[Statement] International Day for the elimination of violence against women -World March of Women

Photo by Del Bañares

World March of Women Statement
International Day for the elimination of violence against women

Kapangyarihan sa kababaihan. Today, we, Filipino women from different sectors, chant these words. Perform this call. Move our bodies as we embody this power to the beat of sticks and drums—to the sound of the same chant, of similar invocations, by our ancestors. By sisters who had come before us who had bravely fought and were vanquished by violence perpetrated by the state, by military might, by misogyny and the culture of impunity.

Kapangyarihan sa kababaihan, we say. Because this kind of power – power with and power within – is what can resist and counter militarism — power over that spawns violence and kills. This is an invocation that aims to humanize, heal, and empower.

Women’s lives are claimed by extra-judicial killings; they are raped in exchange for the life and liberty of their partners, wounded and traumatized by prostitution and economic violence. But we refuse to be cowed. We continue to call for jobs and justice. Kabuhayan, Katarungan – we demand!

Our campuses are no longer for education and free expression but are being militarized. Students, even as young as grade-schoolers, are psychologically intimidated and pressured as they are asked to submit to drug testing. Legitimate protest actions are met with military harassment.

With the government’s Build, Build, Build projects and the ensuing gentrification of Metro Manila and other urban areas, urban poor women and their families are pushed out of their homes and livelihoods. Secure jobs remain elusive.

As rural and indigenous communities fight hunger, poverty, and corporate exploitation of the environment and natural resources, Philippine soldiers paid by our own taxes harass and kill farmers, indigenous leaders, and defenders of the environment.

Women critical of the current administration are either removed from their government positions or jailed, such as in the case of Senator Leila de Lima, who has been in jail for 1000 days without any legitimate or justifiable case and other women political prisoners persecuted because of political beliefs.

With our steps, with every movement of our bodies, with our sisterhood, we claim:
Kabuhayan, katarungan!
Edukasyon, hindi militarismo!
Pabahay, hindi militarismo!
Bigas, hindi militarismo!

Kapangyarihan sa kababaihan. Hah! We exhale our sighs and anguish. Hah! We breathe in the memories of women and children who had fallen because of the war on drugs and other forms of state violence. Hah! We resist and fight militarism and other forces of fascism.

Hah! Kababaihan! May Kapangyarihan!


Bagong Kamalayan Prostitution Survivors’ Collective
Buklod Center – Olongapo
Center for Migrant Advocacy, Phils. Inc.
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP)
Development Action for Women Network (DAWN)
Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA)
In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement
LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK)
Partido Manggagawa (PM) – Women
Sentro ng Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO) – Women
Ugnayan ng Samahan sa Parola (USAP)
WomanHealth Philippines
Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau (WLB)
World March of Women (WMW) – Pilipinas


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