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    Mail-Order Brides Rescued

    Philippine officials found victims as young as 16.

    Police in the Philippines busted a large mail-order bride ring, releasing 29 women and arresting four local men and two South Koreans. Police received a tip from a victim and raided a house near Manila, finding girls as young as 16 being kept as brides. The women were promised a marriage to a wealthy South Korean man, with the money going to their families, but often ended up in abusive relationships with the ringleaders taking in all the profit, officials say. Poverty has forced many women to seek work abroad or find a foreign husband; an estimated 10,000 Filipino women are married to South Koreans. 

  • JES AZNAR/AFP/Getty Images

    Seven decades later, Filipinas kidnapped to be pimped out to Japanese soldiers have yet to hear an apology.

    Many were only 13 or so when they were taken from their homes and marched across their country as sex slaves. The survivors, who still meet as a group called Lila Pilipina, are old enough to have a hard time remembering breakfast, but none have forgotten the horrors to which they were subjected. Yet these “comfort women” have never received the apology and reparations they seek. Even worse, last month the mayor of Osaka had the audacity to defend the crime. “For soldiers who risked their lives,” he said, “if you want them to get some rest, a comfort-women system was necessary.” The survivors are planning a rally for July 22 to tell their stories and articulate their demands.

  • ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images

    Women from the Philippines are increasingly taking work overseas to support their families, leaving their children behind.

    Filipina women have found it increasingly necessary to take work abroad—they now make up 48 percent of the country’s overseas workers—because jobs are so scarce at home. The $20 billion Filipinos send back to their families accounts for about 8 percent of their economy. While the money is appreciated, many of these women have left behind children who are now virtually motherless, connecting with their moms only by phone or Internet chatting. Melanie Torres, a nurse who worked for three years in Bahrain, saved $25 to call her daughters three times a week, but when she returned home, they hardly recognized her and no longer turned to her for help, but to their father. She’s happy to be back with them, but like other mothers who come home, she must return to work abroad again soon. “I have no choice,” she told Women’s eNews. “I am only waiting for my papers for a job in Australia. What I am earning now is still not enough for my husband and our daughters.”