International Women’s Day. 08 March 2013. Today, we celebrate our hopes, our rights, our voices, our movements as we continue to work towards the elimination of violence and discrimination, our right to self-determination, our right to decide on our bodies, communities and natural resources. We voice out the development we want. We move towards equality and justice. We dance until we are all free.
As we celebrate this day we stand firm against those who dare to violate our hopes, our rights, our voices, and our movements. We stand firm against those who dare to destroy the lives we choose to live and the future we dream for our children. WE STAND FIRM AGAINST CORPORATE MINING, for mining companies dared to poison us, kill us, displace us, prostitute us, exploit us.
MINING POISONS our food and waters – mine tailings seeping through the water system, backhoes excavating our rice fields, coastal areas and mountains. Women toil more than twelve hours a day to produce and secure food for their families, to bring water to their homes, to gather medicines from their forests. Women regard the land and water as source of life; but yes, mining corporations easily disregard the value of life.
MINING DISPLACES rural women – away from their homes, their farms, their municipal waters, their forests. With diminishing sources of income due to degradation of their natural resources, rural women have to find work in the cities or abroad, with the risk of falling prey to trafficking and prostitution. Women are driven away from their families and communities; but yes, mining corporations easily disregard the value of family and community.
MINING WORSENS prostitution – peddling entertainment to investors and their male workers, peddling women next to the produce of the mines. Young women get attracted to jobs near the mining areas, many fall victims to empty promises of better incomes at the cost of their bodies and dignity; but yes, mining corporations easily disregard a person’s dignity.
MINING EXPLOITS workers – subjecting them to inhuman conditions and various risks to health and danger without any occupational safety hazards, without security of tenure, without decent pay. The government promotes mining for job creation but it has not delivered any impact on employment; but yes, mining corporations easily disregard the dignity of work.
MINING KILLS indigenous women – Juvy Capion’s and Cheryl Ananayo’s children sleep at night grieving the loss of their mothers, whose last cries were for their ancestral domains. Indigenous women laid their lives for their ancestral lands not because they wanted to merely benefit or profit from it, but because they wanted to protect the ties that bind them as a people, their cultural identity and integrity. This is the reason why there is the free prior informed consent (FPIC) that would protect indigenous communities from threats of encroachment; but yes, mining corporations easily disregard the right to self-determination, and bastardize the very spirit of FPIC.
With all its dominance and violence, corporate mining perpetuates patriarchy. It has deprived women’s voice to be heard in the communities. It has justified militarization in the country side. With all its capitalist greed, multinational mining corporations perpetuate wanton exploitation of the environment, and undermines national sovereignty. It has worsened impacts of climate change. It has threatened food sovereignty and national patrimony. But mining corporations cannot do it by themselves; but yes, government has long been by their side.
Today, in one voice, women from different communities, and languages, say –
Mining poisons our food and water.
Mining kills indigenous women.
Mining exploits workers.
Mining displaces rural women.
Mining worsens prostitution.
Protect women human rights defenders in mining areas.
STOP corporate mining!
Pursue a development path that uplifts the dignity and lives of the Filipino communities, nurtures the natural resources and environment, and eliminates all forms of violence against women.
Akbayan–Youth • Alliance of Progressive Labor • Amnesty International • Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) • Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) • Asian Circle 1325 • Bagong Kamalayan • BATIS • Batis-AWARE • Buklod • Buklod ng Nagkakaisang Kababaihan • Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino – Kababaihan • CATW-AP • Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA) • Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center, Inc • DAKILA Palawan Collective • Development Action for Women Network • Filipino Deaf Women Health and Crisis Center (FDWHCC) • Focus on the Global South • Free Burma Coalition • Freedom from Debt Coalition • Initiatives for International Dialogue • Kababaihan-Pilipinas • KAISA-KA • KAMP • Kasibulan • Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC-KsK/Friends of the Earth-Phils) • LILAK (Purple Action for Women’s Rights) • Medical Action Group • MFA • Partido Lakas ng Masa • Partido ng Manggagawa • PAHRA • PEACE • Philrights • Piglas Kababaihan • PKKK • PREDA • RENEW • Rice Watch and Action Network (R1) • SARILAYA • Transform Asia • Unlad Kabayan • Women’s Education, Development, Productivity and Research Organization (WEDPRO) • WomanHealth Phils. • Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau • Welga ng Kababaihan • Women’s Crisis Center • Youth and Students Advancing Gender Equality (YSAGE) • World March of Women – Pilipinas • numerous courageous individuals who joined through the event’s facebook page