11 March 2009

FRETILIN Statement on the Occasion of the Celebration of International Women's day 2009


Good Morning Mr. President of the National Parliament. Mr. President of the Republic and Mr. Deputy Prime Minister. Dear Colleagues Members of Parliament and Members of Government.
Distinguished Guests, Excellencies.

FRETILIN takes this opportunity to express our pleasure in congratulating all our fellow women throughout the world.

The celebration of International Women’s day is an important moment for us women, daughters of Timor-Leste, to reflect on our history. In fact Timorese women have been proudly celebrating the 8th of March as International Women’s day since 1977, after the United Nations set aside the day aside for this purpose in 1975.

We Timorese women have our distinguished history: Timorese women came together and organized ourselves into Timorese People’s Women’s Organization (OPMT) in 1975 and actively participated in the liberation struggle since through Timor-Leste’s historic party, FRETILIN, for the goal of “the struggle for National Liberation and the defense of the rights of women against all forms of discrimination.”

Timor-Leste women were very fundamental in their representation in the National Liberation struggle, through their occupation of leadership positions in the resistance organizations, and in their dynamic organization and mobilization of the political conscience of the Maubere people in every facet of the struggle.

Timorese women exhibited their Nationalist conscience and courage during the struggle, both as individuals as well as alongside their male partners, on the armed front, the clandestine front and
diplomatic front. As a result of their dedicated participation, many of our fellow women heroically gave their lives; became our martyrs like the late Rosa Muki Bonaparte, Maria Gorete Joaquim, Wewe (Dulce Cruz), Bilear (Maria do Ceu Pereira) and many others.

In light of this struggle by women, the FRETILIN bench would like to honor all those women who gave their lives, whilst congratulating all living Timorese women, especially all of our Bibere comrades spread throughout Timor-Leste.

Thank You.

Cipriana Da Costa Pereira Member of Parliament, FRETILIN Bench.

Image added by ETLJB: An East Timorese woman

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