MAITA GOMEZ, AN INSPIRATION FOR WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS

STATEMENT
July 14, 2012

MAITA GOMEZ, AN INSPIRATION FOR WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS

*The new woman, the new Filipina, is first and foremost a militant…She
is a woman who has discovered the exalting realm of responsibility, a
woman fully engaged in the making of history…” ((Ma. Lorena Barros,
“Liberated Women II” in Pugad Lawin, Taon 18 Blg 3, Enero-Pebrero
1971: 32)

The life of Maita Gomez embodies an exemplary response to this most
relevant call for all of humanity, this most significant call for all
Filipinas.

Tanggol Bayi, an association of women human rights defenders in the
Philippines, pays tribute to Maita – activist, rebel, intellectual,
mother, teacher, former political detainee, fashion model, beauty
queen, a woman whose life was dedicated to the struggle for freedom,
national democracy and women’s emancipation.

She passed away on July 13, 2012 in her sleep, but she left a legacy
that inspires all women, especially those of the younger generation,
to continue and persevere in the struggle for the defense and
assertion of women’s and people’s rights.

From being a fashion model/beauty queen to a dedicated fighter and
organizer of the armed underground movement, unto her arrest and
detention and eventual escape from the hands of the military, to her
leadership of and participation in women’s and people’s organizations,
Maita clearly demonstrated  her intellect and deep grasp of the
people’s struggle.

Maita, in all her wit, beauty, kindness and humor, exemplifies “the
new woman, the new Filipina,” as described by Ma. Lorena Barros, one
of the founders of the Makabayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan and a
martyr.*

Maraming salamat, Maita! You will live on in the struggle of the
generations of women that you have awed, challenged and inspired.

References: Kiri Dalena and Cristina Palabay, convenors, Tanggol Bayi
(thru contact numbers: 09295373010 [Kiri], 09175003879 [Cristina])

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About Tanggol Bayi

Established in 2008, Tanggol Bayi is an association of women human rights defenders (WHRDs) in the Philippines. It is formed primarily for the recognition, advancement, and protection of the rights of women human rights defenders who are advocating for the realization of human rights.
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