8 March 2011
Women members of the Partido ng Manggagawa together with various women’s groups from the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN) held a march with around six thousand women to celebrate the 100th year of International Women’s Day by highlighting their support for the RH bill.
With the theme “Marching for RH, Marching for Life!,” Partido ng Manggagawa and RHAN assembled at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) along Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City at 1:00 in the afternoon. At 1:30 pm the group marched from the CHR to the House of Representatives, with other women’s groups that gathered in front of St. Peter’s Parish near the Sandiganbayan. A cultural and solidarity program was held at the South Wing gate of the HOR while sponsorship speeches and interpellations were going on. Simultaneously, a contingent from PM and RHAN attended the session at the Senate of the Philippines to support counterpart bill still pending at the Senate Committee on Health and Demography.
“This is a very important occasion for poor and working women suffering the brunt of the absence of a comprehensive reproductive health care program in the country. We are happy that the House of Representatives heard our clamour to immediately start the sponsorship speeches and plenary debate on the RH bill. Totoong urgent ang issues ng pagkamatay ng 11 kababaihan araw-araw, gayon din, ang pagdami ng kabataang kababaihang nabubuntis, 7 out of 10 pregnancies are that of teens,” explained PM Secretary General Judy Ann Chan-Miranda.
“On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, we also raise other issues specifically beneficial to poor and working women such as the absence of a socialized housing program, the passage of a law on security of tenure, a legislated across-the-board increase in wages, and protection for frontline service workers against indignities and harassment. Women, especially poor women, are not only doubly but multiply-burdened and greatly suffer from the lack if not the absence of income, high prices of basic commodities, electricity and water, among others,” added Miranda.
In the morning of Women’s Day, PM joined the Martsa ng Kababaihan which highlighted other issues that burden women such as employment and livelihood, violence against women and children, etc. Women participants marched from Blumentritt to Mendiola.