About 500 women and their children, and members of Gabriela-Negros yesterday marched on the streets of Bacolod City to commemorate the 103th anniversary of the International Women's Day.
Gabriela Negros chairperson Clarizza Dagatan said they are commemorating the day of women to call on the government of President Benigno Aquino III to take humane actions that will alleviate women from extreme hunger and poverty.
Dagatan said women are not only abused but they also suffer from low wages, high cost of basic commodities, and hunger.
Ma. Rina Amacio, chairperson of Gabriela Women's Party-Negros Occidental, said the commemoration also celebrates the passage of laws in the country that protect women.
These laws are Anti Violence Against Women and Children Act of 2004, Magna Carta for Women, Anti Rape Law of 1997, Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, and the Anti Sexual Harassment Act of 1995, Amacio said.
She said these laws would not have been passed if women did not struggle and fight for them, adding that despite them, women are still abused, as they recorded 116 cases of violence against women last year.
In Bacolod City, Gabriela is assisting 12 to 15 new cases monthly and they have recorded 16 cases of rape and incest rape from February 1 to 13, 2013, Amacio said.
She also said the challenge that women now face is the implementation of the laws because many of the victims are still deprived of justice.
She added that she hopes people will continue support in their causes and help them bring the voices of women to Congress. *LTG