Women's month

On Int’l Women’s Day 2024, Visayan women march against Cha-Cha

John Sitchon

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On Int’l Women’s Day 2024, Visayan women march against Cha-Cha

#ABANTEBABAE. Leaders of women's rights groups marched the streets of Cebu City on International Women's Day, March 8, to oppose the current push for an economic charter change.

John Sitchon/Rappler

'What women call for is livelihoods, rights, autonomy, not Charter Change for foreigners and the few,' say Gabriela Women’s Party on International Women’s Day 2024

CEBU, Philippines – Women from various progressive advocacy groups marched the streets of Cebu City and Iloilo City on International Women’s Day, March 8, to protest against the national government’s push for charter change (Cha-Cha).

At the Freedom Park in Cebu City, the Cebu Urban Poor Women’s League (CUPWOL), Sitio Nangka Ville Women’s Association, and Gabriela Women’s Party Cebu expressed their discontent over the government’s negligence towards food security issues and wage gaps experienced by female laborers.

For CUPWOL chairperson Belinda Allere, opening the economy to foreign investors through Cha-Cha is only going to benefit foreign businessmen instead of helping women in urban poor communities.

Sila na ang tag-iya sa atong nasud kay sila ra man ang makapalit sa kamahal sa yuta…Mumahal sad ang kantidad sa yuta nga kami, mga pobre, gusto mi mupalit pero wala mi ikapalit kay mahal ang kantidad,” Allere told Rappler.

(They will own our nation because they can afford the expensive land…The price of land will also increase, when supposedly, we, the urban poor, wish to buy land but could no longer afford them since the price will go up.)

Allere added that developments like the new Carbon Market in Cebu City have already pushed away female vendors who could no longer afford the increase in rent prices there.

The urban poor women’s advocate said that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. spent more time as a “tourist” in other countries than working on making the daily minimum wage a “livable wage” and supporting local industries led by women.

Meanwhile, Ilonggo women from GABRIELA Panay and Guimaras echoed similar sentiments during a talk on the situation of women in Iloilo City. On Friday afternoon, the women’s rights group marched to the Iloilo Provincial Capitol.

“There are so many opportunities that the government should be providing and ensuring to this vast pool of workers who make the Philippines wealthy but where are they now?” their statement read in Hiligaynon.

Members of GABRIELA in Metro Manila also celebrated the International Women’s Day with a protest march from Vicente Cruz Street to Mendiola. 

At the assembly, women’s rights advocates presented a box wrapped in flags of the United States, filled with snakes meant to represent the “ills” of charter change.

“Ang panawagan ng kababaihan ay kabuhayan, karapatan, at kasarinlan. Hindi charter change para sa dayuhan at iilan,” GABRIELA’s statement read.

(What women call for is livelihoods, rights, and autonomy. Not Charter Change for foreigners and the few.) – Rappler.com

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