An Appeal to US President Barack Obama
President, United States of America
Dear Mr. President:
Warm greetings of joy and peace!
I am a Filipino. My citizenship is sealed with the birthright of a third-world economy, the Philippines, and my survival is marred with humanity’s double standards of marginalization and hostilities that cut across race and gender. Sexual discrimination is as vicious as racial discrimination.
Filipino women are scattered all over the world. Although we are proud of our achievers in the international arena with the likes of Glee’s Charice Penpengco and Broadway’s Lea Salonga, the majority of Filipino women working and living abroad fall victims and are under constant threats of domestic violence, white slavery, rape, torture and even murder. It is real unfortunate that wives, mothers, sisters and daughters have to leave their loved ones to seek employment in foreign lands and struggle to adopt into a strange culture. Most of them are professionals, who, because of poverty and the limited and limiting access to employment in our own homeland, have to stake their careers to work as care-givers, baby-sitters and domestic helpers in the United States of America, the Middle East, Europe and elsewhere! And to add salt to their wounds they are shoved into so much suffering as victims and vulnerable subjects of violence.
It is with great honor and anguish that I implore the unstinted consideration and political will under your leadership to pass the International Violence Against Women Act (H.R. 4594, S. 2982) into a permanent and irrevocable law.
The world has been through so much pain, disillusionment and irreclaimable loss because women are dejected, neglected, rejected, repressed and suppressed. We know that the world will be better if women are allowed to take their rightful places under the sun. We simply cannot lay victims - groping in the shadows of voicelessness and helplessness, while humanity cries out for our fair share. The International Violence Against Women Act will ensure preservation and protection of our rights, allow us to enjoy equal privileges and opportunities with men as our partners, and draw out the best of our capabilities, talents and potentials. Given the chance, we will move the earth to the fullness of beauty, harmony and joyful peace.
Mr. President, it is imperative that the primacy of the well-being of women be sealed, for whatever it takes, for all it is worth. We are fully aware that it takes a powerful political will to bring the women agenda into the male-dominated and highly chauvinistic leadership like your own. But in passing the International Violence Against Women Act (H.R. 4594, S. 2982), your leadership will leave an everlasting and powerful legacy to the other half of the world’s powerhouse of human resources – the mothers, sisters and daughters of this generation and onwards.
Please allow us to count on you. We know you will find a way.
Emilia O. Zozobrado