Thursday, January 29, 2009


January 29, 2009

Reference: Emmi de Jesus, Secretary General, 371-2302, 0917-3221203


Women’s Group Alarmed at Further Vulnerability of Women

Women comprise 70 to 80 per cent of the Filipino workers currently being retrenched due to the impact of global financial crisis. This was according to GABRIELA National Alliance of Women.

GABRIELA based their conclusion on the data of Philippine Economic Zone Authority in 2005 that 75 to 80 per cent of workers in export processing zones are women. Currently, most of the establishments closing down or laying off workers are from the electronics industry in export processing zones.

Data from the Department of Labor and Employment shows that in Region IV alone, a total of 10,344 workers in Calabarzon were displaced from October 2008 to January 19, 2009.

“This is extremely alarming for the already handful of Filipino women in formal employment,” said Emmi de Jesus, secretary general of the militant women’s group GABRIELA. “We can only imagine how anxious the remaining EPZA workers with neighboring factories closing down one after another.”

De Jesus also said that the women in the informal sector are also affected by the global financial crisis. “With the massive loss of jobs, less and less households can afford to hire house helpers or avail of services of laundrywomen or other odd jobs women take on to cope.”

“This further job dislocation of women is ominous because it also portends of further vulnerability of women to sexual exploitation,” added De Jesus.

According to De Jesus, a study done by Center for Women’s Resources, a research institute for women showed that women workers desperate to keep their jobs tend to overlook, tolerate and even accept sexual advances of superiors or employers.

“Furthermore, crises always mean a boom for the illegal sex trade with the influx of women desperate for livelihood. For example, in Taiwan alone there are more than a thousand OFWs who lost their jobs and 90 per cent of them are women. With the Philippine government encouraging these workers to stay put in Taiwan for possible future employment, it is not unlikely that some of them will fall prey to sex trade,” said De Jesus.

“The current devastation in the lives of the Filipino working class women is the undoing of the Arroyo government. No amount of so-called relief packages can mollify the impact of global financial crisis. The only way out is for comprehensive social change starting by extricating our economy from the stranglehold of trade liberalization impositions.”###

Wednesday, January 14, 2009



14 January 2009

Reference: Emmi de Jesus, Secretary General, 371-2302 / 0917-221203

The women of GABRIELA National Alliance of Women stand in unity with the international community in condemning the Israeli invasion of the Gaza strip.

The vision of hundreds of wounded and lifeless Palestinian children strewn in Gaza is beyond heartbreaking. In each and every woman, the death, destruction and overall human suffering in Gaza should stir rage against the governments of Israeli and the United States . From generation to generation, the Israeli government repeatedly attacks with impunity the Palestinian people and the United States government inspires and supports such inhuman acts of massive proportions.

The current aggression of Israeli troops in Gaza has resulted, so far, in the death of 910 Palestinians, 292 were children and 75 were women and the wounding of more than 4,000 others.

This unspeakable violence against the Palestinian people is not unlike the attacks waged against peoples in the name of political and economic control over sovereign nations. Wars of aggression, within which the culture of violence is intricately webbed, victimize women and children most. In the recent past it has happened in Afghanistan and in Iraq and in Mindanao in the Philippines . Displacement, dislocation, hunger, rape and other forms of sexual violence are suffered most by women and children.

Filipino women must stand together with all freedom-loving people of the world in protesting this recent violation on the lives and sovereignty of the Palestinian people and demand for the immediate pull out of Israeli troops in Gaza and put and end to the death, destruction and overall human suffering Palestine

Public Information Department
GABRIELA National Office
(+632) 3712302