HomeNewsOver 20M ‘economically insecure’ women under Marcos Jr.’s first year, group says

Over 20M ‘economically insecure’ women under Marcos Jr.’s first year, group says

A research institution has challenged President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to address the growing number of “economically insecure” women and the “relentless violation of rights”.

The Center for Women’s Resources (CWR) said more Filipino women are plunged into “joblessness and landlessness” one year after Marcos Jr. was sworn into office.

Brenda Yasay, research coordinator of CWR, said Filipino women are “vulnerable to hunger, poverty, and violence” due to the lack of concrete plan for “uplifting the lives of women and the people”.

Yasay said that according to the Labor Force Survey in May 2023, some 21.14 Filipino women are “economically insecure”, including 996,000 who are unemployed, 1.90 million who are underemployed, and at least 18.25 million who are not in the labor force.

In its report titled “Ambitious Promises and Agendas: The Status of Filipino Women in the First Year of the Marcos Jr. Administration”, CWR said the “challenge for women has grown in recent years”. 

“The skyrocketing prices of food and other basic products and services contribute to the loss of income and livelihood… No amount of spreading deception and fake news can conceal the people’s crisis and the relentless violation of their rights,” it said. 

Yasay claimed Marcos Jr. is busy with overseas travels and “lavish banquets” instead of attending to the “dire crisis” that affects Filipino women and the people.

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“Also, while the country is buried in record-breaking debt of P14 trillion, Marcos Jr.’s priorities include huge infrastructure projects, strengthening the military, and continued economic liberalization.” she continued.

The group also criticized the government for prioritizing development projects, which it claimed would only benefit capitalists and big businesses. In March, the government said it would expedite some 194 infrastructure flagship projects amounting to PHP 9 trillion.

“Women often fall victim to the destructive effects of such projects, especially during calamities,” said Yasay.

CWR also cited some 24,635 reported cases of violence against women and children in 2022, which equates to about 75 victims per day or 3 victims per hour. “It remained high at 6,231 cases from January to March 2023,” CWR said. 

The group said the figure is “still a conservative number because many cases of violence and abuse against women go unreported due to fear, shame, and victim-blaming culture”.

Cham Perez, executive director of CWR, said Filipino women “remain at risk of being victims” of trafficking and prostitution. “Women are forced into prostitution and trafficking due to the lack of decent work and a living wage,” she said.

Women are also subjected to state violence with the government’s anti-insurgency and anti-terror laws, which CWR claimed targets human rights defenders.

“The Marcos Jr. administration forcefully silences women who demand the right to a living wage, agricultural land, decent and safe housing, quality and affordable public services, among others — right out of his father’s dictator’s playbook,” said Perez. 

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