War and Militarism and the Scourge of Rape and Trading of Women

kaisaka on militrarism and wars

The wars that the US and its allies carried out after WWII until now in the early 21st century have brought untold sufferings to millions of people and swathes of destruction in different countries.  Despite this, the Trump government is further boosting its war industry, is urging NATO countries and his allies in Asia to raise their military budgets and to join him in more wars against what they consider as primary threats to global security.


KAISA KA, a women’s organization working for women’s liberation and social change, heeds the call of the World March of Women for solidarity against these wars and war threats that further engender the scourge of sexual assault, trafficking and prostitution of women.


The continuing wars and destruction


The purportedly “humanitarian” US-led wars that aimed to get rid of Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction,” stop Libya’s autocratic rule that “authorized military mass orgies,” and get rid of President Assad who “ran a death machine” and “used chemical weapons” against Syrian citizens, are still raging.


Investigations have unraveled the imperialist designs of the US and its allies.   They aimed for oil, gas, minerals, billons in gold and cash, Libya’s great source of fresh, precious water that could be lucrative business for foreign companies.  Led by the US, imperialist powers wanted these countries and several others as new markets.


These are ruthless wars.  The US, Britain and other allies have used weapons that were among the most lethal and destructive.  They exploit racial, religious, ethnic, economic and other differences to help build, arm and train terrorist groups and sway them to create mayhem in countries where governments are not subservient to the dictates of the US and EU, thereby justifying their armed intervention while saving US and the EU from getting blamed for the atrocities.


As these wars turn large areas into barren land, hostile to all living things, they demolish livelihoods, destroy communities, deprive people of clean drinking water, maim, kill and displace millions of people.  These wars ever increase the number of refugees in modern history, bigger than during WWII.


In Syria, death toll until 2016 has reached 470,000.  This is the biggest in the so-called Middle East-North Africa (MENA) area.  Its displaced population is also the biggest.  More than 4.2 million have become refugees outside the Syrian border while 8 million more were internally displaced.


Rape, trafficking and prostitution worsen under war conditions


The wars that came out of the “Arab Spring” are causing menace to women and girls.  Women, when still in the areas of conflict, aside from suffering what the men endure, are often victims of rape, kidnapping and forced marriages especially to members of terrorist groups.  Those who are kidnapped are often sold as slaves or to be wives even at very young age of eight or nine years. Thousands of young girls get married and divorced and remarried, with marriage becoming mere “legal” cover for prostitution.


A big number of those who escape to other countries, even to Europe become victims of trafficking.  While men also get raped or traded, women and girls are more prone to sexual assault, trafficking, prostitution and enslavement especially now when governments have made the process of accepting and integrating refugees extra difficult.


Threat of More Wars


It is revolting that while the US, Britain and leading EU states that pushed and manipulated information in order to justify intervention in these 21st century wars and are, therefore, answerable for the creation of the refugee crisis, are the ones that taking a strong position against accepting and integrating more refugees.


It is horrible that despite the catastrophic level of the problems their wars created, they, especially the US are prolonging their involvement in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen while doing actual preparations to open new war fronts to rein in North Korea and Iran and prevent the growth of Russia and China.  Peoples in the region should take the danger of war seriously as the US did not withdraw the Asia-Pacific pivot that primarily aims at China.  Trump has revealed, two nuclear submarines are in Korea.  Two naval fleets patrol the China Sea closest to China and within the contested area of South China Sea.  US forces in Japan are in their strongest level.


War at home and open threats to women


The Filipino people, particularly those in Mindanao, including the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi are in war situation presently, particularly for the residents of Marawi City and adjoining towns in Lanao Sur.


Without factual basis and despite the assessment by both the police and armed forces that the terrorist threat is under check and that it can be contained without declaring martial law, Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law and suspended the privilege of writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao starting May 23. This is a de facto declaration of war on over 22 million Filipinos living there.


Moreover, Duterte threatens to place under martial law the entire Philippines even just on mere report of terrorist presence in the islands of Luzon and Visayas.


As thousands have left Marawi City to seek refuge elsewhere, the president and commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is exhorting and cajoling soldiers to exercise their martial law powers, assuring them that he would answer for those who may be accused of committing abuses and other crimes, including rape.


He enjoined the soldiers to his lust for power and his contempt for women, unmindful of the fact that those before him were men and women in uniform.


He was in his natural shameless, misogynistic self when he said, “If anyone among you rape three women, I will own responsibility for it.” This is how Duterte, the commander-in-chief revs up “his soldiers” for war against women and men who oppose his drive towards dictatorial rule and everyone who would fall prey to Duterte’s lust for absolute power.


Now, more than ever, as we join the global fight against US war and militarism, we raise our vigilance and resist the open attempt to establish one-man tyrannical rule, threatening to make terrorism real in the Philippines.


No to war and militarism!


No to martial law!


Let us affirm our global solidarity against war and militarism on June 3, 2017.


Ang Patuloy na Paglaban sa Karahasan sa Kababaihan at Tiranya sa Mamamayan

“Bread and Roses”

Ang Kuwento sa Likod ng Marso 8

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Ngayong ika-8 ng Marso, nagpupugay tayo sa magigiting na kababaihang lumikha ng makabuluhang pagbabago sa katayuan ng babae sa lipunan.  Ginugunita natin ang mahigit daantaon ng makulay, madugo at puspos ng mapanlabang diwang karanasan ng kanilang sama-samang pagkilos upang ihakbang pasulong ang kagalingan ng kababaihan at ng masang anakpawis.


Ang karapatan sa pagboto ng kababaihan, pagpapababa sa oras ng paggawa (naging 8 oras mula sa dating 12 oras), pagtataas ng sahod, pagtiyak sa ligtas at makataong kondisyon sa paggawa, ay ilan lamang sa ipinakipaglaban ng daan-daan libong kababaihang manggagawa.


Samantala, sa gitna ng pandaigdigang krisis ng kapitalismo, ramdam natin ang patuloy na pagdausdos ng katayuan ng kababaihan.  Unti-unting binabawi ang mga karapatang pinagbuwisan ng buhay ng ating mga kabaro.


Sa diwa ng Pandaigdigang Araw ng Kababaihan, ating ipagtanggol ang mga napagtagumpayan na.  Ilagay sa unahan ang usaping kabuhayan, pagkalinga, pagmamahal, paggalang at dangal para sa kababaihan.


Ang Diwa ng ‘Bread and Roses Strike’

Ang ‘Bread and Roses Strike’ noong 1912 sa Lawrence (Massachusetts) sa Estados Unidos ang isa sa mahahalagang pagkilos sa buong kasaysayan ng kilusang paggawa.  Inilunsad ng 23,000 mangagawang kababaihan ang welga sa textile-mill factories bilang pagtutol sa pagtataas ng kota at pagpapababa sa sahod ng kababaihan at batang manggagawa.  Tumagal ito ng dalawang linggo.  Marami ang namatay nuong nilusob ito ng National Guard at private and city police.  Nagtagumpay ang welga.  Nagkamit ng dagdag na sahod ang mga manggagawa ng textile mills.


Naging malaganap ang pakikibaka ng kababaihang manggagawa sa ikalawang bahagi ng 1800s hanggang mga unang dekada ng 1900s.  Hindi lamang usaping pangkababaihan (gender issues) ang kinasangkutan nila.  Nasa ubod sila ng buong kilusang paggawa, kilusan laban sa gyera at para sa kapayapaan, pantay na karapatan sa kababaihan sa paggu-gobyerno at pulitika, karapatan sa  trabaho, pagtutol sa racial discrimination, at iba pang mahahalagang usaping panlipunan.  Binasag ng mga mapangahas na pagkilos ang larawan ng kababaihang kimi, pambahay at mahina.

International Women’s Day:  Tradisyon ng Pakikibaka at Pakikilahok ng Kababaihan

Taong 1910, iminungkahi ni Clara Zetkin, isang sosyalistang Aleman (German) sa International Conference of Working Women ang pagtatakda ng International Women’s Day.  Tinanggap at pinagpasyahan ito ng mahigit 100 lider na kumakatawan sa 17 unyon at organisasyon ng kababaihan.  Ito ay pagkilala sa mahalagang ambag ng kababaihan sa kilusang paggawa at sa pagsusulong ng karapatan sa kabuhayan, karapatang pulitikal ng kababaihan at kagalingan ng buong lipunan.

Simula nuon, taun-taon nang ipinagdiwang ang araw ng kababaihan sa iba’t ibang  bansa.  Pinagkaisahang itakda ito sa ika – 8 ng Marso   bilang pagkilala at paggunita sa malawakang protesta ng kababaihang Ruso (Russian) nuong 1917 laban sa mga pinsala ng gyera.

 Nuon at Ngayon, Buhay ang Mapanlabang Diwa ng Kababaihang Pilipino

Hindi rin matatawaran ang ipinakitang tapang at tradisyon ng paglaban ng ating kababaihan.  Tampok sa ating kasaysayan ang kagitingan ng mga Gabriela Silang ng mga naunang pag-aalsa laban sa Kastila, Tandang Sora at Gregoria de Jesus ng KKK, Felipa Culala – isang dakilang Kumander ng Hukbalahap.  Nagbuwis ng buhay sa panahon ng Marcos dictatorship at Martial Law sina Liliosa Hilao, Lorena Barros at marami pang iba sa kanilang panahon.


Saksi ang Kaigorotan at buong bayan sa paglahok ng magigiting na kababaihang Igorot sa mapangahas na pagtutol laban sa Chico River Dam,  Cellophil project at mga minahan na tangkang sumira sa kalakhan ng mga probinsiya ng Cordillera nuong unang bahagi ng 1980s.


Pinagbuwisan ng buhay ng mga karaniwang nanay at lider-kababaihan ng kasalukuyang panahon, ang paggigiit sa mga batayang hinaing para sa pagkain, trabaho, pabahay, lupang masasaka, edukasyon sa kabataan, karapatan sa pag-oorganisa at marami pang iba.


Higit na lumaki ang bilang ng kababaihang kalahok ngayon sa mga gawaing pangkabuhayan.  Lumaki ang kanilang kontribusyon sa yaman ng bansa.         Walang sawa nilang ginagampanan ang pag-aaruga sa mga bagong supling ng lipunan.


Gayunpaman, patuloy silang dumaranas ng patung-patong na kaapihan.  Biktima ng lahat ng klase ng karahasan – sa tahanan, sa pagawaan, sa simbahan, sa eskwelahan, sa lansangan.  Karahasang dulot ng patriarkiya.  Karahasang dulot at pinapayagan ng estado.  Patuloy silang dumaranas ng diskriminasyon.


Sila ang sumasalo sa palo ng pandaigdigang krisis.  Sila ang nasasadlak sa pinakamahihirap na kalagayan sa paggawa… tumatanggap ng pinakamababang sahod… natutulak sa mga mapanganib na hanapbuhay.


Upang itaguyod ang pamilya, ilang milyong ina ang napipilitang mangibang-bayan?  Ilang kababaihan ang nasasadlak sa prostitusyon at anti-sosyal na gawain?  Ilang ina ang araw-araw na saksi sa matinding kagutuman at kahirapan?


Sa paggunita sa International Women’s Day tanggapin natin ang tungkulin ng pagpupuspos ng laban ng kababaihan.  Panatiliin nating maalab ang diwa ng paglaban.


Hindi kayang patahimikin ng dahas ng kapangyarihan ang paglahok at pagtutol ng kababaihan ng maralitang komunidad laban sa demolisyon, ng mga guro para sa pagtataas ng sahod at kagalingang pangkabuhayan, ng maralitang magbubukid laban sa importasyon sa agrikultura at karapatan sa lupang masasaka, ng mga mangingisda laban sa illegal fishing, ng manggagawang kababaihan sa export processing zones para sa pag-uunyon, ng katutubong mamamayan laban sa malalaking minahan, ng mga vendors, construction workers at iba pang mala-manggagawa para sa kabuhayan, ng mga kabataang – estudyante para sa libreng edukasyon at iba pang usapin ng bayan.


Kabiagan ken Dayaw!  Pagkain at Trabaho at Batayang Serbisyo, Ipaglaban!  Igiit ang pantay na karapatan at oportunidad! 


Kamtin ang Kasarinlang Pangkabuhayan, Paggalang at Dangal para sa Kababaihan!


Pawiin ang lahat ng tipo ng karahasan.  Tutulan ang tiranya sa mamamayan.