Today we are celebrating International Working Women’s Day. This day is rooted in global movements — from the day’s socialist-feminist founders of the early 20th century to the feminist victories in Argentina and Puerto Rico in recent years.
The day is also rooted in economic justice, as working-class and peasant women have struggled against the multiple systems that keep us down. On March 8, 1917, factory women led the first demonstrations against the Russian tsar that ended in the downfall of his regime. In recent years, grassroots feminists have launched women’s strikes, withholding labor to protest inequality, war, and attacks on women’s rights.
This year we are featuring the video from the Berta Cáceres International Feminist Organizing School’s (IFOS’s) guidebook launch. For the past year feminists across multiple regions have come together to learn, strategize and coordinate to strengthen the global struggle for gender justice, peace and liberation.
“We know there is no racial justice, no gender justice, in imperialist wars. We know that patriarchal violence and imperialist war are two hands of the same beast,” remarked Grassroots Global Justice Alliance’s Cindy Wiesner, a host of Friday’s book launch, in her introduction. “Ultimately we need to be building a different world, and alternative world, that’s based on feminist, antiracist values, that respects territory and people’s autonomy, that redefines peace and security in a radically different way.”
We’re also sharing an important statement from the World March of Women, one of our global partners. The statement further highlights the connections between feminist struggles, struggles against war, and struggles for environmental and climate justice.
Today, let’s celebrate, but let’s also stand with movements as they keep pushing forward.
IFOS Guidebook: An Offer to the Movement
World March of Women: “We women must continue on the march”
We are going through days when we feel the devastation caused by the crisis of capitalism, which has become even more visible in these three years under pandemic.
While capital is pushing women, working classes, racialized populations, LGBTQ+, the peoples of the whole world into poverty with their policies of privatization, dispossession and war, neoliberalism seeks the keys to its crisis in collaboration with imperialism. Today, the accumulating contradictions of capitalism have reached the point of unsustainability. While increasing unemployment, insecurity, financial instability and the concentration of wealth have reached record levels, it is clear that capitalism needs to increase exploitation of people and nature in order to survive.
The commodification and privatization of public services, the degradation of nature and the ecological crisis driving the climate crisis are effects of the worsening conflict between capital and life. Exploitation increases and women are the most affected. Corporate interests take precedence over health. Multinational corporations steal and plunder land, with no respect for human and environmental rights, and impose illegitimate debts on peoples on every continent of the world.
War and Empire
We see how the reconfiguration of colonialism is reflected in racist migration policies, the closing of borders, the criminalization of refugees and the increase in economic, political and financial blockades of peoples whose governments do not bow to the interests of this predatory system. Conservatism, fundamentalism and authoritarianism impose a project of death and criminalize social movements that dare to oppose it, while proposing false solutions, such as green capitalism.
Imperialism does not hesitate to threaten world peace in order to overcome this crisis of capitalism. NATO, the war organization of imperialism, supports armament all over the world and paves the way for military interventions. After Afghanistan and Libya is now escalating a “new cold war” along the borders between Ukraine and Russia. We will continue to stand against all the destruction of imperialism from Afghanistan to Syria, from Palestine to Pakistan, Caucasian to Central Asia and defend solidarity and peace!
It is therefore urgent that we pursue our collective and solidarity-based strategies to put the sustainability of life around the world at the center, from our self-organization and in alliances with social movements that aim at transforming the economy to dismantle corporate power.
The economy, health and food sovereignty are collapsing as exploitation, looting and warmongering are increasing day by day. While the reactionary-fascist governments cause an increase in violence against women, they also try to exclude women from the public sphere and limit them to the family. For this reason, it is not a coincidence that the feminist revolt all over the world overflows from the resistance movements against neoliberalism and neofascist governments.
Our sisters all over the world are guiding us with their struggles against this Our sisters all over the world are guiding us with their struggles against this whole dark picture. The feminist strikes that left their mark on the last years said that if women stop, the world will stop. From Egypt to Tunisia, from the USA to Spanish State; Together, we witnessed a similar wave from Turkey to Brazil, and a period later from Chile to Sudan. A feminist revolt that takes all the feminisms of history into its saddlebag and sets off towards a new feminism… This is a rebellion that is as angry as a mother who lost her child in Mexico, brave enough not to listen to the bans placed in any square of the world, and hopeful as if saying ‘nothing will ever be the same again’.
Resist to Live, March to Transform
We did not desolate the streets on the worst days, with magnificent demonstrations and resistances, especially on March 8th. We are all excited about the point reached today by the struggle that we raised with each other’s laughter, voice, hope and dreams. All over the world, women stand at the forefront of the demand for systemic changes.
While we oppose all forms of violence in the workplace, in unions, in political organizations, in schools, in urban neighborhoods, towns and rural areas, wherever we are.
We reaffirm freedom, equality, justice, peace and solidarity as our fundamental values.
We women must continue on the march,
Let’s resist together, let’s march together.
We resist to live, we march to transform!