AF3IRM/GABNet/Mariposa Alliance Statement:

On November 25, 1960, the US-backed Dominican Dictator had three of the four Mirabal Sisters (Las Mariposas) murdered.  The date marks the beginning of 16 Days of Activism against Violence Against Women.  The 16 Days span International Women Human Rights Defenders Day (November 29), World AIDS Day (December 1), the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre (December 6) and Human Rights Day (December 10), affirming that women’s rights are human rights.

That “women’s rights are human rights” seem obvious, incontrovertible.  That it needs to be affirmed every year is a testament to how endemic violence against women is in class society.  November alone has seen women murdered the world over.  Hillary Bonnell of the First Nation Esgenoopetitj was murdered in Canada, where a full third of First Nation women are raped;  Geeta Aulakh died after her arm was chopped off in Southall, West London;  the bodies of 11 women murdered were found in a serial killer’s house in Cleveland, Ohio;  Kristen Elisabeth Wolcott was stabbed to death in Yap, Micronesia;  two girls, ages 1 and 15, were killed in Juarez, Mexico;  one more was killed in East Baltimore;  while Brooke Philips was murdered and set on fire in Nevada.

In Iraq, 126 women, among them the former Minister for Work and Social Affairs, are reportedly scheduled for execution on Eid Al Kabeer (roughly in 2 weeks time) for the “crime” of having worked for the previous regime.  They are all highly educated career women, including the former Minister for Work and Social Affairs, and the former head of the Nuclear Energy Center.

For women of the Philippines, imperialist globalization has not only deepened poverty for Filipinas;  it has thrust them into a re-feudalization process, through which the most highly trained and highly educated Filipinas are morphed into household servants in 198 countries.  Divested of their social and national status, exported Filipinas are vulnerable to economic, political and physical violence.  Leah Austin was murdered and stuffed into a suitcase in London;  Fatima Sagadan Maulana was raped and murdered in Kuwait;  Honiefaith Ratilla Kamiosawa was dismembered in Japan by a man convicted for doing the exact same thing to another 22-year-old Filipina but who was only sentenced to three years;  Luvina Dayang was murdered in Melbourne, Australia;  nine of the eleven women murdered by intimate partners in Hawaii were of Philippine ancestry while 40% of women murdered by intimate partners in San Francisco were of the same ancestry.

Violence against women is neither coincidental nor circumstantial.  It is a major ideological component of class oppression.  In the US, we witnessed this in the Stupakhe-Bart Amendment which offered the unholy trade of curtailment of women’s reproductive rights in exchange healthcare coverage for millions of US citizens.  In the Philippines, the Catholic Church continues to oppose an equitable divorce law, leaving the country the only one in the world without the means to dissolve unsatisfactory, abusive and exploitative marriages, even as it threatens candidates of the 2010 elections against support for a Reproductive Health bill filed in the Philippine Congress.  Indeed, the patriarchal surge under imperialist globalization continues its war against women.

As women of Philippine ancestry, we affirm our right to struggle for our emancipation in the nation of our homes.  We affirm our right to our own political history, independent of the agendas and judgment of other movements.  We affirm our right to establish solidarity based on the collective rights of women and on the rights of oppressed people struggling for liberation.  We affirm our right and indeed our duty to do these 365 days of the year.

As feminists fighting imperialism, re-feudalization and marginalization, we affirm our right to engage in both national and international discourse and action, to help create both a vision and reality of a just and humane social order — not only for 16 days but for all the days of the year.

As members of a marginalized, invisible community, we affirm our right to work for recognition both in the nation of our homes and in our ancestral nation, in accordance with what we see is just and humane for our sector, our families, our communities and for our societies.

As women subject to endemic and enduring individual and institutional acts of violence, we call for an end to economic, political and gender-based violence against women.

And finally, as women who have been engaged in activism for two decades, shaping our worldview and molding our future, we call for 365 days of activism for all. Please visit to follow and join the campaign in your area:





Jollene Levid
Association of Filipinas, Feminists Fighting Imperialism, Re-feudalization and Marginalization/GabNet