On International Women’s Day, 8 March 2023, UK
Text and images by Myla Arceno, MCSP
Myla Arceno, 2nd from right
March is a very special month for all women around the world. We are not just celebrating our entity as a woman and our accomplishments, but together we remember and highlight those women who are still in the oppressive society with minute voice to speak up for freedom and their rights. We have progressed with our women rights, with thanks to the many powerful women in history and supportive men, but we still have a long way to go for women equity and equality.
Together in number, in many ways, in big or small, we women can always create waves for positive changes in our society.
Here in the UK, March celebrates not just International Women’s Day but also Mother’s Day. For us Filipino-British, we enjoy the extra benefit of celebrating Mother’s Day twice – along with Mothers in the Philippines and the rest of the world in May.
There are many events and celebrations in the UK for women in March. I’m honoured to join the sisterhood within the Filipino Women’s Association UK, FWN, Kanlungan Filipino Consortium and various groups held in SOAS University of London.
The theme ‘Constructing the Filipino Women in Britain: Towards Agency and Empowerment,’ fit the audience with many Filipino women from all walks of life, various fields of expertise and whose stories we could learn from.
We celebrated our successes but at one point, it turned emotional as we listened to the challenges of some kababayans in the UK. Our support for each other will always be needed and we are grateful for the many dedicated organisations that offer it.
Another annual event that I’ve never missed for many years now, is the honour and the celebration of the life of our famous suffragette Lady Constance Lytton in Knebworth House mausoleum together with her family, the powerful women and supportive men. Because of her and the many suffragettes with their voices and sufferings, we have our rights to vote, hold position in politics, change for positivity in our society, and have our voices heard all over the world.