October 28th in the Philippine is National Women’s Day of Protest, a historic event in 1983 that saw 10,000 women marching on the streets to demand democracy and rights amid the devastation brought of the Marcos dictatorship. Inspired by women’s show of unity and strength in the face of repression, several organizations and personalities formed the organization GABRIELA the following year.

This year, GABRIELA chose October 28 to launch One Billion Rising (OBR) 2021, a global campaign demanding an end to violence against women and Mother Earth in its varied forms. Online and onsite dance protests and actions were spearheaded by GABRIELA in the Philippines and across the globe today to call for rights, food and job security in the time of the pandemic, and to denounce systemic misogyny and fascism that violate women.

The Manila/ Rizal launch was headed by leaders and members of GABRIELA National Alliance and other members of the multi-sectoral OBR Philippines Task Force Group (KMU Women – a national union of workers/ Amihan Women Peasant Farmers/ Gabriela Youth/ Center for Women’s Research/ Bahaghari (LGBTQI organization)/ Gabriela Tondo (Urban Poor collective) and Gabriela Women’s Party.

“In a world bent on silencing us, we thrive.
We women have been rising through this pandemic that has exposed the rotting system and worsened the exploitation, oppression, and discrimination we face. The world as it is now endangers frontline workers, healthcare workers, domestic workers, and farmworkers, most of whom are women.
We must rise to uproot this decaying system, and build a new world, to plant seeds that create and foster love in our communities. We must rise to live and flourish.”

GABRIELA National Alliance of Women is a grassroots-based alliance of more than 200 organizations, institutions, desks and programs of women all over the Philippines seeking to wage a struggle for the liberation of all oppressed Filipino women and the rest of our people.