The celebration of the 10th One Billion Rising global campaign to stop Violence against women and commemoration of International Working Women’s Day took place in Chater Road, Central HKSAR yesterday, 5th of March 2023.
Approximately 1,000 people attended the program from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In this celebration, the Give Care to Caregivers of the Mission for Migrant Workers was also held after almost 3 years of not being able to launch programs on a large scale. Here, free services were provided to migrant workers such as Free massage, Blood Glucose, free guidance counseling, free Tshirt printing, henna tattoo, karaoke, and many others.
The OBR program also had 2 parts. The first, from 10 to 12 in the afternoon, is the Filipino program. Various women’s issues were discussed here. Among these issues, labor export policy is one of the most prominent issues that cause the commodification of Filipino women. That’s why Annabelle Meregmen, Vice Chairperson of GABRIELA HK said, we shouldn’t be happy that there are many countries that the Marcos Jr government is talking to, to open jobs for domestic workers because the labor export program is designed to sell women outside of the country in exchange for cheap labor and no clear protection. The government thinks of women as a commodity for money to be made out of.
Various large groups and alliances also provided support by giving messages and cultural performances. Also Alex Bacunawa, HK-based Filipino artist gave a 15-minute performance.
The second part was the Solidarity program where among those who attended and spoke were local women activists, workers, professionals, and youth who came from different universities.
The main program started at 2 pm with a festival parade where the traditional costumes of Filipinos, Nepali, Thai, and Indonesians can be seen in the first row. Various organizations and HK residents also joined the parade.
Shiela Tebia-Bonifacio, the HK OBR coordinator and Chairperson of Gabriela HK, said “Victories are not easy to achieve it came after decades of struggling but its ok, every day we can rise until we build a society that will stand for our freedom from this violence and break the chain that causes the commodification of women.”
The celebration ended with the OBR dances, where everyone is happy and very energetic showing their support of the Global campaign to stop violence against women and children.