1,000 JOIN MAGUINDANAO WOMEN’S MONTH CELEBRATION

21 MARCH 2017, BULUAN, MAGUINDANAO, THE PHILIPPINES
Summary
Two-day event included free medical services for women participants, who came from across the province to attend. Women witnessed the premiere of IOM X’s “Kwentong OFW: Saki si Fatima”, a video about a young woman from Maguindanao who leaves her home to work as a domestic worker abroad. During the evening performance, open to the public, celebrated vocalist Bayang Barrios wowed a 5,000-strong crowd with a mix of local musical favourites.

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Coming from across Maguindanao province, 1,000 women gathered today in Buluan to kick off a two-day Women’s Month Celebration. Hosted by the Office of the Provincial Governor, the annual event is an opportunity to thank women with a host of free services, games and entertainment. This year, the Provincial Government also reaffirmed its commitment to combat human trafficking through a partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) IOM X campaign.

“Women are a driving force in our workplaces, our communities and our homes,” said Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu. “It is an honour to welcome women from across the province today, and to say thank you for helping to build a society that values respect and equal opportunities for all genders.”

The Women’s Month Celebration event started with the premiere of “Kwentong OFW: Saki si Fatima”. The video, spearheaded by IOM X, tells the story of Fatima, a young woman from Maguindanao who – motivated by family needs – chooses to leave her home to work as a domestic worker abroad. The video focuses on her decision-making process and provides tips on how to migrate safely. It was produced as part of USAID’s regional counter-trafficking efforts across Asia, including in the Philippines.

“A female migrant who checks the legitimacy of her recruiter’s license – even if the recruiter was recommended by a family member or friend – on the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration website before migrating is more likely to have a safe experience,” said Tara Dermott, Program Leader, IOM X. “Through Saki si Fatima, IOM X and its partners hope that the women of Maguindanao who choose to migrate abroad for work will do so safely, and successfully.”

Kwentong OFW: Saki si Fatima” is the result of an eight-month collaborative process, known as the IOM X Cotabato Roadshow, that brought together local, regional and national stakeholders to develop media content to help prevent human trafficking and exploitation of female migrant workers. Partners in this process included the Maguindanao Provincial Government, Maguindanao Women and Children Peace and Action Centre, IOM, USAID, the Philippines Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), the Philippines Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) and DAKILA.

“The contributions of women to their communities is invaluable, and we recognize that by providing opportunities to empower women, all facets of society benefit. USAID works with women across Asia to provide the tools they need to succeed,” said Beth S. Paige, Director of the USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia.

Free medical services were offered as part of the Women’s Month Celebration event. This included blood tests, foot reflexology, pap smear and breast examination. Information about safe recruitment and migration practices was also available.

For the first day’s evening activities, the public was invited to join the women for a night of entertainment. Mindanao’s own Bayang Barrios wowed a 5,000-strong crowd with a mix of local musical favourites, followed by a videoke challenge and a “Mutya ng Maguindanao” pageant.

The second day of the Women’s Month Celebration event will kick off tomorrow with an energetic Zumba session, followed by a morning of parlour games.

There are more than 280,000 adult women in Maguindanao (PSA, 2016). About 61% of women aged between 18-35 are unemployed or take care of home duties exclusively (IOM X, 2016). Each year, approximately 14,000 women from Maguindanao migrate abroad for work (IOM, 2013), where they can earn more than three times (Kelly & Thompson, 2015) the average monthly income for women in Maguindanao of US$127 (IOM X, 2016). One of the main overseas opportunities for women is domestic work, often facilitated by recruitment agencies. Unfortunately, not all recruitment agencies are properly licensed and can trick and cheat these women for illegal profits.

If you or someone you know is thinking of migrating abroad for work, visit www.poea.gov.ph or call POEA at 02-722-1144 or 02-722-1155 to check the legitimacy of your recruiter’s license.

If you are already away from home and need help, contact IACAT through www.1343actionline.ph or at 1343actionline@cfo.gov.ph

Watch “Kwentong OFW: Saki si Fatima”.

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ISANG LIBONG KABABAIHAN DUMALO SA PAGDIRIWANG NG BUWAN NG KABABAIHAN SA MAGUINDANAO

BULUAN, MAGUINDANAO, IKA-21 NG MARSO 2017 – Isang libong kababaihan mula sa iba’t-ibang panig ng Maguindanao ang nagtipon sa araw na ito sa Buluan upang simulan ang dalawang araw na pagdiriwang ng Buwan ng Kababaihan. Sa paanyaya ng Gobernador, ang taunang pagdiriwang na ito ay isang pagkakataon upang pasalamatan ang mga kababaihan sa pamamagitan ng libreng mga serbisyo, palaro at kasiyahan. Sa taong ito, ang tanggapan ng lalawigan ay muling pinagtibay ang kanilang pangako sa laban kontra human trafficking sa pamamagitan ng IOM X campaign in International Organization for Migraton (IOM) at ng United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

“Ang kababaihan ang pangunahing pwersa sa trabaho, komunidad at ng ating mga tahanan”, ayon sa Gobernador ng Maguindanao na si Esmael Mangudadatu. “Isang karangalan ang malugod na tanggapin ang mga kababaihan mula sa iba’t ibang panig ng lalawigan sa araw na ito at ipahayag ang pasasalamat sa inyong tulong sa pagbuo ng isang lipunan na pinapahalagahan ang respeto at pagbigay ng pantay-pantay na oportunidad sa lahat ng kasarian.”

Ang pagdiriwang ng Buwan ng Kababaihan ay sinimulan ng pagpapalabas ng “Kwentong OFW: Saki si Fatima.” Ang video na ito, na pinangunahan ng IOM X, ay nagsasaad ng kwento ni Fatima, isang babae mula sa Maguindanao na piniling lisanin ang tahanan upang mangibang-bansa at magtrabaho bilang isang kasambahay (domestic worker) dahil sa pangangailangan ng pamilya. Ang video ay nakapokus sa proseso ng kanyang pagdedesisyon at nagbibigay ng tips kung paano mangibang-bansa ng ligtas. Ang video ay binuo bilang bahagi ng pagsisikap ng USAID na sugpuin ang “trafficking” sa rehiyong Asya, kabilang ang Pilipinas.

Ayon kay Tara Dermott, Program Leader ng IOM X, “Ang isang migrante na sinusuri kung lehitimo ang lisensya ng kanyang recruiter sa Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) website, kahit na ito ay inirekomenda ng isang kamag-anak o kaibigan ay mas tiyak na magkakaroon ng ligtas na karanasan sa pangingibang-bayan. Sa pamamagitan ng “Kwentong OFW: Saki si Fatima”, ang IOM X at kanyang mga kabalikat ay umaasa na gagawin ito ng mga kababaihan ng Maguindanao na nagbabalak mangibang-bansa upang ligtas at matagumpay na makapagtrabaho.”

Ang “Kwentong OFW: Saki si Fatima” ay bunga ng walong buwang proseso ng pagtutulungan ng tinatawag na IOM X Cotabato Roadshow, na kung saan ay nagsama-sama ang mga lokal, pangrehiyon at nasyonal na mga ahensya upang buuin ang media content na makatutulong labanan ang human trafficking. Kasama sa prosesong ito ang Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Maguindanao, Maguindanao Women and Children Peace Action Centre, IOM, USAID, POEA, Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) at ng DAKILA.

Ayon kay Beth S. Paige, Director ng USAID Regional Development Mission sa Asya, “ang ambag at kontribusyon ng mga kababaihan sa kanilang komunidad ay napakahalaga at ito ay ating kinikilala sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay pagkakataon na magkaroon ng kapangyarihan ang kababaihan na kung saan ang buong lipunan at makikinabang.” Dagdag pa niya, “ang USAID ay nakikipagtulungan sa mga kababaihan sa Asya upang maibigay ang mga kailangan upang sila ay magtagumpay.”

May mga libreng serbisyong pangkalusugan ang inihandog bilang bahagi ng pagdiriwang ng buwan ng kababaihan. Ilan sa mga ito ay blood tests, foot reflexology, pap smear at breast examination. Mayroon din nagbigay ng impormasyon tungkol sa ligtas na recruitment at migration practices.

Sa gabi ng unang araw ng pagdiriwang, ang mga mamamayan ay inanyayahan na samahan ang mga kababaihan para sa isang gabi ng kasiyahan. Ang mang-aawit na si Bayang Barrios, na tubong Mindanao, ay pinamangha ang limang libo (5,000) katao sa pagkanta ng iba’t-ibang paboritong lokal na awitin na sinundan ng videoke challenge at patimpalak ng “Mutya ng Maguindanao.”

Sa ikalawang araw ng pagdiriwang ng Buwan ng Kababaihan, magsisimula ang programa sa isang masiglang Zumba na susundan ng palaro sa umaga.

May mahigit dalawang daan at walumpung libo (280,000) na kababaihan ay nasa sapat na gulang sa Maguindanao1. Nasa animnapu’t isang porsiyento (61%) ng mga kababaihan na may edad labingwalo hangga’t tatlumpu’t lima (18-35 yo) ay walang trabaho o gumagawa ng mga gawaing bahay lamang2. Bawat taon, halos labing apat na libong kababaihan mula sa Maguindanao ang nangingibang-bansa upang magtrabaho3 kung saan maari silang kumita ng higit tatlong beses kaysa karaniwang buwanang sahod sa Maguindanao ng isang daan dalawampu’t pitong dolyar (USD 127)4. Isa sa mga pangunahing oportunidad na trabaho ng kababaihan ay gawaing pambahay ng kung saan ay madalas na pinapasilidad ng mga recruitment agencies. Sa kasamaan palad, hindi lahat ng recruitment agencies ay may kaukulang lisensya at maaaring linlangin at dayain ang mga kababaihan para sa iligal na kita.

Kung ikaw o mayroon kang kakilala na nagbabalak magtrabaho sa ibang bansa, magpunta sa www.poea.gov.ph o tumawag sa POEA at 02-722-1144 o 02-722-1155 upang malaman kung ang inyong recruiter ay lehitimo at may lisensya.

Kung kayo ay nasa ibang bansa at nangangailangan ng tulong, makipag-ugnayan sa IACAT sa pamamagitan ng pagbisita sa www.1343actionline.ph, mag-email sa 1343actionline@cfo.gov.ph o i-download ang 1343 app sa inyong mga telepono.

Panoorin ang “Kwentong OFW: Saki si Fatima” sa http://tinyurl.com/IOMXSakiSiFatima

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REPORTS CITED

  • IOM X, Roadshow Baseline and Impact Evaluation (October 2016), unpublished.
  • IOM, Country Migration Report: The Philippines (2013), p. 61.
  • Kelly, A. and Thompson, H. “The vanished Filipino domestic workers who disappear behind closed doors”. The Guardian. 24 October 2015. Available from https://www.theguardian.com
  • Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA), Quickstat Maguindanao (2016).
Quotes
"Women are a driving force in our workplaces, our communities and our homes. It is an honour to welcome women from across the province today, and to say thank you for helping to build a society that values respect and equal opportunities for all genders." Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu
"A female migrant who checks the legitimacy of her recruiter’s licence -- even if the recruiter was recommended by a family member or friend -- on the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration website before migrating is more likely to have a safe experience. Through "Saki si Fatima", IOM X and its partners hope that the women of Maguindanao who choose to migrate abroad for work will do so safely, and successfully." Tara Dermott, Program Leader, IOM X
"The contributions of women to their communities is invaluable, and we recognize that by providing opportunities to empower women, all facets of society benefit. USAID works with women across Asia to provide the tools they need to succeed." Beth S. Paige, Director of the USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia
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About IOM X

IOM X is the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) innovative campaign to encourage safe migration and public action to stop exploitation and human trafficking.

The campaign leverages the power and popularity of media and technology to inspire young people and their communities to act against human trafficking. IOM X moves beyond raising awareness to effecting behaviour change by applying a Communication for Development (C4D), evidenced-based and participatory framework to tailor messaging for its activities.

The campaign is produced in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Learn more at IOMX.org

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