Sunday, October 28, 2012

National Women's Day of Protest

Today is the Philippine Women's Day of Protest. On October 28, 1983, hundreds of Pilipino women took their struggle to the streets after Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law in the Philippines. Pilipino women contributed heavily in dismantling Marcos's dictatorship. They showed the world just how militant and revolutionary Pilipino women can be. Lorena Barros, a Pilipina activist who established the all-women's organization, Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (MAKIBAKA), put it this way:
The new woman, the new Filipina, is first and foremost a militant. The new Filipina is one who can stay whole nights with striking workers, learning from them the social realities which her bourgeois education has kept from her. She is a woman who has discovered the exalting realm of responsibility, a woman fully engaged in the making of history. No longer is she a woman-for-marriage, but more and more a woman-for-action.
A year later, GABRIELA, named after Gabriela Silang, the Pilipino woman who led a revolt against Spanish colonizers, was established. GABRIELA, along with Anakbayan, the League of Filipino Students, and other organizations that fight for the advancement of the National Democratic Movement of the Philippines, continue to arouse, organize, and mobilize the masses to stop the extrajudicial killings and forced kidnappings, overturn the recent Cyber Crime Prevention Act, get justice for overseas Pilipino workers who experience harsh working conditions, and all-in-all liberate the Philippines from the corrupt and unjust government. Take this day to remember all the activists who fought to eradicate martial law. Take this day to remember all the women who were killed, kidnapped, raped, and tortured while they were fighting for their people. Take this day to educate yourselves about what's really going on in the Philippines and help extend the Pilipino women's mass movement.

(Note: This post was also written for Maria's Pinay Power Daily blog.)

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