Statement on the occasion of the 100th International Women's Day
By JORGE "Ka Oris" MADLOS
On the occasion of the 100th International Women's Day, we remember the women proletariat in Europe and the Americas who, in the 1800s, bravely fought against low wages and inhuman labour conditions brought about by the Industrial Revolution. Their struggle has been the inspiration for the worldwide March 8 celebration, which, in the Philippines, was first heralded by Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (Makibaka) and the Katipunan ng Bagong Kababaihan (Katipunan) in 1971, that led multitudes of new Filipinas to the militant struggle against fascist repression and, later on, to the revolutionary front.
Under this historical context, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines – Mindanao joins the world in celebrating International Women's Day and express our unequivocal support to the Filipino women's fight for their emancipation alongside the entire Filipino people's struggle for new democracy and national liberation.
We would like to give our red salute to the women revolutionary martyrs who became Party cadres, political officers, Red commanders and fighters of the New People's Army (NPA) as well as to all women comrades in the women's revolutionary mass organization Makibaka for having displayed keen determination to advance the revolutionary armed struggle and have kept alive the fight against the four "authorities" of women oppression.
Toiling class women in the Philippines are subjected to semi-feudal and semi-colonial forms of oppression and exploitation, social deprivation, and gender discrimination imposed by society. They are also subjected to be in service of the husband, rearing and raising of children and household chores.
In the countryside, Peasant and farm-working women, including Moro and Lumad women, face landlessness, severely low wages, child labour, illiteracy and human rights abuses. In Mindanao, big agri-business plantations, like Dole and Del Monte, and large-scale mining companies have not only grabbed their land but have also exploited them as hired hands receiving meagre wages and benefits. In cities, women workers also suffer debasing wages and benefits under decrepitating working conditions. Their daily wage is hardly enough for a family of six to subsist on. Many among them are forced by circumstances to go overseas and submit to exploitative and oppressive conditions.
Under these, Filipino women must, therefore, reaffirm and persist in the struggle for democracy and national liberation. They must continue the revolutionary tradition of women in the Philippines: emulate Gabriela Silang and other brave revolutionary women and uphold the women revolutionary spirit spurred by Makibaka. In order not to digress, they must never be misled by bourgeois and reformist concepts of "feminism" that beguile the women's struggle to veer away from the entire people's revolution.
Women who chose the revolutionary path — the new women – have already emancipated themselves. They are no longer beholden to any repressive authority and, in fact, gained the freedom to smash them.
In the countryside, these new women are the women Party cadres, Red Commanders and fighters of the people's war, and the thousands of Makibaka revolutionary organizers who live among millions of struggling peasants and peasant-workers. In urban centres, these emancipated women are the revolutionaries in the factories, offices, schools and universities, ports and market areas; they are the thousands of new women who work ever tirelessly for the full emancipation of womankind and of the people, which can be fulfilled upon the complete victory of the revolution.
"Women, you carry half the heavens on your shoulders!" Without your emancipation, there can be no social emancipation. Come, join the revolution!
Thus, we call on Filipino women to join the New People's Army and the Makibaka to struggle for women's genuine aspiration along with the people's struggle for national liberation and democracy.
Mabuhi ang rebolusyonaryong pakigbisog alang sa pagpalingkawas sa kababayen-an!
(Long live the revolutionary struggle for women's liberation!)