By GWEN LONGID
GUINAANG, Bontoc — Women delegates to the 28th Cordillera Day Celebration held in Guinaang, Bontoc, Mt. Province; call for demilitarization of Mt. Province Villages, among others.
Sixteen women leaders representing various organizations and villages drafted a petition addressed to the local government units of Mt. Province, church denominations, and other concerned agencies and institutions in a workshop on women and children rights facilitated by Binnadang (Mt. Province women alliance) during the Cordillera Day celebration here.
The women came from youth, students, health workers, farmers, small industry workers, employees and the media.
The petition stated the difficulties experienced by women in their daily lives which are mainly the hardship in providing for the economic needs of the family. The petition also stated that women engage in backbreaking work in the farms, cottage industries and other workplaces but do not have just wages.
In fact the wages of women are P50 less than that of men even if they engage in the same work. The petition also stated that they experience growing frequency of VAW and children rights cases.
From these, the women called on and challenged all LGU officials, church leaders and concerned institutions to address their needs. Creation of jobs, just wages and wages equal to that of men was among the main demands of the women.
They also asked that all victims of VAW specially those perpetrated by the soldiers of the AFP be given justice. The women lament that traditional ways of addressing VAW cases sometimes do not meet justice but in fact only victimizes the victim again. For instance, rape victims are often asked to marry their perpetrators if both are still single.
Lastly the women call for the pull-out of all military detachments and the demilitarization of their villages. They say they and their families have suffered enough from militarization.
The recent rape of a minor at Cabiten, Mankayan, Benguet done by Capt. Danilo Lalin and other soldiers of the 86th IB is more than enough for all women to say “NO to AFP occupation of our villages”.
The petition was signed by all women delegates after the Workshop participants presented the workshop results in a plenary session on April 22.
Binnadang members and officers said that they will pursue the concerns raised by the women with the LGU and other offices so that the output of the gathering will not be wasted.
The petition shall also be the beginning of the drafting of a women agenda that Binnadang shall hope the aspiring politicians for the 2013 elections shall include in their platforms of government. # nordis.net