Message of the Comfort Women of the Philippines on International Day of Peace and Global Call To Rise For and With The Women of Afghanistan
LILA PILIPINA statement for September 21, International Day of Peace
We rise for peace. We roar for justice. We rage against wars of aggression and state-sanctioned violence against women.
Today, September 21, the International Day of Peace, we assert that there can be no true global peace without a genuine resolution of the military sexual slavery committed by the Japanese Imperial Army in World War II against thousands of women in countries it invaded or colonized. We reiterate our calls for justice just as we have done so for the past almost thirty years.
But today, we rise as well for our daughters-in-the-struggle from various parts of the world who are confronted by the evils of state violence against women.
Today we rise in particular for the women of Afghanistan whose rights and freedoms are now again under siege by the fundamentalist Taliban government. This government’s brutal record against women has earned worldwide condemnation when it first came into power. Now it seeks to rehabilitate its image by engaging in doublespeak : paying lip service to women’s rights but in the same breath imposing numerous restrictions that, in effect, curtail women’s basic rights such as their freedom of movement, the right to live without fear and the right against gender-based discrimination.
The Taliban government’s repression of women’s rights is but a thinly-veiled scheme, a tactic it shares with authoritarian rulers, imperialist governments and aggressor nations who have weaponized feudal-patriarchal values in order to subjugate half of the population and thus quell resistance to their rule.
It is a feature that the Taliban government shares in common with the Duterte government in the Philippines where numerous women have fallen victims to sexualized violence arising from the President’s own misogynist actions and pronouncements. Duterte has often used sexual remarks against women dissenters to pump up bloodlust among his soldiers, turning them into fierce abusers of women in the battlefield. As if these weren’t enough, the Duterte government has also carried out an utterly callous response to the Covid pandemic, plundering the nation’s coffers while men and women are dying of the virus due to the severely inadequate facilities, militarist measures and the total lack of support for medical front liners, many of whom are women.
The defense of women and women’s rights have become more gravely difficult under the present situation. We struggle for our rights even as we struggle for our lives and safety in this time of the pandemic.
But it is only through our militant and united struggle can we ever hope for liberation.
We extend our hands to the young women of the world today – in Afghanistan, the Philippines and other countries where women are in extremely vulnerable situations. We must fight with utmost courage and unbreakable unity, boldly and loudly proclaim our demands for liberation from all forms of oppression.
There can never be global peace where militarism, authoritarianism and imperialist wars continue to wreak havoc on peoples and nations.
There can never be genuine peace as long as state-sanctioned violence against women continue to occur.
By our struggle to win justice for the wartime abuses committed against us by the Japanese government, we have helped set the path of struggle ablaze for women similarly afflicted. We bequeath our legacy of courageous struggle to the young women of the world today.
We must all stand in solidarity, fight fiercely and determinedly, oppose imperialism and militarism and the sexual violence these spawn wherever they take root. Only when we have eliminated these evils can global peace truly acquire meaning.
Voice of Domestic Workers UK Rise Afghanistan 21 Statement
On the weekend of our international day of solidarity and action, The Voice of Domestic Workers (UK) – RISE, ROAR & RAGE (in front of the Labour Party Conference in Brighton) for the Women of Afghanistan.
“We Rise to defend women’s rights, which are under threat in all countries, and uphold the principles of equality and secularism as the backbone of the protection of these rights.” ~ OBR UK
“We Rise for justice and protection of Afghanistan Women.”
“Not detention but a Home”. Scrap the Border Bill / Anti-Refugee Bill now!