International Women's Day, 8th March 2011
This is a message from the World March of Women, an organization that exists in many countries in Latin America and Europe:
We have started 2011 with hope and revolution in our hearts and minds, as we support the struggle for self-determination and participatory democracy in northern Africa and the Arab world. The peoples of Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Syria have demonstrated that mass uprisings of women and men do have the power to topple governments and dictatorships. Women's voices and actions are crucial to the construction of people power, and on International Women's Day we commit ourselves to struggle alongside our sisters to ensure their active participation in their country's transition processes.
One year on from the launch of our 3rd International Action, we - feminists and activists of the World March of Women - continue to march, resist and construct alternatives. We renew our commitment to organize collectively until all of us are free from the oppressions and discrimination that we face as women. We are committed to strengthening, consolidating and expanding our permanent, grassroots movement around the world.
We continue to be challenged by the need to analyze, build and strengthen the links between our Action Areas - Violence against women, Peace and demilitarization, the Common good and public services, Women's work - in our struggle for autonomy over our lives, bodies, sexualities and territories. The actions we carried out as part of our 3rd International Action have made these links ever more explicit and visible: the economic interests of transnational corporations and geo-political interests of governments that fuel conflicts (such as in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Colombia); the systematic use of violence against women as a weapon of war in these conflicts; the exploitation of women's productive and reproductive work and of the environment in order to strengthen patriarchy and racism and buffer capitalism from its systemic crisis; the privatization of public services and natural resources, and the promotion of 'green capitalism' in order to continue maximizing wealth and profit.
It is the concrete local, national and regional actions in diverse countries that give meaning to the links between our Action Areas. When we demonstrate outside foreign military bases or installations in our countries, or when we take direct action to pressurize our governments to reduce military spending, we are saying "enough!" to the militarization of our communities and societies. When we mobilize outside embassies, our international solidarity is translated into action on behalf of sisters who are imprisoned, tortured, raped and criminalized in other countries. When we are loud, visible and irreverent in the streets, we challenge the patriarchal system within which a woman's "natural" space is the home and the family.
When we demand equal salaries for equal work and workers rights, we are struggling for fair working conditions for all sisters exploited in the globalized, capitalist system. When we resist false solutions to climate change (the carbon market, agrofuels, REDD, etc) we are demonstrating that we not accept the destruction of peoples and of our planet while big business continues to pollute and destroy. When we mobilize against transnational mining corporations with their head offices in European and North American countries, we are showing that we refuse to accept the exploitation of the environment and of peoples in countries whose economy is dependent on the exportation of metals and minerals.
In a globalized, free-market world, the patriarchal and capitalist systems are borderless, while peoples are controlled within confined spaces, or else forced to flee from their ancestral territories. We stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers - in Western Sahara, Palestine, the Arab world and middle East, the Ivory Coast, Honduras, Kurdistan - struggling for the control and decolonialization of their land and natural resources, for an end to the exploitation of their peoples, for peace, and against conflict and militarization.
We will not be silenced by bullets, bombs and aggression! The 8th March is a historic day of women's struggle and an integral part of our feminist calender and we will once again be out in the streets in protest, in denouncement and in commemoration of victories to come in 2011!