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About Us

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Babaylan-DK Logo

Babaylan is a word from pre-colonial Philippines which means ‘wise and just woman’, a natural leader in the community.  Babaylan as an organization, was established in 1992 as a Europe-wide network of Filipino women.  Its counterpart organization in Denmark was founded on May 17, 1997.  The founding chair of Babaylan DK is Filomenita Mongaya Hoegsholm.  The current Chairperson is Judy Jover.  Both Filomenita and Judy are currently members of the Babaylan Europe Executive Board.

Babaylan Denmark is a registered non-profit organization (frivillig forening with CVR number 3172 5135).

Babaylan Denmark works towards helping Filipino women understand their own worth and better themselves.   It helps Filipino women in Denmark assert themselves and counter negative publicity and stereotype.  It aims to show Danish society that Filipino women have a rich culture, and have been raised in traditions centered on family, faith, cooperation, and hard work.   It aims to support Filipino women’s integration into Danish society, and bolster the broader campaign against human trafficking, sexual exploitation, violence against women, discrimination and social exclusion.

Babaylan DK celebrates the achievements of Filipino women in different fields – business, health care, development work – and derives inspiration from these successes.  At the same time, Babaylan DK reaches out to the most vulnerable of Filipino women:  those who come to Denmark because of economic pressures and the need to support families back home.  They work extra hours to pay off debts, to save for the future, and to avoid the embarrassment of coming home with nothing to their name.  They take on jobs and tasks that do not recognize their educational level and job experience.  Some end up in abusive marriages and will not find a way out because they are even more afraid of repatriation to the home country in defeat and rejection.

In its early years, Babaylan DK focused on mail-order brides: Filipina women who come to Denmark after having been promised marriage and a better life by men they do not know, and who may not have their best interests in mind.  Recently, there has been an influx of Filipino women who come to Denmark as au pairs.  These are women with university level education who grab the chance to go abroad, hoping for better career and life opportunities, at the same time earning a little to send home.  Filipina women comprise 81 percent of all au pairs in Denmark, and are welcomed into Danish homes because they are educated and can speak English, they have good family values, are often religious, and are always hard working.

Babaylan DK sees Filipino women as individuals struggling to better themselves in social, economic and political conditions that are often not in their favor.  Babaylan DK has consistently worked on several fronts: political, cultural-educational, and social to improve the situation of Filipinas in Danish society.



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