CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - Over a hundred indigenous women coming from different indigenous communities showed strength in a historic Women’s Action held March 2, in Cagayan de Oro City. During the action, the indigenous women called for an end to all the violence, discrimination, and violations of their rights.
PHOTO: Higaonon indigenous women hold placards calling for the protection and defense of their ancestral domain | Photo by Jayneca Reyes | March 2, 2023
Wilma Tero-Mangilay, a Subanen from Mindanao, said that indigenous women continue to confront multiple challenges in their everyday lives particularly on livelihood, worsening poverty in indigenous communities, food insecurity, the impacts of climate change, and the destruction of the environment as a result of corporate-led projects such as mega dams and plantations.
“This historic action proves that when indigenous women come together, our voices become louder. This is where we draw our strength to continue our fight for the assertion of our rights as indigenous peoples but more importantly, for the recognition of our rights as indigenous women.”
Judy Pasimio, the Overall Coordinator of LILAK Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights stressed the significance of the gathering two years after the global pandemic.
“After two years of lockdown, this is the first time that indigenous women partners of LILAK have come together physically to celebrate our persistence in our struggle against discrimination and violence. As we brace ourselves for bigger challenges under this new government, we affirm our commitment to sisterhood, freedoms and dignity for all,” said Pasimio.
PHOTO: Indigenous women dance together in a panagsal-aw which means convergence or coming together | Photo by Jayneca Reyes | March 2, 2023
Panagsal-aw, a Higaonon word, which means convergence is a historic event for indigenous women. Cagayan de Oro City is home to thousands of Higaonon indigenous communities. Among the indigenous women present in the said action are the Higaonon women, together with the indigenous women belonging to Teduray, Lambangian, Kirinteken Erumanen Menuvu, Erumanen Menuvu, Subanen, and Talaandig from Mindanao, Iraynon Bukidnon and Ata Bukidnon women from Visayas, and Dumagat-Remontado, Aeta Abelen, and Igorot from Luzon.