| GEO World|
| Women stage protest rally in Philippine|
| Updated at: 1617 PST, Sunday, March 08, 2009|
MANILA: Militant women marked International Women's Day Sunday by marching to Mendiola Bridge near Malacañang and holding a program there.
Radio dzBB's Tuesday Niu reported that militant groups occupied the corner of C.M. Recto Avenue and Legarda Street to denounce what they called the Arroyo government's inaction in promoting women's rights.
No tension was reported as riot police kept their distance from the protesters.
Senate Women's Committee chairwoman Ana Consuelo Madrigal, one of the speakers in the program, voiced regret Congress failed to pass the Magna Carta for Women before going on a month-long break last Wednesday.
Madrigal had described the Magna Carta for Women bill as a "milestone in this country's history."
“After arduous struggle by women's rights advocates, the passage of the Magna Carta of Women marks a milestone in this country's history," she said in a statement last week.
She said the proposed measure was crafted to be an effective tool for the further protection and empowerment of women, particularly in the marginalized sector.
Also at the rally were Evalyn Ursua, the private prosecutor in the Subic rape case involving an American soldier; and Ferdinand Gaite, head of the Confederation for the Unity, Recogition and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage).
Traffic was heavy in the Recto-Legarda area as the protesters held their program there. The program was scheduled to end 4 p.m.