(photo by Philippine Star)

On International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women:


Different groups and organizations gathered together early morning today at the Lapu-Lapu Shrine, Rizal Park to commemorate the United Nations’ declaration of November 25 as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and to collectively denounce the continuing violence women experience. The event carried the theme: Babae Ako, Lumalaban sa Abuso (I Am A Woman, Fighting Abuse)

The event’s highlight is the formal launch of One Billion Rising 2019 on February 14, 2019, as a part of a yearly global campaign to raise awareness and to demand a stop to violence against women and children.

“Today, we remember the political persecution and murder of the Mirabal Sisters who fought the dictatorship of Trujillo of the Dominican Republic during the 1950’s. We also honor them this day for the courage and sacrifice to overthrow a macho-fascist dictator. Their death sparked nationwide rage that led to the downfall of the dictatorship and the assassination of Trujillo, and inspired other women to speak-up and fight everyday violence and abuse perpetrated by the state,” Joms Salvador said, Secretary General of Gabriela.

Salvador said that this day also reminds us that the same violence still happens to women especially among the poor and marginalized. “Every day, every hour, women and girls get raped, beaten, harassed but are afraid and ashamed to speak about what happened to them because of victim-blaming. Women workers are deprived of equal labor rights in favor of additional profits for the capitalists. Peasant women get killed defending the land that they till but don’t own. And the fact that we have a president whose mouth spills of misogynistic remarks perpetuates impunity.”

Women human rights defenders, workers, students, urban poor, indigenous peoples, and individuals from different organizations and institutions gathered to denounce violence against women and to show solidarity throughout the world. Their presence in the One Billion Rising 2019 launch is a political statement that Filipino women and people are rising to end violence against women, resisting misogyny and fascism, and uniting with peoples of the world in demanding an end to the oppression and exploitation that women experience.

GABRIELA also raised alarm on the newly released Memorandum Order No. 32 on additional military deployment and a de facto martial law imposition in Samar, Negros and Bicol regions, citing increased military presence also means increased number of incidents of human rights violations.

“Abuse and violence on women does not stop inside their homes; more intense forms of violence are sponsored and perpetrated by the state. We have witnessed in the last two years of the Duterte regime accelerating increase in poverty and state instigated violence. Each day we hear and see women and children being victims of extrajudicial killings since the start of Oplan Tokhang. Mainstream media rarely reports of communities on exodus because of intensive military operations in the countryside with the mask of suppressing communist insurgents but, data show that these communities are targets for plantations, mining operations and energy projects which are fatal for the people and their livelihood,” Salvador explained.

OBR 2019 is an apt collective response of women to the everyday violence in their homes, in the streets, in their workplace, in their communities, in the country and in the world. ###–


(photos by Philippine Star)



Congressional Representative Arlene Brosas of Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) – sharing the bills and laws on the protection and rights of women and children that GWP has authored and pushed in the last 15 years.

SALINLAHI – a children’s rights advocacy group (and member of OBR Philippines task force group) – Rising against poverty, Rising to defend children’s rights, Rising for peace and to end martial law, Rising against exploitation and child labor

OBR Global Director Monique Wilson, speaking on Global Solidarity and OBR 2019 Global campaigns and 2019 Manifesta


Youth Rising!

Joms Salvador – GABRIELA Secretary General

Members of KADAMAY – made up of urban poor women (also a member of OBR task force group) – Rising against homelessness

Former DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo and Bayan Muna representative Neri Colmenares (part of V-Men Philippines) – Rising to end state fascism!

KMU (workers) Rising for labor rights! KMU is part of the OBR task force Philippines group – leading workers risings all over the country

Teachers Rising! ACT (Alliance of Concerned Teachers) is also part of the OBR Philippine task force group – gathering teachers from across the country to Rise for their rights.

Member of Gabriela Tondo – from the urban poor communities. Rising for housing rights, jobs and education

Students from College of St. Benilde – who led the mash up version of “Break The Chain” and “Bangon” (first OBR Philippines song) – sung live with original choreography. St. Benilde is part of the South Manila Educational Consortium of Colleges and Universities – the Consortium is part of the OBR Philippines task force group, who, along with Gabriela Youth, lead Youth Risings in colleges and schools all over the country


Gabriela leaders led by Rep Emmi De Jesus and Rep Arlene Brosas of Gabriela Women’s Party

V-Man Neri Colmenares with Gabriela Youth