"Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women."
These powerful words of American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou best exemplify what the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) wants to say on the annual celebration of “Women's Month” this March.
Proclamation No. 227 issued in 1998 provides for the observance of the month of March as “Women's Month,” while Republic Act No. 6949 enacted in series of 1990 declares March 8 of every year as “International Women's Day.”
The CHR has been busy preparing the month-long observance in partnership with Sarilaya and Gabriela Alliance of Women. The celebration kicks off with the Purple Action Day March, Purple Bazaar and Art Exhibit, and a forum on women prisoners.
The theme of this year’s celebration is "Kababaihan para sa Karapatan; Kababaihan para sa Makatarungang Lipunan." The CHR explained that the theme is in line with the Philippine Commission on Women's (PCW's) annual theme for Women’s Month: “WE for Gender Equality and Inclusive Society.”
Also, the CHR said this year's celebrations are extra special as the commission marks its 8th Purple Action Day observance which will be the first by the 6th Commission.
"Purple Action Day serves not only as a day of celebration to kick off Women’s Month, it is also a day of making women’s voices heard of seeking accountability, and surfacing urgent women’s issues and concerns," the CHR said.
"This year’s celebration highlights the continuing struggle and call for the full enjoyment of women’s human rights, the call for non-discrimination and protection from varying forms of violence including violence against women in politics and women human rights defenders," it added.