Pinay caregivers join LA Women’s March

by Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News

LOS ANGELES — Armed with signs, chants and effigies–some in costumes, but shirts were optional–organizers claim 750,000 people shut down a large section of downtown Los Angeles.

Celebrities such as Barbara Streisand, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt joined the activists and marchers that jammed LA’s streets. 

“Being out here is very important, and I’m glad the women movement are coming out. Simply we need to unite,” said activist Fernando. 

 “It was actually really great to see so many people out her just supporting women and equality,” said first-time marcher Claudia Villar.

When a majority of caregivers are women of color, women’s rights is a big issue for these Filipinas at the march. 

Caregivers from the Pilipino Workers Center are at the forefront of fighting for legislation that would help caregivers when it comes to wage and labor protections regardless of immigration status. 

 “I am supporting those Filipinos who are doing the hard work for elderlies. We are caregivers who are working hard and paying taxes even if we are underpaid,” said Myrna Ahsan, from the Pilipino Workers Center. 

 With President Trump’s hard stance against undocumented immigrants and plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, caregivers who live in the shadows now face uncertainty.

I am a caregiver. I am undocumented,” said one anonymous caregiver, “Tina.

“I’m afraid because the new president, a new command…he doesn’t like other people. The healthcare, I am very worried of that.”

Despite fears of the future, these women, women of color, are standing and marching together.

In recent years, they have passed a Domestic Workers Bill of rights in California — which they hope to make into not only a permanent law, but a nationwide initiative as well.

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