Statement on March 8 Centennial of International Working Women’s Day
Uphold the Militant Tradition of March 8 International Women’s Day! Advance the Struggles of Women Against Imperialist Attacks On Our Rights and Freedom!
The International Women’s Alliance (IWA) joins the world in celebrating the centennial year of the International Women’s Day and in remembering and honoring the legacy of women’s militant struggles for full emancipation. Women the world over must continue this proud tradition of fighting for women’s liberation, and contribute in moving forward the people’s struggles for national and social liberation, sovereignty and self-determination.
The spirit of unity and solidarity demonstrated by the women of Egypt and Tunisia in rising up against corrupt, repressive and reactionary governments subservient to the interests of the United States and other imperialist powers resonates around the globe. These women, marginalized in their male-dominated societies, marched to the streets in the thousands, led crowds in the protest actions and actively called on the people to join the actions to put an end to the decades-long rule of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia and their ruling cliques.
This new level of participation meant for women not only a chance to see the end of these hated regimes, but also an opportunity to challenge the old system based on patriarchy and other reactionary values that bind women to abuse, exploitation and violence. For their courage, we congratulate and salute these women who have joined their Palestinian sisters in keeping the fires of resistance burning in that part of the globe and beyond.
We likewise congratulate and salute the women and men all over the world fighting off the deterioration of social welfare and justice by protesting against the reduction of government spending on social services to bail out banks, financial institutions and multinational companies and to reconcentrate wealth in the hands of the few. In Asia and the Oceania, Europe, Latin America and North America, people are taking to the streets against budget cuts in education, health, housing and other social services.
The conditions that drove the women in Egypt, Tunisia and other countries to rise up are the same conditions the majority of women around the world are suffering from as the result of the worst economic and financial crisis of the capitalist system since the 1930s. More than half of the hungry and poverty-stricken people are women. Women workers are laid off as companies shut down or cut costs and are the first to be subjected to insecure and harsh working conditions as companies take advantage of the cheapest flexible labor available. Peasant and indigenous women face landlessness, displacement and militarization as capitalists target the mineral and natural resources in their ancestral lands for capitalist expansion causing unmitigated destruction of the environment and the ecosystems.
Millions of women are forced to migrate to other countries in search of livelihood, making them vulnerable to slavery, trafficking and other forms of harassment and abuse, as well as discrimination, racism and xenophobia. Their governments push them to migrate to stave off high unemployment, earn revenues through their remittances and pay off local and foreign debt.
As we celebrate the 100th year of the International Women’s Day this March 8, we call on the women of the world to unite and organize ourselves to oppose the extreme conditions of exploitation and oppression amidst the world capitalist crisis.
Let us draw inspiration from our forebears who fought and won victories for our basic rights and fight the forces and institutions that threaten to reverse these victories. Let us resist reactionary currents of neo-liberalism, neo-conservatism, fundamentalism, patriarchy, racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia.
Let us strengthen our local and grassroots campaigns against exploitative and repressive political, economic and social systems.
Let us resist US-backed authoritarian regimes which plunder the public coffers and burden the people with ineffective governments. We must not be deceived by the desperate attempts of the local ruling classes in cahoots with imperialist powers to appease the oppressed people through shallow and deceptive “reforms”, which will only prolong their sufferings from the impact of bankrupt globalization policies. We must resist their efforts to preempt the inevitable social transformation that the people have been aspiring for.
Let us strengthen the global militant women’s movement against our common enemy – imperialism and its aggression, war, occupation and intervention.
The International Women’s Alliance (IWA) calls on all its members and the women of the world to issue statements, organize and mobilize rallies, marches and other forms of protest actions on March 8 to assert our basic rights and freedoms and to advance the people’s struggles for national and social liberation. Let us show that women will never be silenced.
Long live the women of the world! Resist imperialist plunder and war! Advance the struggle for women’s liberation on to the 21st century! Persevere in the fight for justice, equality, democracy, freedom and peace! Move forward the people’s struggle for social and national liberation, sovereignty and self-determination!