Women March for Dignity and Against Plunder

The Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL)-Women and AKBAYAN-Women celebrate International Women’s Day with renewed calls for women to unite to end what they call a “regime of plunder.”

“Women’s Day is a celebration of dignity. It is therefore imperative for women around the country to come together to condemn the endless political crises brought about by a corrupt administration which is sadly led by a woman. We must reclaim not only the dignity of women but the dignity of the nation that has been repeatedly bastardized by the Arroyo government,” declared AKBAYAN-Women Convenor Malu Perpetua.

AKBAYAN-Women expresses grave disappointment over the continuing deterioration of the state of the nation which is due to the greed of the Arroyo administration.

“We fear that if not much will change now, the next generation will inherit a nation where massive corruption is a norm, a way of life. We don’t want our children to grow up thinking that power and plunder are naturally synonymous.”

APL-Women criticized the Arroyo government for its persistent neglect of women’s concerns, particularly employment and poverty alleviation.

“Women can only live in dignity if they are free from the clutches of dehumanizing poverty, which this government has miserably failed to address point blank. Because of the administration’s preoccupation with maintaining their hold to power, they have neglected the plight of women and their pressing concerns,” APL Women leader Marlene Sindayen said.

Sindayen explained that the key to alleviating women’s worsening economic condition is full employment. “Even if the government continues to brag about ‘economic growth,’ but it remains a jobless growth, which does not have an impact on the lives of women and the poor. Full employment could only happen if economic policies and programs are crafted with the end goal of providing sustainable jobs to Filipinos,” Sindayen pointed out.

APL-Women also chided the Arroyo government for failing to uphold women’s reproductive rights.

Sindayen explained that “Mrs. Arroyo’s political will seems to be concentrated on perpetuating herself in power. She has repeatedly ignored women’s very basic concerns like reproductive health. It is very unfortunate that under the watch of a woman president, women’s right to reproductive health remained in the back seat of government priorities.”

The women’s groups called for the escalation of protest actions to oust Arroyo’s “regime of plunder.”

“We must root out the main source of corruption in government. Unseating Mrs. Arroyo is the necessary first step in changing the system that continues to marginalize women and impoverish the nation,” AKBAYAN Rep. Risa Hontiveros concluded.

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