Updated: Feb 15, 2022
This March 8, the International Women’s Alliance (IWA) and its member organizations invite women worldwide to resist imperialist plunder and war. In honor of the first women strikers in 1908, we commemorate International Working Women’s Day to recognize and continue women’ role in the struggle for peace, justice and self-determination. On this 110th anniversary we uphold the power and legacy of women’s resistance and affirm our commitment to build a strong women’s movement towards women’s genuine emancipation.
We have witnessed the impact on women of wars of aggression continuously launched and supported by Imperialist countries. In the Middle-East, the occupation of Palestine by United States-backed Israel has resulted in the destruction of countless lives in the West Bank and Gaza, including women and children. Imperialist-led military attacks have increased in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan as they continue to be targets in the United States’ so-called fight against terrorism. With these attacks, women and children are seen as “collateral damage”. Meanwhile, the United States is increasingly exposed as the world’s Number One Terrorist.
In Asia-Pacific, the imperialist powers are strengthening their hegemonic control of the region thru the impending implementation of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. This agreement, which will be signed on the very 8th of March 2018 in Santiago, Chile, only furthers their neoliberal policies and unfair trading laws in the region. In Asia, the Philippines has also continued to suffer from intensified militarization. With the increasing presence of U.S. troops in the country and with President Duterte’s Martial Law, women and children have become victims of human rights violations, and of sexual violence, which is systematically used as a tool of war and as a tool to curtail the fundamental rights of the people.
In the Americas, particularly in the United States, with white supremacist and misogynist President Donald Trump in power, his administration continues to perpetuate political and economic oppression targeting people of color; women including queer women; immigrants from Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean; LGBTQ communities, and people with disabilities. In Canada, systemic racism against First Nations people, particularly women, has resulted to thousands of indigenous women murdered or disappeared with impunity.
In Europe, the rise of right-wing movements, and religious and ethnic fundamentalism in India and elsewhere has fanned the flames of anti-immigrant and narrow nationalist violence. A second cold war is heating up as imperialist powers led by the U.S. prepare for the eventuality of a world war. Regional wars have intensified in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America to maintain political and economic hegemony. Puppet and client regimes are created. Regime changes are imposed when governments will not bow to the dictates of imperialist powers. As the imperialists rev up their engines of war, they likewise ignite the resistance of women of the world.
The past years have seen women at the forefront of the struggles against violence, exploitation and oppression. Whether they stand against phalanxes of police and military during strikes, pickets and demonstrations, against the threat of nuclear attack against North Korea, or against the invasion and destabilization of Venezuela, more and more women are joining the struggle against militarism, imperialist wars of aggression, and the rising neo-fascism in many parts of the world.
The resistance of women in Palestine, as emboldened by Ahed Tamimi and many others, who continue to resist and protect themselves and their families, has spread across the world. Women stand in solidarity and struggle against the Israeli occupation. Another model of resistance is that of the women in Kurdistan. They have formed armed self-protection units to protect their homeland and culture from annihilation.
We believe in the power of linking with women so we can collectively resist against imperialism and all forms of violence against our bodies and lives. We aspire for a global society that promotes and protects the rights and interests of women and is void of all forms of discrimination and violence against us. We strive to intensify local struggles and campaigns against imperialism and capitalism, to strengthen international solidarity, and to contribute to the people’s struggle for national liberation, sovereignty and self-determination. This is our militant tradition and we are upholding it this March 8 International Working Women’s Day!