The Gabriela Women's Party on Sunday took to the streets the fight for women's rights and air their grievances towards the Duterte administration as they celebrate International Women's Day.
Clad in violet and carrying protest banners, members of the progressive women's group marched from Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila to Mendiola Street in front of Malacañang Palace.
Nagsimula na ang martsa ng libo-libong kababaihan mula Liwasang Bonifacio patungong Mendiola para sa pagdiriwang ng Pandaigdigang Araw ng Kababaihang Anakpawis. #IWD2020 #DefendGabriela#DefendFilipinoWomen#WomensGlobalStrike pic.twitter.com/4QhZvyCJ40— Gabriela Women's Party (@GabrielaWomenPL) March 8, 2020
In a statement, Gabriela Women's Party Representative Arlene Brosas raised the alarm over the spike in cases of violence against women in the Philippines in the last two years amid President Rodrigo Duterte's misogynstic remarks and the influx of "dirty money" into the country.
“President Duterte’s brand of unrepentant misogyny and his passivity over the illicit dirty money flows to the country have increasingly made Filipino women vulnerable to sexual abuse and other crimes,” Brosas said.
"What is worrisome is that along with the influx of dirty money and the institutionalized misogyny, the number female victims of human trafficking spiked by 66.7% from 252 in 2018 to 420 in 2019. Rape cases rose by 30% during the same period,” she added.
Brosas recounted the many sexist remarks that Duterte said in the span of one year, including what he said during his State of the Nation Address last year about "Boracay Girls" and his "smelly girlfriend."
Following the eruption of Taal volcano, Duterte also joked about forgetting all his problems when he thought about Batangas' beautiful women, she added.
“With such record of indulging in his sick, sexist antics, it then comes as no surprise why the President has never made any condemnation of the proliferation of sex rings linked to POGOs in the country," Brosas said.
"This has to change. We need to stop dirty money from coming to our shores and shut down POGOs all at once,” she added.
Meanwhile, detained opposition Senator Leila De Lima called for an end to misogyny and gender-based persecution, saying that women in the Philippines are being attacked just because they fight for women's rights and against derogatory social norms.
“Despite the positive steps we have made in empowering women’s rights, a call for justice remains for all those who have been, and continue to be harassed, abused and vilified for being women of courage, conviction, and compassion,” De Lima said in a statement.
“We must work together with full resolve to make gender equality beneficial not just to women and girls, but for all humankind. Our generation has the power to make this universal aspiration a reality,” she added. — Erwin Colcol/BM, GMA News