The labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) said women workers suffered the most difficult year under the pandemic as the government, unconscious and unprepared to deal with the gender dimension of this combined health and economic crises, endowed families with only two months of ayuda during the past twelve months and treated everyone, old and children alike, as 'pasaway' under a militarized pandemic response.
“Bago pa man ang COVID-19 na pandemya, nasa disbentaheng posisyon na ang kababaihang manggagawa kapwa sa lugar ng trabaho at sa loob ng tahanan. Lalo lang lumala ang kalagayang ito nang umabot sa matinding krisis pang-ekonomiya ang COVID-19 pandemic dahil sa kapalpakan ng gobyerno ni Duterte sa pagtugon dito,” declared PM Secretary-General Judy Miranda, Monday, as her group joined the World March of Women at Plaza Miranda for celebrating International Women’s Day.
Miranda said the unemployment problem also hit the women hardest, forcing women to leave their jobs and stopped looking for new ones as they have assumed more domestic responsibilities at home, including aiding their children on their online schooling.
“Noong 2019, ang joblessness ay 30% sa kababaihan, 12% naman sa kalalakihan. Sa panahon ng pandemya nitong 2020, naging 47% sa kababaihan at 29% sa kalalakihan, ayon sa sarbey ng SWS. Pero hindi ibig sabihin nito ay nawalan ng trabaho ang mga babae dahil sa halip, dumami pa ang kanyang responsibilidad sa tahanan,” explained Miranda.
And for those who remained at work in essential services and the manufacturing sector, women workers fought back against mass layoffs and non-payment of wages and separation pay as employers made the pandemic an alibi to cut the benefits or bust the unions.
“Kalakhan ng ating frontliners sa health sector, food services, wholesale and retail ay kababaihan. Araw-araw nilang kaharap ang panganib, kawalan ng transportasyon, at mataas na presyo ng mga bilihin katapat ng kakarampot na sweldo,” added Miranda.
The group said it is this higher level of sacrifice and the daily struggle of women that helped families survive a year under the pandemic, thus, their roles must be recognized and appreciated by the government by formulating short to medium-term programs for women.
These include income support, public employment, day-long daycares for working mothers; and also the most important political demand of women today - democratic spaces and a violence-free environment – in contrast to the prevailing state of killings and authoritarianism under the Duterte regime.
08 March 2021