November 29, 2023

Let us champion the rights of all women

I was once a member of a progressive women’s group that has been holding activities for Women’s Day. The same group has lined up series of activities for Women’s Day and for Women’s Month, this year.
For unsuspecting audiences, these activities seem to have good intentions. But as a former member of this group, I have witnessed how such activities are conducted in a one-sided manner. They only show abuses and social inequalities that they blame on state forces but never dared to condemn the harrowing experiences of female members under the hands of some of the leaders of the underground movement.
A former chairperson of the Anakbayan Central Luzon, a former rebel in Leyte, a former medic, and alias Ruffa are some of the many victims of sexual abuse in the underground movement. None of them received sympathy from the said group, which remained mum on these horrifying incidents.
The group is crying for justice but do not have the courage to do so for countless women abused by the underground movement. How can they have the audacity to claim and monopolize advocacy for women’s rights?
When we say we fight for women’s rights, we fight for all women and not leave behind those who have already suffered so much from the hands of an armed group.
Let this Women’s Day be a reminder that we should fight a genuine fight for all women and their rights. — CRISTINA CATBAGAN, chairperson, Nagkakaisang Samahan para sa Kapayapaan at Kaunlaran

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