Women's movement welcomes passage of divorce bill in Congress

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Gabriela congratulated the women’s movement on its initial success after its decade-long struggle for the right to divorce. The group welcomed its passage in the third and final reading in Congress on May 22. It passed with a vote of 131 in favor, 120 against and 20 abstentions.

“For too long, the absence of a divorce law in the Philippines has condemned many Filipino women to lives of misery, trapped in abusive and dysfunctional marriages,” Gabriela’s May 30 statement said.

The group welcomed the bill’s passage in Congress but knows it faces obstacles in the Senate and “conservative forces insisting on reinforcing feudal and patriarchal norms.”

“Beyond merely enshrining divorce in law, our greater challenge is to change the mindsets of our people,” the group said. “We must make them understand that divorce is a fundamental right that protects women’s dignity, safety, and right to self-determination.”

The women’s movement is aware that divorce will not “automatically solve” the manifold problems confronting Filipino women. We still have a long way to go to achieve genuine emancipation from all forms of oppression, discrimination, and exploitation under the current conditions persisting in our society.

AB: Women's movement welcomes passage of divorce bill in Congress