AF3IRM salutes women, celebrates stories of ‘struggle, survivorship, and triumphs’

The women of AF3IRM

The women of AF3IRM

On March 8th, more than any day, we, the women of AF3IRM, salute all women, their struggles, and their stories in honor of International Working Women’s Day and Women’s History Month.

Together, we have achieved numerous victories and as an organization, we are striving to reach even more goals and win more campaigns. But we have also struggled together to support the unheralded individual journeys and fights – the ones our members and allies have endured and triumphed over.

AF3IRM women have personally dealt with domestic violence and sexual assault, state-sponsored violence and institutionalized harassment, abusive relationships, trafficking and the sex industry, discrimination and poverty. Many of our women have left abusive relationships or faced sexual violence. These struggles have left scars on our bodies and souls and we continue to bear the scars of physical and emotional abuse and trauma every day.

But we also carry these truths – that scars are signs of healing wounds, that we are survivors and warriors, and that we as women are not alone in our struggle – and it is these truths that have held us up and changed us. We see the scars on each other and recognize the scars on our own bodies and souls.

So we come together and bridge our stories of struggle across our backs – bridges built and welded over the scars that keep us whole. As Rumi said, “the wound is the place where light enters you” and we remember each scar, each wound, each triumph – collectively and individually – and use it as light towards liberation.

Our women lead campaigns against trafficking and against sexual assault; we do work as community advocates, social workers, healers, creators. We have become stronger with each story and each woman we take along with us. As transnational feminists and women of color, we celebrate our personal and collective herstories of struggle, survivorship, and triumphs. We celebrate each other.

We know that without our celebration, without our voices rising together, without our collective light, we will be forgotten and even purposefully erased. We have been taught that scars are ugly, unsightly and unwanted – just like how the histories and experiences of our women and communities of color are considered unnecessary and irrelevant.

We have been taught that we do not matter, that we deserve to be hurt, to be raped, to be killed, that we are the scars of human existence, and they have tried to marginalize, silence, and erase our histories and our lives.

Media, politics, education, even our own movements have at times tried to cover us up or wash us away, but they underestimate us. They forget that we are fortified by those who came before us and those who struggle alongside us. They forget that we will not get pulled under, that we will survive, and that together we rise.

Excerpted from the Association of Filipinas, Feminists Fighting Imperialism, Re-feudalization, and Marginalization’s statement in celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8. Here is the AF3IRM statement in full.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: