REPOSTING FROM CEDAW: YOUNG WOMEN SPEAK UP AGAINST THE MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE

YOUNG WOMEN SPEAK UP AGAINST THE MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE

c/o WAGI, Miriam College

We, members of the CEDAW Youth Network[1] strongly condemn the recent massacre in Maguindanao Province. We are outraged at the inhumane, and barbaric acts committed against innocent people, especially women, who were raped, mutilated and killed. The massacre is nothing more but a reflection of the political and gender violence that continues to dominate our society and increasingly so with the upcoming national election. This inhumane act of killing is more than just an act of cowardice; it is a total disregard to values of human rights. The perpetrator’s inability to submit themselves to a fair, gender sensitive and genuinely democratic political process is but a manifestation of their belief on the power of violence as their most effective means to perpetuate their greed for power and enjoy their domination.
We denounce the use of private armies and its continuous use in the killings; the involvement of local government officials in the orchestration of this worst brutal massacre in our contemporary times; the inability of the local police and military to protect innocent civilians; and especially our national government for its slow response to the strong call to deliver immediate and appropriate actions to this injustice.
We mourn the death of our fellow citizens, especially for the brave women who dared to challenge the male-dominated and male controlled political system. Their death reflects the continued domination of patriarchal and patrilineal interests in maintaining strict control over families and communities; and the existing struggle of women for equality, justice, and non-discrimination. While we recognize the critical role of women in society, especially in peace building and peace negotiation efforts, we strongly believe that WOMEN SHOULD NOT BE IN ANY WAY, MERE PROTECTIVE SHIELD FOR MEN MUCH MORE AS BODIES FOR VENDETTA.
We DEMAND the government to take immediate and IMPARTIAL action to bring justice to all the victims , their families and to all women who are still living in the shadows of men yet are struggling to break free and be heard. We challenge those in high positions of the government to bring back to the Filipino people the dignity of existence very much trampled by its inability to provide peace and security for every citizen.
We call all the youth, especially young women, to be vigilant to make their voices heard so that never again will they or the generations that will follow be subjugated to violence and injustice even within their own family!
We owe our murdered sisters and brothers a sense of justice that we need to pass to our next generations.

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[1] CEDAW Youth Network is composed of students and young women professionals working to promote the rights of women and girls.

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