By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
Chairperson, International League of Peoples´ Struggle
We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, express our warmest greetings of solidarity to GABRIELA as you hold your 11th National Congress and celebrate your 28th year of activism and service to the Filipino women and the Filipino people in the struggle for national freedom and democracy.
We congratulate you for successfully gathering the women activists from the ranks of workers, peasants, urban poor, migrants, youth and professionals in order to take up the goal-oriented theme: “Advance and Strengthen the Women’s Struggle towards the Upsurge of People’s Resistance Against the Worsening Attacks on Livelihood and Human Rights!”
Your call to action is timely and important. The world and our country today are in the throes of a severe crisis. This is the result of the anti-worker and anti-people laws of motion of monopoly capitalism, particularly the super-exploitativeness and bankruptcy of the neoliberal policy of “free market” globalization. The economic and social crisis is generating state terrorism and wars of aggression. Under these conditions, women suffer and must fight for justice and peace.
Before you can define your tasks, you must know the situation, sum up your experience and evaluate your current strength and prospects. We welcome your highlighting of GABRIELA´s triumphs in the last three years, particularly in campaigns, public education, services and organizing work on the issues of violence against women, women’s economic and political rights, and women’s right to health care and basic social services.
You must continue to respond to the challenges posed by national oppression, exploitation and poverty, lack of access to jobs and livelihood, increasing incidences and emerging forms of violence against women, human rights violations and foreign military presence, and the effects of climate change and environmental destruction on the lives of Filipino women. You must criticize the semi-colonial and semifeudal ruling system and the current Aquino regime of big compradors and landlords who are servile to US imperialism.
It is timely for your Congress to discuss and prepare for the forthcoming national elections in 2013. You must agree on the ways to promote and expand grassroots women’s political participation and push the women’s agenda for needed reforms through policy advocacy at all levels of governance. You must also strive to strengthen solidarity with the women of the world against imperialist attacks and intervention.
We commend your decision to honor the women who have dedicated their lives to the defense and advancement of women´s rights and to the struggle for the liberation of the oppressed women and for the improvement of their social conditions. It is fitting to render homage to the women who work tirelessly and selflessly for a future with genuine democracy, justice and peace, where women can fully and truly participate in the development of society.
We wish your Congress the utmost success as a form and method of consolidation, laying the basis for further advances. We are confident that GABRIELA will become stronger and will win greater victories as a result of your Congress. We are certain that you shall celebrate ever greater victories at your next Congress.
Uphold, defend and advance women´s rights!
Long live Gabriela and Filipino women!
Win greater victories in the struggle for national freedom and democracy!