Every March since 1988, we celebrate Women’s Month. We dedicate this time to honoring women and recognizing their significant contributions to history and the unique challenges they face. Women hold up half the sky, and recognizing that is crucial in building a just society.
Here’s a list of events that you can hit up this month to celebrate.
1. Gig and art fair
Progressive anti-feudal artist alliance Sama-samang Artista para sa Kilusang Agraryo (SAKA) is once again holding its annual tribute event “Babae Babawi.” On March 10 starting at 6 p.m., there will be a gig at Mow’s, hosted by actresses Chai Fonacier and Thea Yrastorza, with performances by local acts such as Oryang and Leanne and Naara and speeches from progressive women’s organizations like Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay), Gabriela, and Bahaghari.
Simultaneously, there will be a fair at Paper Lantern with exhibits and art markets by SAKA, Artista ng Rebolusyong Pangkultura (ARPAK), Rural Women’s Advocates (RUWA), indie presses Mako Micropress, Gantala Press, Kamayari Books, and local craft store Sudlan PH. The fair will also feature tattoo sessions by tattoo artists Minnehaha and Dennesse Delaney of Goodhand Tattoo, Haliya of @haliya.pokes, Grasya Marinda, and Saya Villacorta.
The ticket price is P100, though it’s waived if you order the commemorative Babae Babawi shirt for P450 or the shirt and bandana set for P650.
RUWA, in line with its advocacy of women equality and genuine land reform, is also celebrating Women’s Month with a host of activities. These include a screen printing workshop in conjunction with Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women on March 4 and a suman-making workshop on March 23 with Good Food Sundays.
March 8 is International Women’s Day. Socialist in origin (it’s also known as International Working Women’s Day), the day is observed throughout the world to recognize the plight of women and push for social reforms.
To this end, a number of local progressive organizations such as Amihan and RUWA are holding protests on that day to defend peasant women, who are vulnerable to attacks by the state, and amplify calls to junk trumped-up charges against peasant women political prisoners such as Amanda Echanis. According to Amihan, there are currently 97 peasant women political prisoners seeking freedom. Meanwhile, grassroots women’s alliance Gabriela is also holding protests on and leading up to International Women’s Day with the call “Women Unite for Wage Increase, Decent Jobs, and Rights,” tackling wage inequality, the jeepney modernization program, rising costs of goods and other issues.
Vibal Foundation and Fundacion Sanso are hosting a book fair on March 4 at Fundacion Sanso called “Making Her Story.” It will have a book swap event where anyone can bring their books and exchange it with other participants. Publishers like indie presses Gantala Press and Everything’s Fine PH and Ateneo Press will also be at the fair to sell books. There will also be a roundtable discussion with Filipina writers Dr. Ma. Luisa Camagay, Dr. Laya Boquiren, Faye Cura, and Katrina Stuart Santiago.
Tagaytay café Sspace Coffee Bar are hosting events every weekend this March under the umbrella “Ka-Babae Mong Tao.” This includes a talk by Elle Batung of Cultish on the female cycling community on March 4, and a gig with an all women’s lineup on March 25 featuring Leanne and Naara, Zsaris, Carina, and Lana Cornish.
Opening on March 8 at the NCCA Gallery is an exhibit by artists Jo Aguilar, Tricia Salonga, and Villarica Manuel. “Play Within the Box: Women Reframed” will look at women’s roles and representation throughout history. With all three artists coming from advertising agency Dentsu Creative (the exhibit is also supported by the agency), it will also tackle “the impossible ideals that are perpetuated in advertisements as early as the 1950s.” The show will run until April 1.