PH, Japanese governments urged to apologize to World War II comfort women
MANILA, Philippines — The governments of the Philippines and Japan should apologize for violating the rights of Filipino women who the Imperial Japanese Army sexually abused during World War II, the Gabriela Women’s Party said on Thursday.
Gabriela’s call came in light of the landmark ruling of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (UN CEDAW), which found that the Philippines failed to provide Filipino comfort women with “repatriation, social support and recognition commensurate with the harm suffered.”
READ: PH failed to aid World War II ‘comfort women’ – UN body
The women’s party saw the decision as a “major and serious indictment of the Philippine government” for failing to assist the comfort women and redress the continuous discrimination and suffering they had to endure.
“This decision is a ray of hope for our ‘lolas’ as this serves as an impetus to push for concrete actions from the government,” it said in a statement.
Gabriela then sought an official apology both from the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and the Japanese government as it renewed calls for urgent plans of action to aid and compensate the comfort women.
READ: Remembering the Filipino comfort women
“Full retroactive compensation and assistance for Filipino comfort women should also be ensured, inasmuch as Filipino male World War II veterans have been receiving indemnity, death pensions, and other benefits for years,” it added.
Gabriela further committed to filing “enabling measures” to implement the UN CEDAW decision and recommendations, noting that it had already lodged a resolution in the House of Representatives, which urges the Philippines to demand an apology and compensation from the Japanese government for the comfort women.
READ: 74 years on, Filipino comfort women are still fighting a war
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