Women in the Philippines took to the streets in Davao City to participate in a lightening rally demanding justice. This is one of many pop-up events that will be happening globally as we build to ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE.

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January 15, 2014

Davao City— Intensifying its protest against social injustices, poverty and corruption, militant women from Gabriela Women’s Party and Bayan Muna partylist staged an all-women-picket rally today (January 15) in various government offices situated in the city  such as Department of Justice, Philhealth (Health Insurance), Social Security System and Department of Social Welfare and Development Region XI.

May Ann Sapar, Gabriela-SMR Spokesperson said, “Hunger and hardships brought about by worsening poverty and never-ending increases of prices are disastrous. It is a disaster we endure because the government perpetuates it by negligence and aggravates it due to corruption. ”

She said, that poor women especially the mothers, are the most affected sector who bear the brunt of poverty in the country. This is the reason why we all need to rise to dissent our condition and assert our rights for an adequate social services.

She cited that food, for instance, is the top priority of every family’s budget but most families are facing paltry meals and hunger because of the rising cost of living while unemployment and underemployment rates are incredibly high and daily income remains too insufficient.

‘It is ironic and highly irregular’, Sapar said, that our country has been among the top importers of rice and corn in the whole world but the availability and prices of rice and corn are incessantly going up. “Next to food, utilities like house rentals, or lights and water bills consume our budget. Nothing is left for SSS or Philhealth contribution, education of our children and even for our health.” She said.

Sapar said that, ‘we shall not allow any form of abuses and violence to be wreaked against us. We cannot tolerate this corrupt and repressive government to ruin our lives and the future of our children.’

In their protest, the group also slams the continuing human rights violations perpetrated against civilians. Most of the recorded 182,665 cases of violations documented by Karapatan-SMR ,Sapar cited, victimized mostly women and children. Human rights violations include violations of the rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of association, hamletting, threat, intimidation and political persecution.

Sapar also cited the rising number of Violence Against Women and Children in the region.

Indeed this corrupt government uses repression to curtail our freedom and suppress our struggle. We shall persevere because what we are fighting is not only for ourselves but for our children and their future. We shall rise against injustices.’ Sapar concluded.