
     
■    Sasaturn na tayo

 

 
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