Filipino women have a long history of struggle against foreign domination and women’s oppression. We fought for better jobs, and the right to vote and go to school. One of us led a regional revolt against the Spanish colonizers. She was Gabriela Silang.
Primed by the anti-dictatorship struggles and the drive for significant economic and political change in the Marcos years, women from all walks of life banded together and established a national women’s coalition. We called ourselves GABRIELA in honor of Gabriela Silang. It was the call of the time and Filipino women, like our predecessors in history, valiantly responded to the challenge of struggling for liberation.
From being a coalition of only 42 organizations in 1984, we are, today, a grassroots-based national and international alliance of 250 organizations, institutions, desks, and programs.
We believe that the freedom women seek will be brought about by the resolution of the problems of foreign domination, landlessness and political repression, and in the changing of patriarchal value systems and structures in Philippine society.
We work against issues that adversely affect women: landlessness, militarization, the foreign debt crisis and the IMF-WB impositions, GATT-WTO, anti-people development projects, the denial of women’s health rights, violence against women and children, prostitution, trafficking in women and migration, and many more.
Likewise, we work to promote a positive social attitude toward women through cultural means and consciousness-raising.