Lucban Elementary School Dances for Women and Children’s Rights Anew
READ more about this event in the local media Nordis.net available HERE
BAGUIO CITY – Around 1,500 gathered including pupils, teachers and parents of Lucban Elementary School along with members of Innabuyog-Gabriela to rise and dance as a symbol of commitment to end all forms of violence against women and children on February 6, 2015.
Last year, Lucban Elementary School danced as a response to the global campaign to end VAW dubbed as One Billion Rising for Justice. The teachers assisted in explaining among the children about their rights as children and girls. Today, in partnership with Innabuyog-Gabriela, they are again committing in an escalated campaign which is the One Billion Rising for Revolution with a Cordillera theme: “Women, Revolt against the Culture of Corruption, Impunity and Violence.”
“We’ve danced. We’ve demanded justice. Now we should act together to demand changes,” Ricca Llanes, the deputy secretary of Innabuyog-Gabriela said. Llanes mentioned that in 2014, poverty along with high tuition fees forced more than 5.5 million children to drop out of school just to help in their family’s financial needs. She also said that cases of rape have become more frequent in 2014 where 1 woman or girl child is raped every 1 hour and 21 minutes compared to 2013 data where 1 woman or girl child is raped every 1 hour and 30 minutes. She added that 75% of the victim-survivors of rape and sexual abuse are children.
Llanes also mentioned that justice for the women and children survivors of violence in the country sides who were affected of the frequent militarization have not been served. She added that there has not been any action made by the duty bearers as measures for the frequently interruption classes of village children during military operations. She also pointed out that in the numerous operations in the province of Abra, Ifugao, Mt. Province and Kalinga last year and early this year, there has not been any psycho-social intervention from the government side as an intervention to the fear stricken communities especially the most vulnerable women and children. As the mothers from the urban to the rural hardly make both ends meet daily for their families, the peoples’ money is corrupted by few officials, Llanes added. “The indigenous, urban poor, migrant women who have suffered long enough from poverty and government neglect of social services will not helplessly stand back as corruption pervades political system,” she stressed.
She invited every mother, teacher, students and passers-by to join the grand One Billion Rising for Revolution dance on February 14, 2015, 3:30PM-5PM, at Malcolm Square (People’s Park) to continue the fight to demand systems change that would bring a brighter future for the children. “We are women rising against corruption; we are women rising for systems change,” she added.
The Innabuyog-Gabriela along with other local and national women’s organization has been waging struggle to end all forms of violence against women and children for a long time. In the global campaign, One Billion Rising which started in 2013, the region responded in the form of dances, educational discussions among others. In the One Billion Rising’s third year, the global data of VAW did not decline. 1 in 3 women across the planet is beaten or raped during her lifetime. It is not already enough to build awareness and demand justice but it is imperative to act together in a revolution, Llanes further added.