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GABRIELA Statement for the International Working Women's Day

08 March 2022

Onward to fight for women’s democratic rights; oppose the imperialist war in Ukraine!

GABRIELA marks the 112th year of the International Working Women’s Day, 8th of March 2022 as a day of striking back and rising up.

We strike back as we and our families endure the worsening unemployment pegged at more than 200 million people globally, pushing additional 70 million to 150 million people into extreme poverty. We strike back as our health workers - where 80% are women - agonize in treating more than 440, 807, 756 cases of COVID-19 worldwide amid the monopoly of big pharmaceutical companies in the development of medicines and vaccines for the virus. We strike back as the oil prices escalate, driving up inflation that results to high prices of food and basic commodities.

In the Philippines, Filipino families suffer uncontrolled oil price hike for 10 consecutive times, which the latest ironically hit on 8th of March itself! The neoliberal Oil Deregulation Law that allows oil companies to peg their prices according to their whims. President Duterte added to such burden by signing into law the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law that included excise taxes in fuels, petroleum, among others. This has caused the skyrocketing of oil prices that in turn is causing spikes in the price of food, basic commodities and public utilities. This, even as our people are yet to recover from the historic crisis brought about by the pandemic.

The imperialist countries like the US link the global oil price increase due to the imperialist-instigated war in Ukraine. What nonsense! These oil monopolies have used every conceivable excuse to justify oil price hikes when the real reasons are these companies’ insatiable drive for profit.

As we strike back against the repressive regimes like Duterte, we rise, too to oppose the imperialist wars that has most recently struck its deadly hand on Ukraine. Imperialist wars for oil and other natural resources make pawns out of people who are not only the main victims but are also forced to be involved in a war that only benefits the warmongers and the one percent of industrial nations who gain from war production and deployment. The people on the other hand, particularly women, bear the costs of war.

We rise up. We oppose in the harshest terms the continuing manipulation of the imperialists against working peoples, intensifying exploitation using neoliberalism and staging interventionist wars where it chooses.

We stand up and express our collective efforts and solidarity with the people of Ukraine. We demand for a halt to the Russian offensive. We also call for a stop to US and NATO interference in this war they are not a part of. We condemn US imperialist warmongering in Europe and elsewhere.

Working class women have always played a formidable role in fighting against imperialist wars. During World War I, women campaigned for bread and peace on March 8 (Gregorian calendar) in response to the death of over two million Russian soldiers. As the political leaders ignored their demands, women continued to strike, which four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate.

Today, as we face the worst global crisis of neoliberalism and profit-making of the imperialists from the misery of women and peoples, women are called to fight back and persevere in struggle ever stronger for rights and liberation.

Along with the working-class women of the world, let us rise up and raise our voices: no to imperialist war! Fight for the people’s democratic rights! ###

#LabanKababaihan #IWD2022 #IWWD2022

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