March for RH Bill marks 2011 International Women’s Day in NCR

“Labing-isang babae patay every day! ‘pag RH Bill, ‘pag RH Bill ay dine-delay!”

This was the defiant chant of some 6,000 men, women and youth from various government and non-government organizations who joined the “Marching for RH, Marching for Life” event on March 8 in celebration of the International Women’s Day.

The march, which kicked off at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Office, converged at the St. Peter Parish. Afterwards, participants marched to the House of Representatives (HOR) where a solidarity program was held at the South Wing gate while sponsorship speeches were on going.

CHR Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales told the supporters to study and understand the Magna Carta of Women, which she referred to as “the most significant piece of legislation on gender equality” while awaiting for the passage of the RH Bill. “An integral component of our agenda is the realization of the right of every woman to enjoy reproductive freedoms. We must all work together to pass the RH Bill,” Rosales said.

The Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN), Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP), Likhaan Center for Women’s Health, Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), Youth Consortium, and government agencies like the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), Commission on Population (POPCOM) and the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) joined the march.

The Filipino Freethinkers presented a short role play depicting the sufferings of women as inflicted by the practices and policies of a patriarchal Catholic church.