Innovative Program Explores Philippine Women?s Issues

Wednesday, July 28 2010

VANCOUVER, B.C., February 7, 2006 – A unique and innovative study program is being launched by the Philippine Women Centre of B.C. (PWC) this month thru April at the Kalayaan Centre in Vancouver.

The second level of the course entitled: “Towards Filipino Women’s
Liberation: A Community-based Women’s Studies Program” seeks to empower women specifically Filipino women to understand their situation in Canada.

Some 30 students made up of youth, migrant workers and other Filipino women are expected to attend the 10-week course. The resource teachers are community-based activists long involved in advocacy work among Filipino women in Vancouver.

The first level of the Women’s Studies Program was initially launched in September 2003 and attracted 40 participants and a second course in January last year with about 15 participants. The current program was officially launched in November last year with a guest lecture by Prof. Judy Taguiwalo of the Women’s Studies department of the University of the Philippines.

“This course was created by Filipino women for Filipino women,” says Marilou Carrillo, chair of the Philippine Women Centre of B.C. Participants examine the root causes of their migration by utilizing the collective experiences as Filipino women in Canada and  study the political, social and economic forces that drove them out of the country to seek work elsewhere. Some 10% of the Philippine population is working abroad in 186 countries and 75% are women.

By embarking on their own study, women are empowered to develop tools to re-conceptualize the women’s movements from the perspective of Filipino women in Canada.

The objectives of the study are to raise the political awareness through the study of selected themes and issues and to connect and deepen their participation in the struggles of Filipino women for national liberation. It will also analyze neo-liberalism which create barriers in advancing the struggle and finally, to understand and apply anti-imperialist and feminist positions to the analyses and actions.

The Philippine Women Centre of B.C. was founded in 1989 and was the first centre for Filipino women in North America. PWC of BC is also a member of the National Alliance of Philippine Women Centres in Canada (NAPWC). Core funding of the PWC if BC was cut by the provincial government in 2004. Grassroots initiatives and efforts of volunteers have kept the PWC of BC open.

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