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The global capitalist system relies heavily on women’s unpaid labor at home and underpaid labor at work. It is in this regard we call on the women of the world to organize and join IWA in its effort to unite and strengthen the anti-imperialist women’s movement to confront monopoly capitalism, feudalism, and class oppression and to fight for women’s liberation!




Since the mid-twentieth century the global economic system has worsened under neoliberalism - an economic system marked by increased privatization and deregulation. The obscene wealth of a few and severe poverty of the many has exacerbated immensely under neoliberalism - with women feeling increased impact because of gender-based social and systemic barriers to regular work, fair wages, and equal opportunity.

Women face exploitation and neglect under the capitalist system, especially in the global south. Working and peasant women in the global south face the most egregious exploitation due to lack of development, unfair labor practices, and feudal patriarchy.

The global capitalist system relies heavily on women’s unpaid labor at home and underpaid labor at work. It is in this regard we call on the women of the world to organize and join IWA in its effort to unite and strengthen the anti-imperialist women’s movement to confront monopoly capitalism, feudalism, and class oppression and to fight for women’s liberation!

Neoliberalism and the Global Capitalist System

Neoliberalism is a project of monopoly capitalism that integrates national economies into the global capitalist system. The main beneficiaries of the global capitalist economy are the owners of transnational corporations who argue that “fair trade” and “free markets” are the answer to the people’s needs for development and  global economic stability. In reality neoliberalism only seeks to squeeze out super-profits under capitalism at the expense of workers and producers all over the world. 

Countries without industry are forced to constantly lower the price of raw materials and labor so they can win the business of foreign corporations. But lowering the cost of business only increases the profits of foreign business owners while driving down the wages of families. As a result, as costs for imported goods increase, people in the export oriented countries are left with little purchasing power, and no basic rights or social protections. Women and their families are at further risk of poverty and exploitation under neoliberalism.

The ruling elite who create policies that favor neoliberalism and the global capitalist system, as well as the business owners who seek deregulation and amass super-profits are the enemies of the people. Our victory comes from our collective strength in the anti-imperialist struggle as we seek to upend imperialism and neoliberalism and fight for genuine sovereignty as the solution to women’s exploitation and oppression.

Peasant, Indigenous and Rural Women

Seventy percent of the world’s farmlands are now controlled by 1% of the land owners. No longer do agricultural areas in the global south produce food for local consumption - instead a majority of land is used to produce food that is exported for foriegn markets, or arable land is converted into extractive mining or logging projects to supply the global economy with raw materials. This increases the ecological destruction, and displacement of communities. Nearly 20 million people per year are displaced due to extreme weather conditions caused by climate change. This has a profoundly negative impact on peasant, indigenous and rural women who depend on access to natural resources for their livelihoods. As more and more land becomes impacted, indigenous and rural women are at higher risk for becoming victims of corporate land grabbing schemes due to lack of social protection, education, and basic human rights.

Landlessness impacts an estimated 2.5 billion people globally. The World Bank estimates that 4 out of every 5 individuals living in extreme poverty are from a rural area. Women in rural communities are not just subjected to extreme poverty, but are also disempowered by patriarchal social systems. In places where it is legal for rural women to own land, their land is smaller and of a lesser quality than men. Furthermore women are not only expected to contribute to agricultural production but they are responsible for maintaining the household and typically spend up to 14 hours per day on unpaid care work. This severely limits women’s participation in decision making and organizing which could advance their rights and change their conditions.

Women Workers

Only 47% of women in the world are formally employed or looking for employment as compared to 72% of men. This gap in labor participation is reflective of the impact of unpaid care work–such as parenting, house-keeping, caring for elders, etc.–which is socially expected of women around the world as it hinders women from finding and maintaining employment. Women who do enter the workforce are paid an average of 20% less than men for the same job. Even though all workers are exploited and paid unlivable wages, the rate of exploitation is much steeper for women. Women workers are criminalized and fired for organizing and joining unions, and violence is often used to enforce control and stop them from organizing for improvements in the workplace.

Neoliberalism causes an increase in incentives for corporations at the expense of working conditions. For instance, Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are able to subvert national labor laws, meaning they pay less than minimum wage and skirt around meeting labor standards. While SEZs claim to create employment and grow the economy through industrialization they have failed at their task. Women comprise 50-90% of the workers in the existing 5,383 SEZs operating globally, with high concentrations in garments, electronics and textiles. The over-representation of women in the SEZ clearly illustrates the neoliberal scheme to take advantage of women’s lesser role in society to drive down the cost of wages and benefits to increase profits. 

In the case of both rural women and women working in industry - when the wages become too low to provide for their families many turn to opportunities in other countries to provide for their families, however, many still find they are among the most exploited and unprotected workers in the host country. 

Women Resisting Economic Plunder

Even under such brutal working conditions, inflation, and global health crises, workers continue to stand up against the capitalist forces by demanding decent wages and improved working conditions. Even when they are met with oppressive measures for organizing, workers are united and demand change. Since 2020 we have seen a surge in worker strikes in the public sector and in health care with attendance reaching into the thousands. 

Throughout the pandemic, we have seen huge victories in opposing transnational corporations and demanding improvements in working conditions. We salute the women on the frontlines of workers’ struggles. We fight alongside Amazon warehouse workers in the United States who continue to fight for the right to unionize, garment workers in Cambodia who protested the sudden closure of their factories, women in the Philippines who rallied for change during their election season. All around the world workers are realizing the power of working together to oppose exploitation and demand improvements. 

Workers keep the world going through their production and it is up to the working class to create the future of society as well. In the last 3 years, the anti-people schemes of the imperialist forces have been exposed for all of the world to see. Workers have been brutally awakened to their disposability under capitalism and are refusing to stay silent. As the imperialists claw at their last shred of power, IWA calls on our membership to build towards, and fight for, a society where workers are prioritized over profit by ensuring our rights and livelihood are non-negotiable. Women are an indisputable part of the worker’s movement globally! IWA honors the struggle of working women, and we are fighting for a world that we will win together.

  • Unite exploited and oppressed classes of women against imperialism and neoliberalism

  • Mobilize women against transnational corporations and exploiting policies, grow the resistance movement and strengthen the global anti-imperialist women’s movement

  • Popularize the class line of the exploited classes in the women’s movement

  • Increase international solidarity and support for exploited and oppressed women globally

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