In Celebration of The International Women’s Day


Long live the women’s liberation movement!
by Ramon T. Ayco (First published in my column on “Pinoy Reporter” March 2009 issue) When I was a child, I was surrounded by girls. First was my mother (Pilar), then my two eldest sisters (Ate Isabel and Fe), and next to me was my younger sister (Dalisay). Of course my father was the highest authority in the family, but he didn’t always bother himself in rearing children. So my mother was the real authority in terms of parentchildren relationship. But my eldest sisters, Ate Isabel and Ate Fe, are my real mentors: the one who disciplined me and act as my teachers in home. With regards to my youngest sister, Dalisay, she was my playmate at home and I always act as a guard to protect her. And I loved them. So this is one of the foundations of my thinking and belief as a person: women are authorities and must be obeyed; disciplinarians and teachers; and playmates. They have to be loved. Maybe that’s why I’m This photo was taken in Jolo, Sulo, my mother’s so friendly with girls. I have been an hometown. From left: Ate Isabel, my mother Pilar carrying baby Dalisay, then Ate Fe. I am the boy in front. advocate of feminism and women’s liberation movement for a long time until now. One of my best compositions is “BABAE” (Women). If you want to hear it, try to visit my other websites: and You can also read one of my writings there entitled “Women’s Problems and the Feminist Movement”. You can also watch my videos in my YOUTUBE account at As the world celebrates March as women’s month and March 8 as women’s day, we have to recall again women’s sufferings and their struggle for liberation.

During the first stage of human society which is known as “primitive communalism” in political economy, women were the authorities in the communities. But in the next stages which are categorize as “class societies”, the status of women began to turn upside down. During the slave society, women were treated like an ordinary commodities being sold naked in public market. During the feudal age, women were confined to the domestic sphere, while public life was reserved for men. In medieval Europe, women were denied the right to own property, to study, or to participate in public life. At the end of the 19th century in France, they were still compelled to cover their heads in public, and, in parts of Germany, a husband still had the right to sell his wife. Even as late as the early 20th century, women in the United States, as in Europe, could neither vote nor hold elective office. Women were prevented from conducting business without a male representative, be it father, brother, husband, legal agent, or even son. Married women could not exercise control over their own children without the permission of their husbands. Moreover, women had little or no access to education and were barred from most professions. In some parts of the world, such restrictions on women continue today. In many counties, women were required to wear veils in public. Forced marriage was widespread. In China, female infanticide was a common practice. In India, they practice widow burning. In Africa, clitoridectomy or surgery of clitoris was a tradition. Yet despite this horrible status of women in society, there were some who were courageous enough to struggle for the equal rights of women. Advocates of equality of the sexes and the rights of women can be found throughout history. The recognition for women as equal citizens enjoying every civil right available to men, including the right to vote and the right to run for office was gained through arduous and militant struggle of women first in the United Stated and Europe and then in the rest of the world. In the Philippines, Filipino women gained their right to vote and to run for office on Sept. 15, 1937. Filipinas was the first women in Asia to won the right to suffrage, and this was a product of a long and arduous women’s struggle. Former President Corazon Aquino and the present president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should thank the Philippine women’s liberation movement, for without this their success were impossible. ***

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