GABRIELA joined the calls raised by various groups for a wage hike and respect for the right to form unions in a rally held on November 30, Bonifacio Day, on Mendiola.

“Filipino women are among the most educated in the ASEAN region, but they experience one of the lowest labor force participation rates. This means half of our employable women are jobless,” GABRIELA said in a statement.

“Where they are employed, it is usually in the informal sector where they receive pitiable wages, do not enjoy benefits and have no job security. Confounding their situation is the prevalence of sexual harrassment and discrimination at the workplace. It’s a multitude of burdens for the average working woman in the Philippines today,” said Clarice Palce, current Secretary-General of the women’s alliance.

“Sa araw na ito, pinalalakas namin ang panawagan para sa dagdag na sahod, regular at disenteng trabaho laluna sa kababaihang manggagawa. Pinapanawagan din namin ang pagkontrol sa presyo ng mga bilihin, laluna ng langis at kagyat na ayuda para sa naghihikahos na mga pamilya. Pinapanawagan namin sa administrasyong Marcos-Duterte na huwag magbingi-bingihan o magbulag-bulagan sa kalagayan ng manggagawang Pilipino at iba pang mahihirap sa bansa,” added Palce.

Gabriela also supported the calls for the Marcos-Duterte government to respect the rights of working people to free association. “We have women labor activists like Loi Magbanua who have been abducted by suspected agents of the Philippine military because of their work among workers and the unemployed in urban poor communities. It is not only a horrific form of violence against women committed by the state against working women, it is a serious blight on the rights of workers to self-organization,” concluded GABRIELA.