Article published in Feministiskt Perspektiv
By Purple Romero.
The Philippines. The news agency Rappler fights against explicit threats from the country’s president Rodrigo Duerte, and increasingly far-reaching attempts to silence them and make it impossible to work. The news agency is mainly run by women, and sexist attacks and threats are an everyday occurrence for the journalists.
Threats of rape, gang rape and murder is common for Pia Ranada, one of the agency’s journalists.
-Many of the threats and insults are personal, and the sexual threats are often visual. Some people find old photographs and use them to make “memes” of me or to post insulting comments.
This harsh approach is used by those who support president Duerte. The president is brutish and populist, but also charismatic and won the elections in 2016 with a record number of votes. Duerte’s “war against drugs” has led to 3 906 suspected drug abusers and pushers have been murdered. However, human rights organisations say the real number of people killed could be as high as 12 000.
Article published in Göteborgsposten
8 March 2018
By Purple Romero
The Philippines. The first time Jona’s husband hit her they had been married for eleven years. Soon the abuse became a routine, and when he started hitting the children too Jona chose to escape. But she is still married to him – the Philippines is one of only two countries in the world that does not allow divorces.
-I feel like a prisoner in this marriage, says Jona. I want to get a divorce but I can’t, as it’s not allowed. They say that matrimony is holy, but don’t they care about those of us who are suffering?
The resistance comes mainly from the catholic church, which has considerable power over public opinion.The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) have tirelessly opposed the attempts of legalising divorce, as they believe it would be “against family and against matrimony”. All attempts have either failed or fizzled out as the legislators don’t want to lose the support of the influential catholic bishops.
-The church doesn’t want a law that allows divorce, but it shouldn’t make any difference as the state and the church are separated in the Philippine constitution, says Melody alan, general secretary of the organisation Divorce Advocates of the Philippines (DAP).
Article published in Göteborgsposten, 8/3-2018. Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/h%C3%A4r-k%C3%A4mpar-kvinnor-f%C3%B6r-att-f%C3%A5-skilja-sig-1.5337502