[Editor’s Note: The monologues where presented by women in the wedding dresses during the media event, that culminated the forum, Happily Ever After?: Different Tales of Women Marriage Migrants on 24 October 2008 in Manila. These monologues were also presented during a media briefing on 21 October 2008 at the Bahay ni Isis (House of Isis)-International Women’s House.]

Chorus: We are women who are united, lending our faces and voices to the experiences and will of women marriage migrants.

Woman Marriage Migrant 1: I am a woman who married a Korean. I came from Nueva Ecija in the Philippines, from a family of farmers. I was a victim of illegal recruitment. I was raped and hurt by my own husband. There are many like me in the provinces of Korea.

I am against commercial institutions and systems that profit from marriage. I am against violence and slavery. It is my right to obtain the right information in making choice of people I would like to be with as I grow older. I will do everything to have a life free from danger and violence especially within the confines of a home which is should be a source of warmth and safety. I will keep my dignity even at the workplace, to the best of my abilities. I deserve to be heard.

Chorus: Who will listen to our voices? Who will join and support us?

Woman Marriage Migrant 2: I dreamed of a quiet and convenient life. I did not mind living this life abroad. I dreamed of happy family, with husband and children. When I got married, I expected a relationship that is fair and with a strong value for respect. I expected a partner who will recognise me as a wife, friend and a partner in life. I chose to marry a foreigner with the hope of a better life. But this did not happen in Japan.

Sometimes I feel that I am not a wife since he and his relatives treat me like a servant. They rarely talk to me. I experienced tough days, when I had to work on the farm, regardless if it is sunny or if it rained or snowed. There were days when I also had to serve, clean the rooms, cook the food, and wash the dishes and laundry for my husband’s whole clan. Even when I was working on the fields, they still expected me to accomplish all the household chores. They probably treat me like this because they feel that have bought me.

But I am a person with dignity and one who cannot be bought. I have the right to an equal relationship. It is only fair that I be seen that way, a woman with dignity, a partner, friend and wife.

Chorus: Who will listen to our voices? Who will join and support us?

Woman Marriage Migrant 3: I am a person – a woman, wife, mother, worker, citizen. A marriage migrant. Don’t look at me like that. Don’t judge nor pity me. What I need is protection for my family and myself. Our rights.

I want to walk freely on the streets of the country which is now my own. I want to teach and help my children in their studies. I want to cradle them to sleep, be able to sing them lullabies in a language that I know well. It is my right to live with my identities intact. Life, Love, and Happiness. I need you to understand me, to help my rights be recognised, protected and ensured.

Chorus: When you marry a Korean, Japanese, and Chinese, you have to be strong and have faith. You’ve got to fight, you’ve fight. You cannot just bow. That’s the plot of the story, of all stories.

Chorus: Who will listen to our voices? Who will join and support us?

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