IWA opposes WTO Negotiations on Trade Facilitation

The International Women’s Alliance (IWA) opposes the World Trade Organization negotiations on “Trade Facilitation” as we believe that it will push people further into poverty and hunger. IWA thus endorses the Our World is Not For Sale (OWINFS) letter against the corporate interest negotiations (please see below) and calls on our members and networks to do the same.

Request for Endorsement – letter against corporate interest negotiations on “Trade Facilitation” in the WTO
by the Our World is Not For Sale (OWINFS) Network

Dear Friends and Allies,

At the World Economic Forum this past January, Trade Ministers agreed to try to finalize negotiations on a binding agreement on “Trade Facilitation” for the upcoming 9th Ministerial meeting of the WTO this coming December in Bali, Indonesia. Trade Facilitation as a major objective of developed countries and their corporate interests, as it would lock-in binding rules on customs and border procedures. There are many reasons that members of Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINFS) network, which developed the attached letter, opposes these negotiations. If such a deal is concluded, developing country governments would have to spend scarce resources to facilitate trade (mostly to facilitate imports) by modernizing port operations, which would be siphoned off from national budget money for basic needs like health care and education. If a deal is struck in Bali, the likelihood of developed countries agreeing to any demands for changes to existing WTO rules, that developing countries have been demanding for years, would be even more curtailed. Thus, we are engaging in a major push to educate people as to the dangers of these negotiations, and to ask for your support in opposing any agreement on them in the WTO.

Please send your organizational endorsements to the attached letter WITH COUNTRY to Mani at manicandan@gmail.com by Friday, May 30. Please also think about who else in your region or country may be interested in stopping the Bali package, or the biggest offensive issue of the developed countries in the WTO right now. And also, if you have any port/customs/shipment processing trade unions in your area, please help make the connection, share this letter with them, etc. so we can build a movement of people who would be affected by negotiations on this issue!


Press Releases · Statements

Filipino Women March to Palace, Torch AquinObama Tandem for Rape of Motherland

Filipino Women March to Palace, Torch AquinObama Tandem for Rape of Motherland

Press Release by GABRIELA Philippines on the occasion of International Women’s Day

8 March 2013


Women’s groups led by the militant women’s alliance GABRIELA marched to Mendiola this afternoon protesting the unhampered plunder of resources and the ruin of Philippine patrimony resulting from the Aquino government’s unqualified surrender to US policy dictates.


Protesters numbering to about 15,000 marched from Liwasang Bonifacio to Mendiola. They burned an enlarged “WANTED” poster of “AQUINOBAMA” dubbing the tandem as the Filipino women’s most wanted for the rape of the motherland.


“We hold the US-Aquino regime responsible for the wretched situation of Filipino women, for the plunder and destruction of our economy and the massive attack on women’s economic and political rights and welfare. We deplore the poverty and the violence that we are being subjected to,” said Joms Salvador, GABRIELA Secretary General.


Leading protesters were GABRIELA Secretary General Joms Salvador, Gabriela Women’s Party Represenatives Luz Ilagan and Emmi De Jesus, AMIHAN peasant women federation Secretary General Zen Soriano, Kilusang Mayo Uno Vice President for Women Nitz Gonzaga and International Women’s Alliance Chairperson Liza Maza as well as other women leaders from various sectors.


Tens of thousands of women and their families joined street protests, mobilizations and other Women’s Day activities led by GABRIELA regional and provincial chapters in Manila, Baguio, Laguna, Batangas, Iloilo, Bacolod City, Davao City and other key cities and provinces all over the country.



In Manila, a women’s march to Mendiola capped GABRIELA’s day-long protest which started early this morning at the US embassy. “Today, International Women’s Day, we demonstrate our outrage as well as our commitment to the struggle against the heightening oppression and exploitation women experience as a result of US imperialist domination and the Philippine government’s subservience to its imperialist masters,” Salvador ended.