March 31, 2009
Reference: Raquel Redondiez, GABRIELA-USA, Chairwoman, (415) 244-9734, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FOUNDING ASSEMBLY OF GABRIELA-USA, FIRST OVERSEAS CHAPTER OF GABRIELA-PHILIPPINES, MARKS MILESTONE IN THE PROGRESSIVE WOMEN’S ALLIANCE 25 YEAR HISTORY
Los Angeles, CA–On March 29, 2009, over one hundred Filipinos from across the U,S. came together to celebrate 25 glorious years of women’s resistance led by GABRIELA, an alliance of Filipino women’s organizations in the Philippines. At this special event, scores of women representing 4 different organizations came together to formally establish GABRIELA-USA, the first overseas chapter of the progressive and world-renowned Philippine women’s alliance.
The founding assembly of GABRIELA-USA was aptly named “Sulong GABRIELA: Celebrating the Advances of the Filipino Women’s Struggle! Twenty Five Years and Onward!” During the all-day event, members of Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE) in New York, Pinay Sa Seattle, Babae in San Francisco and Sisters of GABRIELA Awaken (SiGAw) in Los Angeles affirmed their commitment to GABRIELA’s principles, approved chapter bylaws and adopted a two-year plan on developing and building an alliance of Filipino women’s organizations that have localized grassroots approaches.
Proud of their long lineage of strong Filipino women’s leaders, the four women’s organizations that comprise the national women’s alliance were elated to extend GABRIELA’s vision and mission to the U.S. Along with taking up the local issues and concerns of Filipinas in their respective regions, GABRIELA-USA also places prime importance to supporting the women’s and struggle in the Philippines.
Emmi De Jesus, Secretary-General of GABRIELA Philippines, was the keynote speaker of the US chapter’s founding assembly where she shared the rich and full history of victories of the women’s movement in the Philippines in which GABRIELA is an integral force.
“It was with great honor and pride that I presided over the founding assembly of our first overseas chapter, GABRIELA-USA, a major milestone in GABRIELA’s 25 year history. With the growing population of Filipino women in the US and the many challenges that they face, there is a great need organize and expand the work of GABRIELA in Filipino American communities.”
Raquel Redondiez, nationally elected chairwoman of the alliance also added, “With the economic crisis severely impacting women and children and the majority of Filipino families, it is with great urgency that we organize fellow mothers and sisters to tackle our collective concerns and challenges. We look forward to doing this with the guidance and lessons imparted by the long history of women’s struggle waged by our mother alliance GABRIELA-Philippines.”
A key aspect of the 2 year plan that the assembly approved is for GABRIELA USA to continue their work to fight for social reforms such as universal access to healthcare and same-sex marriage. They also pledged to struggle against all forms of violence against women and children, including U.S. militarization of the Philippines through the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).