By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — Members of the Samahan ng Maralitang Kababaihang Nagkakaisa (Samakana) vow to strengthen their ranks to advance their rights and welfare.
On the theme “Adawen dagiti adal ti maysa nga dekada iti panagtignay. Pairuten ti panagkaykaysa. Ipinget ti laban para iti pagimbagan, kabiagan ken karbengan” ( Draw the lessons from a decade of movement, tighten the unity. Intensify the struggle for welfare, livelihood and rights), about 45 urban poor women delegates gathered for the 3rd assembly of Samakana at the Sta. Scholastica Convent.
Samakana is women’s member organization of the urban poor citywide alliance Organisasyon dagiti Nakurapay nga Umili iti Siyudad (Ornus), and a sectoral chapter of the Innabuyog – Gabriela.
It was founded in 2001 in a bid of the urban poor women to draw a uniting mass organization from their ranks to fight for their sectoral interests.
According to one of the founding member and present secretary Cristy Ngolab, Samakana is not just a women’s group committed to looking for short term solutions to the problem of being poor like livelihood for one.
Ngolab said the organization is dedicated to educating the women especially from the urban poor to comprehend the roots of their poverty and to understand the social issues and concerns all the sectors of the society are facing.
Ngolab furthered that enlightened members take-up this important role in the goals of molding of a better society where it will benefit the majority.
Ngolab explained that as part of the society, they believe that the women can never be free from their status as 2nd class citizens impossed by chauvinistic and musculinist attitudes while the oppressive system exists.
“The liberation of the society from any form of oppression and exploitation means the liberation of women”, said Ngolab in Ilocano.
On March 10, 2007, the Gender Equality and Development Council of the City of Baguio during the City’s celebration of the International Women’s month awarded Samakana for being a staunch advocate in promoting the development and welfare of women.
Samakana is also recognized by other non-government organizations and civic groups and individuals for its militant stand for women’s rights and welfare.
In the said assembly, the group assessed the organization’s achievement alongside their weaknesses and strengths. The members also elected their new set of officers and renewed their commitment to carry on to achieve the organization’s objectives and aspirations.
The elected officers of Samakana are Rosemarie Gongran as Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson is Virgie Dinulong, Cristy Ngolab is Sceratary, Thelma Gallawen as treasurer and Urbana Casiwan as the Auditor.
The officers and members were inducted by representatives from the Ornus and Innabuyog-Gabriela Regional chapter. # nordis.net