A glimpse of a few International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women and OBR actions today, November 25 – commemorating the start of 16 days of activism:


Today is the Day for Elimination of Violence against women
And hence starts our 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence

“Listen to and believe survivors”
“Do say: We hear you. We believe you. We stand with you.”
“Teach the next generation and learn from them”
“Learn the signs of abuse and how you can help”
“Take a stand by calling it out when you see it: catcalling, inappropriate sexual comments and sexist jokes are never okay”
“It’s important to remember that when discussing cases of sexual violence, a victim’s sobriety, clothes, and sexuality are irrelevant”
“Fund women’s organizations”


Jagori (OBR India National Secretariat) and OBR Delhi are today hosting a web event on dismantling patriarchy – to launch the 16 Days of Activism.  Kamla Bhasin (OBR South Asia regional coordinator) in conversation with Sunset Dear and Jayashree Velankar of Jagori. Kamla will also be responding to questions.  She will be joined by activists from around South Asia – Muktasree Chakma (from Bangladesh), Sadia Chaudhary (from Pakistan), Kamla Vasuki (from Sri Lanka), Frishta Matin (from Afghanistan).


As part of the 16 Days of Activism and to commemorate the International Day To Eliminate Violence Against Women – OBR Mexico co hosts the screening of the documentary “Lo Olel (Women) Sowing Justice: on November 25


As part of 16 Days of Activism, mothers from Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Manila, dance the OBR dance. The dance also celebrates the newly elected officials of Gabrial Tatalon chapter:


November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW). In the Philippines, by virtue of RA 10398 principally authored by Gabriela Women’s Party, we commemorate this day as the National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children.

The history of IDEVAW is a story of women of courage. On November 25, 60 years ago, the Mirabal sisters Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa were murdered for fighting against the fascist dictatorship of General Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic.

We will continue their fight against state perpetrated violence against women. We will continue to fight against gender-based violence.



November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW), occurs in the most appropriate time.  IDEVAW comes at a time of heightened attacks and violence against us, Filipino women.  This is the day we remember the Butterflies.

Thirty-nine years ago, the Mirabal sisters Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa – known as the Mariposas or Butterflies – were brutally murdered by Dominican state forces for their active resistance to the fascist regime of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo.  In 1975, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution of World Women’s Conference to honor the Mirabal sisters.

Thus, all UN state-members like the Philippines should adhere to their obligation of ensuring measures to eliminate violence against women. That is why we reiterate, more so today, the culpability of the Philippine government on the persistence of violence against women, especially state violence. Yet, six decades later, state violence happens without let-up in populist ultra-rightist draconian governments like the Philippines.

Like the Mirabal sisters, many women have been woke, freed from their cocoons and become butterflies calling for freedom and social justice. Like the Mirabal sisters, many women have been persecuted, red-tagged, and murdered for their political conviction.

State fascism intensifies as a response to the aggravating economic crisis. Duterte government’s defense to its criminal neglect and failed neoliberal policies is threat, vilification, arrest, and extra-judicial killing. Particularly, we in GABRIELA faces vilification campaign led by rabid attack dogs in the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO). Our officers and members receive death threats and online harassments, some have been arrested, and others are still in jail.  With the Anti-Terrorism Law, arresting and killing of those who seek state accountability, of those who ask questions on state policies and priorities, will be institutionalized. Once again, butterflies are endangered.

But much like the mariposas Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa, the critical role of women in the anti-fascist struggle remains. Even as macho-fascist strongman like President Duterte openly advocates misogyny, orders soldiers to “shoot them in the vagina” in reference to his desired treatment of women rebels, and tags women dissenters as terrorists, women continue to stand firm.

GABRIELA, being in the forefront of the women’s struggle both here and abroad, our militant orientation and advocacy for social change have earned the displeasure of those in power. Especially during this time of a global pandemic, we push for state accountability and economic subsidy since many women are impacted by joblessness given that majority of them are non-regular workers, vulnerable to infection since more than 80% of them serve as frontliners, distressed by food uncertainty as successive typhoons devastated their farms and livelihood. Aside from continuing counseling services, we push for the opening of VAW desk services in the communities  because there are heightened cases of domestic abuse and sexual violence. At the same time, we mobilize communities to help other communities by providing soup kitchens, distributing protective equipment, conducting information dissemination on health and disasters, cleaning in the areas affected by flood, and maintaining urban gardens, among others. As butterflies, we soar to build and we dare to speak truth to power.

For Filipino women under the grasp of Duterte’s fascist regime, IDEVAW is not merely a day for awareness; it is a day for reckoning. It is a day for demanding justice, and for seeking accountability from the state, which instead of listening to our pleas, has only continued to produce more Patrias, more Minervas, and more Maria Teresas. Today, we think of Jo Lapira, Kamil Manangan, Lorena Barros, and the countless women who had been martyred and killed by the state for daring to fight back against tyranny. IDEVAW is the day we remember the butterflies.