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Women Publishing in Asia

The Philippines

    Shyamali and I met at a party. She is doing her PhD at Monash University on trafficking of Filipinas . It was she who told me about the various women's groups working in the Philippines and helped me get in touch with some of them. Chat Garcia from Isis responded enthusiastically with a list of contacts which I followed up. I also went to CPCA (Centre for Philippine Concerns Australia) in Melbourne which is just a stone's throw from Spinifex. Thanks to these women I have realized that the Philippines is one of the most active places as far as feminist activism goes.

    Starting slowly and in a very small way Isis-International today is one of the major women's organisations which reaches out to over 50,000 individuals in 150 countries. After years of operating from Rome Isis-International took the major move in 1991 to relocate its office in Manila, since it reverses the traditional pattern common among international organisations to locate offices and resource collections in the North.

    ISIS LOGO

    ISIS

    There are many women's groups working in the Philippines and all of them bring out their publications. Most institutes of higher education also offer courses in Women's Studies.

    ST. SCHOLASTICA'S COLLEGE SEAL

    CATALOGUE

    Institute for Women's Studies at St. Scholastica College for example has a very active publishing group called the Babaylan Women's Publishing Collective. BWPC's areas of publication include women in religion and women in the arts and media.

    Primed by the anti-dictatorship campaign and the drive for economic and political change in the Marcos years, women's organisations established the national women's coalition, GABRIELA - the General Assembly Binding Women for Reforms, Integrity, Equality, Leadership and Action.
    GABRIELA LOGO

    GABRIELA

    Another group that stumbled into publication is Women's Media Circle. It is interesting how Ana Leah Sarabia, the founder of WMC came into print publishing. After having done more than 200 one-hour television episodes on women's issues and over 1500 hours of radio programmes WMC's contribution was still not being given due recognition. It seemed only hard print copies could be considered to build a track record. Challenged by this attitude WMC initiated an interview based publishing project which met with immediate success. That was how Telling Lives (1991), The Barbed Wire Journal (1993) and A String of Pearls(1993) came into existence.

    Women's Media Circle can be reached at:

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