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HINDIpendence Day: This Year’s 120th Independence Day Celebration Will Double as a Fight for Women’s Rights and Empowerment

As we move into our 120th Independence Day celebration, we’ve seen so many recent challenges against the independence of our women, especially those circulating in the political arena. You may have followed a good number of notable and controversial issues surrounding our female personalities from government, media, entertainment, and business circles, many of which have painted them in an unfavorable light.

Even your average working Filipina isn’t immune to public backlash. With the recent brouhaha surrounding a young OFW receiving a supposedly ‘consensual’ presidential kiss on the lips, it furthers the notion that our women’s position in society falls second to public entertainment whenever convenient.  

This poses the questions: Where are women’s rights going in the next few years under this administration? More importantly, how can we continue to uphold and further the need for exercising gender equality in a regressively post-feminist culture, as evidenced by President Rodrigo Duterte’s numerous statements towards women?

So, in response to this, various groups will be holding a Freedom March, cheekily called ‘HINDIpendence Day,’ as reference to the Tagalog ‘hindi’ (not) and independent. This is in full support of the #BabaeAko movement, an active stance against the sexism and misogyny that have become more prevalent in our political, show business, media, and social media discussions as of late.

 

 

According to the event’s coordinator Noemi Dado, at least 20 organizations on women’s rights, social issues, militant justice, and civil society concerns are meeting up in Rizal Park on Tuesday, June 12.

From there they will head to Liwasang Bonifacio to hold a protest rally against political injustices involving human rights, national sovereignty, judicial independence, social justice issues, and the gradual dissolution of democracy. 

"Amid the growing crisis of governance and the burning issues facing our nation, we call on all Filipinos to gather on June 12 and show our commitment to the fight for freedom, justice and democracy,” the group said in a recent statement.

"We cannot sit quiet in the face of such an abusive government. With the spirit and will shown by our ancestors, our heroes let our voices ring this Independence Day for true love of country and fealty to democracy."

Since we’ve had plenty of active exchanges demonizing and objectifying women, most of which are in the news and social media, it’s only appropriate – or rather, mandatory—that a movement in defense of female empowerment be included in this year’s Independence Day celebration. 

Dado also encourages us to join and share our support for the movement online. Using the hashtag #BabaeAko (I am a woman), Filipino women are taking to social media to fight the President’s sexist and misogynistic behavior.” 

Whether it’s taking to the streets or our digital networks, Independence Day is the best time for us to demonstrate our solidarity not just in remembrance of gaining our national autonomy, but for standing up for the modern Filipina against social incvility. Let’s do this.