EILER celebrates IWWD2023, salutes all working women 

Under the global theme, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,” EILER puts emphasis on the pressing need for digital inclusion in the intersection of technology and labor. Artwork by Iggy Sandrino.

EILER joins women and women workers in celebrating the International Working Women’s Day 2023 and calling for the promotion of the dignity of work. EILER recognizes the invaluable role that women have played in herstory and today: from the women textile workers who went on strike in 1908 demanding lower working hours and better working conditions, to all the women who continue to fight for living wages and have been at the forefront of the struggles today.

At present, the first Women’s Day under the Marcos Jr. administration is marred with poverty wages, high rates of unemployment, low female labor force participation, and human rights violations including  gender-based violence. Filipino women remain vulnerable for lack of economic security, basic services, and social protection. The drastic consequences of the economic crisis persist, and we have yet to see a comprehensive and gender-inclusive strategy for economic recovery that concretely addresses the disproportionate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on women, both at home and in the workplace.

The World Economic Forum Gender Gap Report 2022 indicates that gender parity is not recovering, putting the Philippines down to rank 19th in the global gender equity index, from 10th in the previous years. The number of unemployed women in the country has increased during the pandemic, from the 852,000 total unemployed in 2019, doubling to 1.692 million in 2020, and remains high at 1.06 million in 2022.

The daily minimum wage in the NCR is only PhP570 (US$10.2) while the lowest legally mandated daily minimum wage is in the Bicol region at PhP365 (US$6.5), a far cry from the Family Living Wage pegged at PhP1,100 (US$19.8) per day. The real value of NCR minimum wage is only PhP482 in January 2023, when the country reached a record-high 8.7% inflation rate. The increasing costs of basic goods and services amid poverty wages are making more and more women and girls, especially in the rural areas, vulnerable to exploitation, informalization, and malnutrition.

Meanwhile, the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights documented at least 11 cases of extra-judicial killings among women labor rights defenders, out of the 68 total victims under the previous Administration, as reported to the ILO High Level Tripartite Mission in January this year. As the economic situation worsens, instead of responding to the demands of women workers and the working poor, the government continues to unleash terror and repression aimed at union busting and silencing voices of dissents.

In spite of the challenges and the shrinking civic space, EILER salutes all working women who continue to work hard and contribute to our economy. We also pay due respect to the women labor rights defenders and trade unionists who continue to advocate for social justice.

Under the global theme, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,” EILER puts emphasis on the pressing need for digital inclusion in the intersection of technology and labor. We demand better employment opportunities for women and LGBTQIA+, policies that respond to issues of labor flexibilization in platform work, and the immediate ratification of ILO C190 for all women and members of the LGBTQIA+ community, to improve protection against all forms of online and tech-facilitated harassment and violence, and ending gender-based violence in the world of work.

We stand in solidarity with all girls, women, and women workers in the country and all over the world and we remain committed to championing the dignity of work.

Fight for living wages!
Stop the attacks on activists and labor rights defenders!
Women workers, unite!

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