Gabriela kicks off Women's Month through Purple Action Day parade

Women's group Gabriela, together with the Commission on Human Rights and the Sarilaya, hold the Purple Action Day to call on women's demand for social justice during the opening of Women's Month on Wednesday, Mar. 1, at the Liawasang Diokno, CHR Headquarters in Quezon City. (Mark Balmores / Manila Bulletin)

Women's group Gabriela, together with the Commission on Human Rights and Sarilaya, officially welcomed National Women's Month through a Purple Action Day parade that calls for action on various Filipino women's social issues on Wednesday, March 1.

With the theme, "Kababaihan para sa Karapatan, Kababaihan para sa Makatarungang Lipunan," Gabriela underscored how Filipino women "remain to be a disadvantaged group amid the 'feudal-patriarchal' Philippine society."

According to the group, women's low labor force participation, unrecognized and undervalued contribution to agricultural work, and reproductive work that "disproportionately burdens women" make them highly vulnerable to abuse and dangerous work arrangements.

"Now more than ever, it is crucial for Filipino women to continue organizing unions to promote the rights and welfare of all workers, and to resist all attempts to silence their just calls. History taught us that the rights and liberties we enjoy today weren’t handed to us on a silver platter—it was a product of women and workers’ militant struggles for democracy and justice. As the Marcos-Duterte admin tries to take away those gains, so should we strengthen our unity and push back against state abandonment and attacks," Gabriela chairperson Gertrudes Libang said.

Libang noted that women are yet again facing another economic crisis, neglect, rights abuses, and violence under the current administration, similar to the first International Working Women’s Day (IWWD) commemoration under ex-President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s reign in 1971.

She then called on the public to join the IWWD protest on March 8 to unite women and workers in the fight for wages, jobs, and rights.

Gabriela has also demanded accountability from the current and previous administrations for the "mounting violation of democratic, civil, and political rights of Filipino women."