Press Release: Asia Pacific Women Human Rights Defenders Express Solidarity With Marawi and Mindanao
15 June 2017
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Women human rights defenders from various countries of Asia and the Pacific gathered at a regional solidarity event held earlier this week on 12th June in Thailand to add their voices to ‘International Day of Action for Justice and Peace in the Philippines’ and show solidarity with the people of Marawi and Mindanao who have been battered by acts of terror coming from the ISIS-inspired Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups, as well as from the Philippine government.
They expressed support with those most affected by the rise of growing state authoritarianism and militarism, religious fundamentalisms and the underlying exploitative economic systems designed to enrich a tiny minority at the expense of their communities.
“We strongly condemn this blatant display of disregard for human life and people’s rights. We add our voices to the growing call to lift martial law in Mindanao and stop aerial strikes in Marawi. We express our solidarity to the women and peoples of the Philippines, amid state and non-state gender-based violence, sexism, discrimination and the prevalence of patriarchal and feudal constructs that are direct attacks on women’s human rights,” said Kate Lappin, Regional Coordinator, Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD).
The women human rights defenders also said they remain vigilant, striving towards a safe environment where human rights are respected. For as long as repression and exploitation – in all its forms – exist, the struggle to build just alternatives will continue.
Geri Cerillo, Tanggol Bayi (Defend women) said, “We remind our governments that terrorism and unrest often grows in environments of exploitation and inequalities. Extremisms are both fueled by and fuel patriarchy. Thus, we advocate for comprehensive solutions which thoroughly address the social, economic and political structures that ignite conflict.”
In a statement signed by 19 civil society organisations from across the region, they reiterated their call for the government of the Philippines to quickly end martial law in Mindanao and cease aerial strikes in Marawi.
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