Sunday, March 8, 2009

Today, March 8, 2009 is International Women's Day! Cheers!

Today, the whole world is celebrating International Women's Day! This is a global day of celebration to commemorate the economic, political, and social achievements of women worldwide. From1869 when British MP John Stuart Mill made the first ever call for women's right to vote, women have continually proven they are a force to recon with when it comes to handling this world's affair. Unfortunately, only a handful of countries worldwide gives this day its rightful significance.Countries like the U.K. (257 events), U.S. (195 events), Australia (165 events), Canada (130 events), India (47 events) have private and public organizations lining up activities to commemorate this day. Most others just pass off this day as ordinary.

Women must be given the rightful importance they deserve. And, today is the best time to do it. Today is the most appropriate time for us to be reminded of the extra ordinary role women play in this world. To those who are likely to take the issue rather lightly, it might help to remind you (even surprise you) with some important facts about women.

  • 56% of women who voted supported Obama compared to only 49% of men who voted for Obama
  • Women do two-thirds of the world's work but receive only 10% of the world's income
  • Women control $14 trillion in assets and this should grow to $22 trillion over next 10 years
  • Globally women comprise 42% internet users (Italy 37% ... US & Canada 51%)
  • 80% of UK purchasing decisions are made by women but 83% of 'creatives' are men
  • From 1945 to 1995 the percentage of women MPs worldwide increased four-fold

In the Philippines, sad to say, this day is not being given much attention despite the fact that the current head of state is a woman. However, they have a commendable grass root organization called Gabriela Women's Party, a party list representing women in the country's House of Representatives. Gabriela Women's Party is the political arm of a radical women's organization bearing the same name. (The organization took its name after a legendary hero, Gabriela Silang, who led one of the revolts against Spain during the colonial era.)

Gabriela is the National Alliance of Women's Organizations in the Philippines. With Gabriela, everyday is women's day since their unrelenting advocacy is to champion women's causes 24/7. Among the campaigns Gabriela is taking are:

"The Purple Rose Campaign", a campaign designed to raise awareness on the issue of sex trafficking of Filipino women and children: the brutal control exercised over women and children victims; the high incidence of violence and the tremendous self-sacrifice the women undergo to ensure the economic survival of their families in the Philippines. It shall provide a means by which everyone and anyone can express disapproval and opposition against the use of the sex trade and forced labor as a means of propping up the collapsing economy.

"Free Our Sisters, Free Ourselves", A campaign designed to raise
the alarm as recent events in the Philippines witness the attack on women's basic democratic rights. Legitimate expressions of dissent are banned, rallies violently dispersed. Publications and media outfits are raided and censored with threats of government takeover and closure. Our freedoms are curtailed.

Continually, persecuted by government authorities, Gabriela has remained vigilant in its pursuit of freedom and liberation from the oppressive censorship by authorities. From its website, I saw the following entries which are truly alarming!

"A GABRIELA member was stabbed and shot to death in front of her four children. Another member along with her husband and 8-year old daughter were massacred inside their own home while they were sleeping. Another one was summoned by the military to their detachment and photographed wearing a placard stating that they were supporters of the New People's Army. One member and her husband were abducted early one morning and later found dead a few meters from her house."

In celebrating the International Women's Day, let the world know that in Gabriela's part of the world, The Philippines, mere affiliation with Gabriela means political persecution from the government! Let the support for Gabriela pour in! Let us blog-swarm our sympathies for these women fighting for their rights in the Philippines.

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  1. Hopefully it's not only today that women be honored and the rights respected.. Hopefully it's women's day everyday.

  2. Strength and support to Gabriela and the women of The Philippines, indeed I agree with WebbieLady.....give women the respect that they deserve everyday!

  3. All I know is, if it were not for women, all nations would be in grave danger. Women need to be respected and I hate to hear of any place that is mistreating them. We have witnessed the freedom of the women of Iraq after all these years. I'm sure there is some persecution going on that we are not aware of just like in the Philippines. I was not aware this was International Woman's Day, but I salute all of you and pray that the future will be brighter for all of you. Thanks for the post!

    Eddie Garcia

  4. Yay! Thanks for this :)

  5. sorry i cant remember if i got back to you yeah you can use my photo but i would love a link to my blog in return.