Commemorating Women's Day in Tagum City

 

March 8,  2014

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WOMEN OF THE WORLD, UNITE

AGAINST IMPERIALIST GLOBALIZATION

 

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison

Chairperson

International League of Peoples' Struggle

March 8, 2014

 

Imperialism is destroying the lives of women. It is aggravating the exploitation of women and intensifying attacks on women's rights. Through the quintuple  neoliberal policies of pressing down wages, liberalization,  privatization, deregulation and denationalization, imperialism has reversed whatever gains the working women's movement has gained in more than a century of struggles. This is the context of our International Women's Day Commemoration this year.

 

Strewn along the path of neoliberalism are the tortured bodies of hundreds of millions of working women squeezed dry by monopoly capitalist extraction of superprofits. Outsourcing by big multinational corporations have depressed already low wages of workers, with developing countries trying to outdo each other in offering the lowest possible wages to outbid their rivals for contracts. Contractualization of labor, increased production quotas, shorter breaks, and extended working hours have now become the norm.

 

In the drive to bring down production costs, safety measures are ignored. Workers are often locked up in workplaces to prevent escapes, thus turning factories into death traps out of factories. In 2013 alone, thousands of women workers perished in fires in factories in the Philippines and Bangladesh. But most devastating was the collapse of a building in Bangladesh, which killed a thousand of women garments workers. These factories manufacture brand-name clothes sold at high prices in the US and EU.

 

Land and resource grabbing accelerated by neoliberal policies are rendering hundreds of millions of peasant and indigeneous women and their families landless and without income source while imperiling food security. An estimated 80 million hectares of land in many countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia have been subjected to land grab deals, often involving their very own governments. Large-scale mining has destroyed the environment, thus rendering natural disasters more fatal especially to women and children who make up 70% of the victims.

 

At the base of imperialist globalization are the millions upon millions of women living under slave-like conditions while  the imperialists rake up superprofits.. They fill up the void created by the privatization of social services, such as child and health care. In a world of increasing food prices and food insecurity, they take on multiple work to feed their children. Their vunerability to violence  is heightened by the increasing poverty of their families.

 

Imperialist economic plunder and competition are the reasons behind the US military pivot to Asia and the Pacific. Its aim is to ensure the continued resource domination of US imperialism in the region.  This in turn will result in the further deterioration of the economic situation of Asia’s peoples. The new basing arrangements and increased rotational presence of US forces will  put  more impoverished young Asian women and children into the clutches of sex exploiters.

 

Women all over the world are driven by  their dire situation to unite and fight for their rights.  From year to year, as the global crisis worsens, the women’s movement has raised its level of  resolve and militancy and widened its various arenas of action. Women are fighting not only for their very existence but also for the lives of their children and grandchildren. Outraged, they vigorously expose, condemn and oppose the doublespeak of their own governments which try to equate neoliberal policies to development.

 

     
     

Women are at the forefront of mass protests and demands for democratization or anti-militarization, or against neoliberal policies and for genuine land reform and national industrialization. In increasing numbers, they  join national liberation movements as armed fighters. They  build women's organizations that are part of the people's struggle and take up issues that are specific to women such as VAW and women discrimination. In the midst of repressive governments, women have shown courage and have fought for their rights even at the risk of losing their life, limb and liberty.

 

Women are reaching out to each other  across nations in a show of unprecedented solidarity against imperialism. They are providing support for each other’s struggle. The latest example of  solidarity has been shown by women's organizations from every part of the globe,  including the US, Europe and Canada. to the striking women garments workers of Cambodia.

Ultimately, it is the billions of toiling women, fighting in concert with their toiling brothers and united across the globe, who will strike the deathblow to imperialism.

 

Women of the world unite!

Resist imperialist plunder and military aggression!

Struggle and fight for women's liberation!

 

 

           
     
     
     

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NEWS RELEASE
08 March 2014
 

Reference: JOMS SALVADOR, Secretary General (0918 9182150)/ Public Info Desk (3712302)

MARCH 8: INTERNATIONAL WORKING WOMEN'S DAY AND FOUR MONTHS AFTER STORM YOLANDA
GABRIELA LEADS HUGE WOMEN'S PROTEST MARCH VS. PRES. AQUINO'S CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE OF WOMEN AND PEOPLE'S WELFARE

More than 10,000 women led the march towards Mendiola near the Malacanang Palace where they held a huge protest action against Pres. Benigno S. Aquino whom they called “pabaya” (negligent) and “pahirap” (burden) to women and their families. Similar women’s protests that gathered thousands of women were also led by GABRIELA chapters in other major cities such as Baguio, Laguna, Legazpi, Naga, Bacolod, Iloilo, Tacloban and Davao.

According to Joms Salvador, Secretary General of GABRIELA, midway through Aquino's term, the lives of women, especially those from the marginalized sectors, have worsened rather than improved contrary to his promise of so-called inclusive growth. “The only sectors he ever included in this questionable growth are the big businesses and hacienderos like him. The number of foodless, homeless, landless and jobless has steadily increased yearly. On the other side, profits of big businesses like Meralco, Manila Water and Petron have grown in leaps and bounds.”

Salvador cited the unabated increase in prices and fees in recent months which has become unbearable for women and their families. “Rice prices, fuel prices, electricity rates, transportation fares, tuition fees, the list goes on and on. Where would women find the money to pay for these when they themselves are jobless, or even if they have jobs, they are bound by just 5 months of contract and receive less than minimum wage with no benefits,” she said.
 

In the past months, GABRIELA has responded with protest actions in response to these price hikes. They stormed the National Food Authority's warehouse to prove an artificial supply lack. They also barraged the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and Meralco with a series of protests after each announced electricity rate increase. Just yesterday, the women's group picketed the Bureau of Internal Revenue to protest the shame campaign against professionals and the planned taxation of the informal sector even as the agency goes easy on the top 10 billionaires who did not make it to the top 10 taxpayers.

The women's group also took up the cudgels for the victims of Yolanda, mostly women and children, who at exactly four months after, have remained neglected. This morning, they held what they called the “women's black Saturday protest” together with People Surge, an organization of survivors and relatives of victims of Yolanda, in memory of those who perished because of the government's neglect. They tied violet ribbons on the concertina wires that barricade the Pres. Aquino's residence at Times Street in Quezon City.

“While we continue to mourn the fate of our sisters and brothers who died because of the superstorm, we are more enraged by the lack of concern of Aquino and his government for the welfare of the victims. The lives of the victims have not yet normalized and this opportunist government has already bargained their areas to businesses after declaring a “No Build Zone.” Government officials, like vultures, have reportedly gained from kickbacks from substandard bunkhouses and even used the relief goods to perpetuate their own political agenda,” Salvador bemoaned.

In the afternoon main protest action, the marchers symbolically rammed through a more than life-size paper mural of the President and his cohorts enjoying their loot gained from the neo-liberal policies of privatization, liberalization, deregulation and denationalization. “Women will not let such hurdle stop us as we march towards our vision of a society that will create industries that benefit the people rather than capitalists, enrich our lands with harvests that will be shared by all and not only by landlords. We will work to realize this government fit for our children and our children's children,” Salvador ended. ###
 

     

 
     
           
     
     

 

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