Almost three years had passed after the Marawi siege, yet we, the people of the Lake are still picking up every remaining piece that shapes our lives and dignity as women “bakwits”.
WE THE WOMEN IDPs, brave the tragic life in both temporary/transitory and home-based shelters. We face a multitude of unending problems due to the immense responsibility bestowed upon us as mother and as a woman.
AS MOTHERS, we are distressed as we could not provide for the needs of our families and could not send our children to school. Poor ventilation in the temporary shelters, poor waste management and garbage disposal, and lack of potable water haunt our daily lives. The septic tanks are already full which forces most of the Bakwits to open-defecate are some of the major issues that affect our health and sanitation. Instead of saving our already limited income, we have no choice but to spend a large portion of it just to have clean and safe water. We are being deprived of basic needs and social services that are very crucial in our survival and the survival of our families.
AS WOMEN, we were not consulted in the making of the Marawi Rehabilitation Plan. Huge amounts of money are being returned to the national treasury which could have been used to alleviate the sufferings we are currently facing. We are being alienated from the decision making that would affect our lives and our nation. We are losing our identity and dignity.
The long displacement, and the uncertainty of ever being able to reclaim our domain and lives, are now moving us to action and fight for our plea. We demand from the administration what is due to us!
We, seek redress of our grievances, from atrocities committed against us. It is high time that our voices be heard and our fundamental rights and freedom be fully restored. Only then can we live in genuine peace and dignity.
While the world is celebrating the International Women’s Day, WE, the Meranao women are fighting to claim our rights and dignity. We deserve more than the token services that this administration is giving us. We want to take hold of our own lives and to rebuild it.
Today, we stand in solidarity with all the IDPs and women all over the world who are still experiencing all forms of exploitation and oppression, we say, enough is enough. We will carve our future together as women and as human beings.
We, the Meranao women will forever assert our right to march as active agents and shapers of Philippine society and history, this we swear as we commemorate International Women’s Day!
RECLAIM MARAWI, RECLAIM OUR LIVES! ACT FOR A SAFE AND DIGNIFIED RETURN! LET TRUTH, JUSTICE AND ACCOUNTABILITY PREVAIL! ADVANCE AND UPHOLD THE RIGHTS AND INTEREST OF WOMEN IDPs!
Reclaiming Marawi Movement
March 8, 2020