Women suffer from distinct forms of oppression stemming from patriarchy that has been aggravated and deepened by feudalism, colonialism, capitalism and imperialism. Women bear various forms of hardship, degradation and discrimination, in addition to the oppression and exploitation they suffer as part of society’s work force. Their work in the fields as peasants, in the communities and in the home remains largely unpaid and unrecognized.
As workers in the manufacturing, commercial and service industries, they are subjected to the most vicious forms of wage slavery and sexual harassment. Professionals suffer from discrimination in terms of job opportunities and promotions. Many of them are forced to seek employment abroad as domestics and menial workers only to experience intense exploitation, racial discrimination and sexual abuse. Women serve as commodity in a sex industry that has grown into scandalous proportions.
Women are still generally discouraged, if not outrightly excluded from exercising their right to participate in decision- making in the home, in social life and in government, since they are expected merely to echo the views of their male partners.The struggle to free our nation and society is intertwined with the struggle to liberate the women. Only by overthrowing foreign and feudal rule, and later on, smashing other social structures that buttress patriarchy, can the basic condition for the liberation of women be established.
Only by taking up the cause of the emancipation of women—motivating, encouraging and supporting our women as they unshackle themselves from the bondage of the home, tradition and current prejudices—can the revolution fully unleash the mighty force of women in the task of liberating our nation and society. The liberation of women is thus a key component in the liberation of the whole nation.
The revolutionary movement provides conditions for the liberation of women. But the pervasiveness of patriarchy makes it incumbent on all revolutionaries to combat it even within the revolutionary movement.
Under the new society, patriarchy will not disappear overnight. But the condition for greater social, economic and cultural freedom will arise to aid the movement for the full liberation of women.
A massive education program for both women and men shall be undertaken regarding the revolutionary emancipation of women and concrete measures to correct these inequities against women in various spheres of life.
Pervasive values and discriminatory practices against women, including all forms of sexism, shall be actively opposed. Physical and sexual violence and exploitation against women and children shall be subject to sanctions.
Full participation and democratic representation of women in government, economic organizations and social institutions shall be promoted. The new government, through constitutional guarantees and legislation, shall promote affirmative action in the recognition and protection of women’s rights in all fields of endeavor. All laws that discriminate against women shall be repealed. No one shall be denied the right to work, and the right to equal pay for work of equal value, and the right to own property on the basis of civil status and gender or sexual preference.
The new government shall provide appropriate mechanism for the just resolution of terminated marriages, including the right to divorce. Women’s rights over their bodies and reproductive functions shall be guaranteed. Single parents shall likewise be entitled to benefits enjoyed by married persons.
Women will be provided programs, support structures and mechanisms to break the bonds of their social confinement and isolation. Significant attention shall be given to support programs for abused and abandoned women, maternal health care, safe means of contraception and skills development.
The Twelve Points of the NDF Program
6. Implement genuine agrarian reform, promote agricultural cooperation, raise rural production and employment through modernization of agriculture and rural industrialization and ensure agricultural sustainability.
11. Advance the revolutionary emancipation of women in all spheres.