Pretty Good Podcast Live at DRAPAC23 is a special episode series of Pretty Good Podcast, recorded live at the Digital Rights Asia Pacific Assembly in Chiang Mai, Thailand, last May 22 to 26, 2023.
Together with hundreds of changemakers from a broad range of sectors who have come together to build knowledge, collaboration, and momentum on Digital Rights and the Asia-Pacific, this series features a number of DRAPAC23 participants working across pressing digital rights issues in the region.
In this episode of PGP Live at DRAPAC23, Kristine Tan Chan, President of Filipino Freethinkers, delves into their work of utilising science and secularism to champion human rights, focusing on freedom of expression and religion, rights of women and LGBTQIA+ communities, and digital rights. As a steering committee member of the Philippine Safe Abortion Advocacy Network, Kristine addresses the highly stigmatised issue of abortion in the Philippines and advocates for the decriminalisation of abortion and divorce in the country. The episode also explores Filipino Freethinkers’ initiatives in art as advocacy, showcasing their multifaceted approach to promoting social change.
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About Filipino Freethinkers: The largest and most active organisation for freethought in the Philippines. Freethought is a way of thinking unconstrained by dogma, authority, and tradition.
- Filipino Freethinkers is a steering committee member of the Philippine Safe Abortion Advocacy Network (PINSAN), committed to advocating for women and girls’ rights, including their sexual and reproductive health and rights. They believe that the absolute criminal ban on abortion in the Philippines violates fundamental rights and leads to unsafe abortions and preventable deaths. PINSAN works towards decriminalising abortion, providing accurate information, and ensuring access to safe abortion services and post-abortion care. They also aim to end the stigma and misinformation surrounding the issue.
- Kristine shares about their work in intersecting art and advocacy. To mark International Safe Abortion Day, the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights, PINSAN, and Filipino Freethinkers host Telling Truer Stories, which challenges stereotypes and promotes diverse narratives on abortion rights through art. Originating in 2018, the initiative includes discussions, art workshops, and an anthology advocating for safe and legal abortion.
- The “Pasya” music album features artists expressing empowering messages as a protest and celebration of women’s control over their bodies. The songs aim to inspire action for reproductive rights.
- Filipino Freethinkers provides educational resources produced in collaboration with Humanists International:
- Coming out as a humanist provides guidance on the coming-out process as a humanist, emphasising personal safety and well-being. It addresses potential risks, advises on preparation, encourages open communication, and highlights the benefits of finding a supportive humanist community.
- Inclusivity for Humanists addresses challenges faced by humanists in religious countries like the Philippines, emphasising the global trend of non-religion. The article also touches on spiritual abuse, the need to fight religious discrimination, and suggests ways to combat discriminatory laws.
- Humanist Care provides an overview of psychological first aid strategies that humanists can employ to ensure their health and well-being.
- Supporting Activists and Advocates outlines tips and principles for humanists making a difference, such as understanding and preparing for possible risks, keeping safe from burnout, and practising mental wellness and self-care.
- Check out the activities and events held by the Filipino Freethinkers this year:
- ShareTheRoadWithHer2023: Cycle to end ‘VAW’ goes to QC – This cycling event was launched as part of the sixth edition of the 18-day campaign to raise awareness of Violence Against Women (VAW) in the Philippines. Activities included distributing bikes for sustainable transportation, a gender-responsive planning side event by the Royal Danish Embassy, and German funding for victims of sexual violence in conflict areas.
- #Stories of Power: Celebrating PRIDE – This post-Pride celebration event in the Philippines highlights LGBTQ+ progress and acknowledges the ongoing need for legislation. Attendees share their stories, discuss LGBTQ+ initiatives, and engage in advocacy to empower positive change.
- StoriesOfPower: Inspiring Stories of Reclaiming Power and Courage in the Face of Injustice and Misogyny – SheDecides and Filipino Freethinkers collaborated for an event showcasing powerful stories of Filipino women and gender-diverse individuals, creating a safe space to inspire dialogue, challenge structures, and mobilise advocates.