Babaeng Biya(hero), the national campaign of “Safe and Fair: Realizing women migrant workers’ rights and opportunities in the ASEAN region,” marks its third year of implementation by continuing its commitment in providing more Filipina migrant workers with information and assistance for a safe and fair migration experience.
Babaeng Biya(hero), a play on the words “biyahe” (Filipino for journey) and hero, aims to increase Filipina migrant workers’ and their families’ access to important information and essential services throughout the different phases of migration: pre-departure, in transit, on-site/abroad and upon their return.
The campaign seeks to further amplify its cause as it launches Maine Mendoza as the Babaeng Biya(hero) Celebrity Champion. Maine was introduced on Wednesday, Nov. 25, at the Together Tayo Babaeng Biya(hero), #SafeSaanMan, a Facebook live session hosted by Suzi Entrata-Abrera which seeks to widen the public’s awareness on the current state of Filipina migrant workers amid the pandemic.
The program also presented updates on the Babaeng Biya(hero) initiatives, such as the Babaeng Biya(hero) website, mobile app, helpline, and the “May I Help You?” kiosks in major airports to be launched next month.
This initiative also kickstarts the global campaign, 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, from November 25 to December 10 (Human Rights Day). The Philippine version of the campaign is the 18 Days Campaign to End Violence against Women which is extended until Dec 12, when the Philippine government signed in 2000 the United Nations Optional Protocols against human trafficking and smuggling.
As Babaeng Biya(hero)’s new Celebrity Champion, Maine Mendoza has proven herself to be a staunch ally of workers through her personal endeavors. She espouses Safe and Fair Philippines’ values of an empowered force who has the capacity to inspire her fellow women, especially during these unprecedented times.
“I’ll always salute our Filipina migrant workers,” said Maine. “I feel grateful to be a part of this initiative since it’s something close to my heart, especially after being exposed to a lot of opportunities that helped me understand their situation. I look forward to bringing awareness and educating more people about how we can create a culture of safety and security for our women here and abroad.”
Safe and Fair is part of the European Union and United Nations’ Spotlight Initiative to Eliminate Violence against Women and Girls. In the Philippines, the program is co-implemented by UN Women and the International Labour Organization.