Elizabeth (Beth) U. Yang (she/her/hers) was one of two young women social development workers who participated in the organizational meeting of what would later be known as PILIPINA -Movement of Filipino Women. Presently, PILIPINA is recognized in the Philippine Women’s Movement as the first homegrown feminist organization.
As National Coordinator of PILIPINA since 1991, she led in the design and training of community women leaders on women’s political participation in public policymaking from local up to national levels of governance. She also steered PILIPINA and other women’s rights organizations in the successful legislative lobby for the passage of the Magna Carta of Women (MCW), which was enacted into law as Republic Act (RA) 9710 in August 2009. The MCW introduced the legal definition of discrimination against women and is also considered as the national enabling legislation of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
At present, Ms. Yang works closely with two (2) sectors of women in the Philippines. First is with kindred Muslim women’s organizations to push for the institutionalization of gender equality and women’s human rights (GEWHR) in the establishment of the new political entity of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). The second is to work for the setting up of transitional justice mechanism for widows, mothers and children orphaned by victims of drug-related extra-judicial killings (EJKs) and women in conflict with the law (WICL), many of whom were unjustly incarcerated due to a vicious and punitive anti-drug policy and program.
Ms. Yang is also an active convenor of EveryWoman, a community of women leaders and mass organizations working for the pushback of Misogyny, especially committed by public leaders at the highest level of government and the defense of democratic space.