International Women’s Day

Better late than never
Last Sunday, the Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME) celebrated  International Women’s Day. We celebrated on  March 12th instead of March 8th, because most of our HOME Family members are domestic workers, who need to work on weekdays.

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The celebration started with Christian, Buddhist and Muslim prayers respectively. In the said celebration, members and audience hand in hand sang a song that delivers “If we hold on together, our dreams will never die.”

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Then, it was time for dance, and each HOME Family group was represented. The best three Dance Groups were chosen by a jury of volunteers. The HOME shelter group was selected as the winner.

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A jury chose 20 women from the audience to join in an  on-the-spot cat walk on the stage in a competition for  Best Dress. The criteria were the dress should suit with the theme, be carried well, and fashionable as well as elegant. All candidates in the top 10 were asked a question regarding the day’s theme (Empowerment of Women), and from there the judges picked the Top 5. All winners in each categories were given prizes.

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HOME Roses group gave a demonstration on HIV/AIDS awareness, a video sharing and a great condom demonstration, a quiz, and prizes were given as well.

International Women’s day is an important day for HOME, for domestic workers, and for all women. We are proud to promote women’s rights!

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All the  HOME Family leaders (I represented My Voice Family) gave a short message to the audience about International Women’s Day–Empowerment of Women, as this year’s theme.

 

A Petition from HOME members/foreign domestic workers in the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar and India was read-out-loud, in which they expressed what they are going through in their employers home. It all summed up into one important point: The rights and dignity of foreign domestic workers should be given the utmost attention by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). To formalise the Petition, foreign doemstic workers and guests present signed the Petition letter to be passed on to MOM.

Respect our rights, respect our dignity as workers.

 

By Jo Ann Dumlao

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