Empowered Filipinas celebrate and serve on International Women’s Day

LOS ANGELES —Led by labor leader Dolores Huerta, Filipinos joined the International Women’s Strike in Downtown Los Angeles in honor of International Women’s Day, rallying outside of the Los Angeles federal building and prison.

“We still have a long way to go. We have made a lot of strives but we’re still going to keep on going.”

For this group of Filipino marchers, representing the Pilipino Workers Center, their personal struggles have motivated them to raise their voices.

“I for one was a victim of labor trafficking, and I for one was able to reunite with my kids after 8 long years, because of the abuse that happened to me as a mother as one of the women who are here in the country we have to fight our rights to be heard to have dignity to have respect.”

As the former victims turned advocates empower women everyday, Filipinas in the San Francisco area celebrated their self-determination by offering different kinds of support.

“What we visualized is a day of joy and being in the streets together and celebrate community. So we have some resources that we want to offer up like free massages, free clinics, first aid kids. We know in times of crisis and disaster it’s not always the police that come to help first. It’s the community.”

These Pinays in Oakland say that now, more than ever, is an important time to maintain international solidarity and their collective resistance.

“We’re in the Bay Area suffering from such a high cost of living. As a working mother myself, understanding that rent, food, day care, things like this is really high… so solidarity is key so that we can grow our voices louder for better wages, safer communities, and affordable health care and education.”

From calling out social issues to celebrating their communities, more rallies and actions took place throughout the world honoring this 42-year day of raising women’s voices.

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