BRIEF MESSAGES & LETTERS, 2001 - Present
Hail Gabriela on Ninth Congress
Message of Solidarity
October 25, 2003
I wish to express warmest greetings of solidarity to Gabriela as a whole, its allied oganizations and all the delegates now attending this general assembly of the alliance.
On this occasion of the Ninth Congress of Gabriela, I hail all of you for your persevering efforts and splendid achievements in the struggle for the rights and welfare of Filipino women.
I agree with the aptness and urgency of the theme of your general assembly, "Broaden our ranks. Intensify our Struggle! Fight State Terrorism and Imperialist Globalization!"
The escalating assaults on the rights and welfare of Filipino women challenge you to heighten your resolve, expand your organizational strength and engage greater and more effective mobilizations.
I am confident that you can draw up a clear general program of action for the next three years because you sum up your experience, recognize your strengths and weaknesses and draw up lessons from positive and negative experience.
The Filipino women can advance their struggle for liberation from gender oppression and exploitation only by realizing their strength through the national democratic movement against foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.
The three aforesaid evils in Philippine society reproduce and support patriarchalism and male chauvinism. They perpetuate and reinforce the gender oppression that women have suffered in thousands of years since the the institutionalization of private property in the means of production and the prevalence of national and class oppression and exploitation.
Filipino women and men must recognize that gender oppression is a definite evil to combat and that the struggle against it must be within the context of the national democratic movement, with the women and men being comrades-in-arms and with the women enlightening the men about the reality of gender oppression and the need for women’s liberation.
It is a fine thing that Gabriela adheres to the principle that women holds aloft one half of heaven and the men the other half and that on the ground the Filipino women and men in the Philippines have worked together well in fighting for national liberation and democracy and in defending and promoting the equal rights of women.
I congratulate Gabriela for taking initiative in expressing positions and carrying out actions on issues involving the rights and welfare of women as well as on those affecting the entire Filipino people and various sectors.
It is appropriate to its character as an alliance of women’s organizations that Gabriela acts more quickly and more often in taking up issues involving the oppression and exploitation of the women of the working class and peasantry, the commodification of women, cases of gender discrimination in job opportunities, compensation and promotions and cases of violence against women, such as sexual harassment, sex trafficking, rape, incest and domestic violence.
But laudably Gabriela has participated actively and prominently in activities that uphold, defend and advance the national and democratic rights and interests of the entire Filipino people. After all, one half of the people are women who now bear a greater burden of the exploitation than the men.
Thus, Gabriela has stood out once more as a major patriotic and progressive force in the mass campaign against the anti-national and anti-democratic implications and consequences of the recent tryst between the superterrorist imperialist master Bush and the exceedingly servile puppet Macapagal Arroyo.
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is a woman president. But Gabriela cannot be proud of her as a woman. She is the tool of the evil forces oppressing and exploiting the Filipino people. And she is also the cooperator of the most unscrupulous men like Dubya and Jose Pidal, to use their aliases.
In the coming years, the crisis of the world capitalist system and the domestic ruling system will further worsen. There will be more severe exploitation and oppression of the Filipino people, especially the women, due to imperialist globalization, state terrorism and wars of aggression.
In concluding, I urge you to intensify your efforts to arouse and educate the Filipino women, organize a great number of them in your chapters and allied organizations and mobilize them for mass protests and other activities on issues that are important to Filipino women, the entire Filipino people and the entire humanity. All aspire for greater freedom, justice, prosperity and all-round progress. ###