Philippine women’s group Gabriela vowed to continue “to fight for Filipino women’s rights” as it held its 14th Congress this week.
“Amid the worsening economic crisis – joblessness, inflation, hunger – we will continue to call on the end of neoliberal policy of labor flexibilization, deregulation or uncontrolled increase of prices, and import-oriented economic system,” read a statement sent to media on August 17.
The women’s group said it will “persist” amid the “unrelenting human rights violations,” which its officers and members have experienced through the past six years.
The group said it has been red-tagged, “but the red-tagging today is more institutionalized” with the imposition of former president Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 70 that instituted a “whole-of-nation” approach to end armed insurgency and created the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
Gabriela said its members have been declared “persona non grata” in several towns and provinces while peasant women and women church leaders have had their bank accounts frozen under allegations of “financing terrorism.”
“We will persevere, despite these brutal crackdowns,” said the 38-year-old organization. “Our 14th Congress is a testament to our tireless pursuit for the rights of women, and of the Filipino woman’s desire for a life of dignity,” it said.
The group said “no amount of terrorist-tagging” can erase the services of the organization that include counseling, welfare, and legal support for women.
“We will persevere in our continuing service of counseling hundreds of victims of violence against women and children. We will tirelessly campaign against contractualization, demolition, large-scale open pit mining and logging, oil price increase, among others,” it added.
“We will continue to advocate for the legislative rights of women, children, and the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as the unities and alliances we have built with institutions, people’s organizations, and various government units,” said the group.