Tag: SiGAw

BAYAN USA Celebrates 100 Years of Women in the People’s Struggle

News Statement
March 8, 2011

Reference: Bernadette Ellorin, Chairperson, BAYAN USA
email: chair@bayanusa.org, www.bayanusa.org

BAYAN USA Celebrates 100 Years of Women in the People’s Struggle

On this centennial anniversary of International Women’s Day, BAYAN USA, an alliance of 14 Filipino organizations in the United States, salutes all the women on the frontlines of national and social liberation struggles working to frustrate and dismantle all forms of social oppression, especially US imperialism and its agents of reaction. Women are proving that not only do they hold up half the sky, they are taking up the duty of liberating it. As women risk their lives in these heroic and emancipatory struggles, they further expose the reality that the greatest violence unleashed upon women and children comes from and is institutionalized by imperialism itself.

Now more than ever, amidst the worst economic crisis in world history, women worldwide are providing the best examples of militancy, resistance, and self-determination in the face of structural repression and reactionary violence. From People Power in Egypt’s Tahrir Square to armed struggle in the Himalayas in Nepal to labor strikes in Guangzhou, China to the occupation of Madison, Wisconsin’s State Capitol Building, to women domestic workers organizing for recognition of domestic work as formal work, women are deeply engaged in advancing peoples struggles.

Like their sisters worldwide, Filipina women are engaged in all forms of people’s resistance against oppression. The militant Filipina women’s alliance, Gabriela Philippines, is continuously raising broad social awareness of violence against women. From violence unleashed by the Philippine state’s mercenary military apparatus to the domestic violence commonly inflicted by intimate partners in the form of rape, molestation, and sexual assault, Filipina women leaders and organizers are re-shaping traditional attitudes around gender, class, sex, marriage, divorce, family, healthcare and government. At present, the Gabriela Women’s Party is at the forefront of a growing movement for the passage of its Comprehensive Reproductive Health Bill as well as its Divorce Bill against a dominant, social current anchored by centuries of colonial rule of Spanish Catholicism and US imperialism.

Six years after the violent gang rape of Suzette “Nicole” Nicolas by 6 US marines stationed in Subic Bay, led by US Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith, in addition to countless other cases in history of sexual terrorism against Filipina women and children by US military personnel, the US and Philippine governments continue to insist on US military presence in the country under the auspices of joint military training exercises. However, numerous eye-witness accounts reveal the US military engagement in combat operations which violate the Philippine constitution.

Recognizing the role of Filipinos in the US in Philippine movement for genuine national independence and democracy, BAYAN USA helped to found the US chapter of Gabriela Philippines. Launched in 2009, Gabriela USA has worked tirelessly to organize Filipina-American women to link their rights and welfare struggles and concerns to the larger context national liberation of their homeland. Gabriela Philippines and its US Chapter also continue to play a role in clarifying that genuine Filipino women’s emancipation can only be possible upon the Filipino people’s liberation from imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism.

On the centennial anniversary of International Women’s Day, BAYAN USA stands shoulder to shoulder with our sisters of Gabriela USA in advancing the iVOW to end Violence Against Women (VAW) Campaign. This on-going campaign led by Gabriela is an awareness and advocacy campaign to combat the seven forms of violence women around the world face: sex trafficking and prostitution; domestic violence; rape, incest, and sexual abuse; sexual harassment; violence as a result of political repression; sexual discrimination and exploitation; and limited access to reproductive health care.

As an overseas chapter of BAYAN Philippines, BAYAN USA recognizes the irrefutable role of women in all struggles for social emancipation. BAYAN USA also recognizes that the Filipino women’s movement is part of, not parallel to, the overall Filipino people’s movement for national liberation.

Long Live the Filipino Women’s Movement!
Long Live Working Women Engaged in People’s Struggle!
Resist Imperialism and All Forms of Reaction!
Strive for Women’s Liberation Through People’s Liberation!

GABRIELA USA participates in the Montreal International Women’s Conference and the founding of the International Women’s Alliance

MIWC1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Reference: Valerie Francisco, Vice Chair of Mass Campaigns, GABRIELA USA
gabrielawomen@gmail.com

GABRIELA USA participates in the Montreal International Women’s Conference and the founding of the International Women’s Alliance

Montréal, Québec, August 16, 2010 — In Montreal, women of GABRIELA USA joined over 350 participants representing 32 different countries, including Pakistan, India, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, Mali, the Czech Republic, Germany, Cuba, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Mexicothis past weekend to actively participate in the Montreal International Women’s Conference and the founding of the International Women’s Alliance.

GABRIELA USA was joined by local allies from all across the U.S. including members of VietUnity, Tadaima, Women’s Fightback Network in Boston and New York City, Million Workers March, Picture the Homeless, the International Action Center , Latin American Workers’ Project (NYC), Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST), Transit Workers’ Union,  Cihuatl Tlatocan- Maiz, and the May 1st Coalition.

From August 13 to 15, delegates participated in plenaries, workshops, and discussions surrounding a wide variety of themes, including women workers, peasant women, indigenous struggles, developmental aggression, violence against women, racism, discrimination and genocide, as well as resistance to wars and imperialist aggression.  From these workshops and plenaries, drafts of resolutions have been created to tackle these struggles on local and international levels.

During a plenary session, delegates unanimously endorsed a declaration in support of the 490 Tamils from Sri Lanka who arrived aboard the MV Sun Sea in Vancouver, Canada, decrying their ongoing detention while calling upon the Canadian government to accept them as refugees.  In addition, participants also affirmed their solidarity and demanded the release of the 43 health workers who were illegally detained in the Philippines in February this past year.

On August 16, delegates of the conference formalized the assembly by creating the International Women’s Alliance which will build coordination of local, regional and international campaigns, to promote mutual support and the sharing of resistance strategies, and to mobilize women around the world in the struggle against imperialism, violence and capitalist globalization. The first assembly of the International Women’s Assembly will take place in July 2011 in the Philippines.

“As Filipina  women, it is our duty as mothers,  daughters, and sisters to come together and strengthen the movement against the  exploitation and oppression of women rooted in the global imperialist system. We can no longer take the brunt of the economic crisis brought about by this system which causes so much hunger, unemployment, forced migration, and militarization all over the world.  The time is now to bridge our struggles and  strengthen the solidarity of women’s organizations worldwide.  The formation of the  International Women’s Alliance will help fortify the growing people’s movement against imperialism,” stated Raquel Redondiez, chairperson of GABRIELA USA.

GABRIELA USA is a national alliance of progressive Filipina women’s organizations including Samahan ng Kababaihan (San Francisco), babae (San Francisco), Pinay sa Seattle (Seattle), Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (New York City), and Sisters of Gabriela Awaken (Los Angeles).http://miwc2010.wordpress.com/.

The initiative for the MIWC and IWA came out of a resolution of the women’s commission of the International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS) which met during the 3rd International Assembly of the ILPS in Hong Kong in 2008.For more information about the conference and alliance, please visit