Tag Archives: equality and justice

[Statement] Women say YES to Development! Women say NO to Corporate Mining!

Women say YES to Development! Women say NO to Corporate Mining!

March 8 2013 Women say No to mining from HRD FB

International Women’s Day. 08 March 2013. Today, we celebrate our hopes, our rights, our voices, our movements as we continue to work towards the elimination of violence and discrimination, our right to self-determination, our right to decide on our bodies, communities and natural resources. We voice out the development we want. We move towards equality and justice. We dance until we are all free.

As we celebrate this day we stand firm against those who dare to violate our hopes, our rights, our voices, and our movements. We stand firm against those who dare to destroy the lives we choose to live and the future we dream for our children. WE STAND FIRM AGAINST CORPORATE MINING, for mining companies dared to poison us, kill us, displace us, prostitute us, exploit us.

MINING POISONS our food and waters – mine tailings seeping through the water system, backhoes excavating our rice fields, coastal areas and mountains. Women toil more than twelve hours a day to produce and secure food for their families, to bring water to their homes, to gather medicines from their forests. Women regard the land and water as source of life; but yes, mining corporations easily disregard the value of life.

MINING DISPLACES rural women – away from their homes, their farms, their municipal waters, their forests. With diminishing sources of income due to degradation of their natural resources, rural women have to find work in the cities or abroad, with the risk of falling prey to trafficking and prostitution. Women are driven away from their families and communities; but yes, mining corporations easily disregard the value of family and community.

MINING WORSENS prostitution – peddling entertainment to investors and their male workers, peddling women next to the produce of the mines. Young women get attracted to jobs near the mining areas, many fall victims to empty promises of better incomes at the cost of their bodies and dignity; but yes, mining corporations easily disregard a person’s dignity.

MINING EXPLOITS workers – subjecting them to inhuman conditions and various risks to health and danger without any occupational safety hazards, without security of tenure, without decent pay. The government promotes mining for job creation but it has not delivered any impact on employment; but yes, mining corporations easily disregard the dignity of work.

MINING KILLS indigenous women – Juvy Capion’s and Cheryl Ananayo’s children sleep at night grieving the loss of their mothers, whose last cries were for their ancestral domains. Indigenous women laid their lives for their ancestral lands not because they wanted to merely benefit or profit from it, but because they wanted to protect the ties that bind them as a people, their cultural identity and integrity. This is the reason why there is the free prior informed consent (FPIC) that would protect indigenous communities from threats of encroachment; but yes, mining corporations easily disregard the right to self-determination, and bastardize the very spirit of FPIC.

With all its dominance and violence, corporate mining perpetuates patriarchy. It has deprived women’s voice to be heard in the communities. It has justified militarization in the country side. With all its capitalist greed, multinational mining corporations perpetuate wanton exploitation of the environment, and undermines national sovereignty. It has worsened impacts of climate change. It has threatened food sovereignty and national patrimony. But mining corporations cannot do it by themselves; but yes, government has long been by their side.

Today, in one voice, women from different communities, and languages, say –

Mining poisons our food and water.

Mining kills indigenous women.

Mining exploits workers.

Mining displaces rural women.

Mining worsens prostitution.

Protect women human rights defenders in mining areas.

STOP corporate mining!

Pursue a development path that uplifts the dignity and lives of the Filipino communities, nurtures the natural resources and environment, and eliminates all forms of violence against women.

Akbayan–Youth • Alliance of Progressive Labor • Amnesty International • Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) • Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) • Asian Circle 1325 • Bagong Kamalayan • BATIS • Batis-AWARE • Buklod • Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino – Kababaihan • CATW-AP • Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA) • Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center, Inc • DAKILA Palawan Collective • Development Action for Women Network • Filipino Deaf Women Health and Crisis Center (FDWHCC) • Focus on the Global South • Free Burma Coalition • Freedom from Debt Coalition • Initiatives for International Dialogue • Kababaihan-Pilipinas • KAISA-KA • KAMP • Kasibulan • Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC-KsK/Friends of the Earth-Phils) • LILAK (Purple Action for Women’s Rights) • Medical Action Group • MFA • Partido Lakas ng Masa • Partido ng Manggagawa • PAHRA • PEACE • Philrights • Piglas Kababaihan • PKKK • PREDA • RENEW • Rice Watch and Action Network (R1) • SARILAYA • Transform Asia • Unlad Kabayan • WEDPRO • WomanHealth Phils. • Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau • Welga ng Kababaihan • Women’s Crisis Center • Youth and Students Advancing Gender Equality (YSAGE) • World March of Women – Pilipinas • numerous courageous individuals who joined through the event’s facebook page

Jean Enriquez
Executive Director, CATW-AP
Tel: 63-2-4342149

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[People] The Great Poverty Divide by Fr. Shay Cullen

(Fr. Shay’s columns are published in The Manila Times,
in publications in Ireland, the UK, Hong Kong, and on-line.)

 Manuel a semi-illiterate teenager just rescued from the filthy jails of Metro Manila was longing to see his parents and family. He told us that they had no home and lived on the street. They had a food stall near Baclaran Church and lived there under a plastic sheet. They eked out a living selling bananas cooked in recycled vegetable oil and brown sugar to the church goers at the weekly novena and daily masses.

Both rich and poor filled the Wednesday novena prayers. The poor being the vast majority were begging divine help to find enough food for their families and medicines for their sick and the irresponsible and unrepentant rich praying for forgiveness and donating coins for a ticket to heaven. Alas that’s the great divide; the poor trying to live for a few days more, the rich trying to live forever.

Blessed are the responsible well off rich people, the Zacchaeus people of this world who are enlightened and see the social and human reality and are determined to use their influence and resources to change it for the better. They are agents of change and have compassion for the poor, exploited and the abused, and they dedicate their talents, wealth and efforts to change this unjust divide between the haves and have not. But it’s not an easy task. In Davos, Switzerland the world leaders have lost their way. Greed and excess has damaged the world economy and they can’t fix it.

Trying to make this a more honest, loving and compassionate world where equality and justice reigns is the true and goal of Christianity. When Jesus of Nazareth proclaimed that it was coming, the corrupt rich elite called him a blasphemer and a rebel, a danger to the nation and to their elite status and tortured him and handed down the death penalty in cruelest way possible. Today around the world, human rights advocates and those committed social workers dedicated to helping the victims of abuse and hardship, work to bring about a just society based on democracy and greater equality. They are vilified and condemned, tortured and killed. Yet more heroes rise up to take their place and carry on the mission.

The irresponsible rich and their deluded followers call such heroic striving for spiritual and social transformation class warfare, Jesus called it the road to the Kingdom of God where the poorest and their supporters would live in dignity and be the most blessed instead of being the most despised and cursed.

In the Philippines there is much to be done to reduce hunger and poverty. In a recent survey made in December 2011, 45 % of those surveyed said they were poor, that’s an improvement from the previous year when 52% said they were poor. Another 36% of those surveyed said they experienced hunger. The Philippine situation still remains “serious” according to the Global hunger index.

Back at the Parañaque jail a group of visiting German Parliamentarians from the Economic Cooperation and Development Committee led by the dedicated human rights defender chairperson Dagmar Wohri saw the worst of all. They were visiting the jails and witnessing the over crowded cells of hungry inmates, minors among them so symbolic of the condition of the urban poor squeezed into shacks and shanties and living on scraps and recycled left-over.

The committee will be reviewing their assessment of the Philippines as a semi-developed middle-income country as some agencies rate it and will hopefully deliver development aid in a way that directly impacts the lives of the poor.

There is hope that justice will emerge. The government of President Aquino is fighting corruption and social welfare secretary Corazon “Dinky” Juliano-Soliman is delivering poverty reduction programs through conditional cash transfers. Cash transfers will ease the hunger for a while and will get more children vaccinated and into school, they will not change the deeply rooted causes of poverty and hunger in the Philippines. That’s due to the structural inequality in society where the 1% of the 96 million people owns 70% of the wealth. That calls for government reform and a just redistribution of wealth in such a way that the poor will develop through equal opportunity into a strong dignified middle class. But first human and civil rights must be top priority.