MANILA – On United Nations 14th International Rural Women’s Day, peasant women under the Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women protested the continuing government inaction on hunger and poverty in the country as well as violation of their rights to land, on Saturday, Oct. 15.
The group said this year’s theme, “Rural women rise and claim your basic right to sustainable development” seemed unattainable as the government adheres to liberalization policies in agriculture and preservation of land monopoly.
They decried the household and farming costs which are increasing amid inadequate livelihood and worsening food and economic crises.
“This important day was celebrated every year to recognize the contribution of rural-based women to the attainment of household and national food security, agriculture, and economic development, but in the Philippines, the sector remains a victim of system-wide poverty, hunger, and abuses, fueled by the chronic landlessness, oppression and exploitation, and suppression of its assertion of land rights,” said Zenaida Soriano, Amihan national chairperson.
She added that at present, peasant women are faced with multiple burdens under the administration of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. “due to worsening food and economic crisis that even erodes the already depleted household incomes.”
Amihan called on the government to immediately and decisively resolve the food crisis, provide doable solutions, certify as urgent the P15,000 production subsidy, repeal the Rice Liberalization Law, and enactment of the pro-poor bills such as HB 405 Rice Industry Development Act (RIDA) and HB 1161 Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill.
Soriano said “these legitimate demands will ensure the peasant women’s livelihood and attain food security based on self-sufficiency and self-reliance.”
Amihan held their protest in front of the Department of Agriculture central office in Quezon City. They were joined by peasant women from Cavite, Bohol, Cebu, and Panay Island, and various organizations based in Metro Manila. (RVO)
Text by Anne Marxze D. Umil