Defending Migrants’ and Workers’ Rights on International Working Women’s Day

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For Immediate Release
Press Statement
March 8th, 2016

Reference:
Laura Emily E. Austria, Vice-Chairperson, Women’s Committee, Anakbayan New Jersey
Bea Sabino, Women’s Committee, Anakbayan New Jersey
Mia Medrano, Women’s Committee, Anakbayan New Jersey
(470) 309-2265, anakbayannj@gmail.com

Defending Migrants’ and Workers’ Rights on International Working Women’s Day

On March 8th, 2016, Anakbayan New Jersey observes International Working Women’s Day. Its roots go back to 1909 when the Socialist Party of America organized a march in Manhattan to observe a women’s garment strike that had taken place earlier. This particular strike called for better wages and working conditions and the right to vote. More than a century later, this day is especially important for us as young Filipino women in the U.S. advocating for the rights and welfare of Filipino women at home and abroad.

Today, we connect International Working Women’s Day to the conditions of female OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) — especially that of Flor Contemplacion and Mary Jane Veloso — and the conditions that lead to the death of Jennifer Laude. Of the estimated 2.3 million OFWs who worked abroad from April 2013 to September 2013, 49.7% of those were women. 53.8%  of the 49.7% belong to the 25-34 age bracket. As recent as 2007, Migrante International, a migrant rights group, has been handling more than 1,000 cases of abuse against OFWs, according to 2007 statistics. Migrante’s Rights and Welfare Assistance Program has handled at least 50 cases of violence against women (VAW) from January 2015 to February 2015.

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