IWA Chairperson Liza L. Maza speaking at the all women lightning rally at the WTO 9th Ministerial Conference in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia 4 December 2013
Press statement March 8, 2014
Reference: Liza Maza, Chairperson of the International Women’s Alliance, email@example.com
International Women’s Alliance Statement on International Women’s Day 2014
Women Globally Resist the Terrors of Imperialism and Capitalism
The world has become a terrifying place for women. Imperialist powers take all opportunities to interfere and to expand their influence and control. The majority of the world’s women face the most oppressive and exploitative of conditions: low wages; part-time and casual jobs; lack of benefits; dangerous workplaces; lack of protective laws; the dwindling quantity and quality of social services and safety nets.
More than ever, women must unite and resist!
In Europe, close to one-third of the work force survive in precarious conditions. Women, migrants and youth are hardest hit. Youth unemployment has rung a high 60% in Greece and 55% in Spain. Governments respond to strikes, mass protests and the general turmoil by scapegoating migrants and minorities.
Imperialist aggression intensified in 2013 and early 2014 with the expansion of wars of aggression and economic interventionist strategies. Imperialists are fomenting civil wars from Venezuela to Ukraine. The duly elected left and progressive government in Venezuela is under attack by a U.S.-backed opposition that uses inflammatory tactics to fragment the administration and “provoke” a civil war. In Ukraine, the European Union backs riots in Kiev – a strategy to pry open the Ukrainian-Russian geopolitical relations and break a historic partnership.
This political meddling reveals the primary agenda of the imperialists: to gain geopolitical domination by blatantly wielding military might with no scruples about the safety and interests of the populations.
Women and children bear the worst from such induced unrest. As in all unstable situations, their lives are more precarious in terms of their livelihood and access to health, food, and shelter. Above all, their general safety, well-being and security have been written off and many women and children end up as “collateral damage”.
In Asia, a special foraging ground for imperialists, the U.S.-led acceleration of international trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) also reveal priorities of plunder and exploitation. The TPPA, an underhanded multi-national trade deal prevents sovereign nations from developing policies and laws based on their domestic priorities. For women, the consequences of the TPPA are dire as they lose access to patented medicines and medicine technologies for easily treated communicable diseases, breast cancer screening and treatment, diabetes treatment, and more.
Ecological disasters directly related to corporate negligence and capitalist expansion have diminished the ability of women to support any type of self-sufficiency around food and work in their communities. Haiti is significant proof. Women and children survivors at the 4th year anniversary of the massive 7.3 earthquake in Haiti, the killer of over 220,000 people, even now still live in a state of food insecurity, malnutrition, and in terror of the current cholera epidemic.
In the wreckage caused by typhoon Haiyan (“Yolanda”) in the Philippines, many women and children lost their lives because of a severe lack of infrastructure and the Philippine government’s impotency in attending to the needs of victims. Meanwhile, more disaster looms in the areas of the Philippines where foreign corporations mine and the extract resources, where displacement of communities continue, as do the destruction of forests, fields and rivers.
Mining and development aggression forcibly shrinks the capacity of women to work in their localities. When nation-states prioritize the extraction of natural resources, land-grabbing strategies and exploitation strategies are usually implemented to the detriment of the welfare and security of residents. When “natural” disasters occur, the mass victimization of former residents becomes complete.
In Latin America, the will of global capital is the same- occupation of land for the food security issues or real estate investments of powerful countries. The fatal results are the same for peasant women and indigenous peoples everywhere : loss of their land and the cultural connection to their heritage.
In servitude to global capital, decrepit governments world-wide continue to chant the hymn of privatization, deregulation and liberalization, and sing the praises of the private sector as they hand over entire sectors of the economy to it.
A turnover of social services to profit corporations is underway. Privatization of the education sector has sparked massive student strikes and movements from Quebec to Chile to the Philippines.
The health care industry, among the fastest-growing in the world, now has transnationals in it. Corporate profits of these health care moguls are on top of the pile, bringing in about 10% of the GDP of most developed countries. For masses of people, health care has become unaffordable, and the burden on families and particularly on women have increased .
As industrial jobs decline, the Walmart-like sales jobs in the service sector spread, and are filled mostly by women. They get the lowest-wage jobs, and the least justice.
As more people are forced to migrate to survive, the feminization of migration shows no let-up, involving the fragmentation of many families and communities, and the increase of slavery in foreign lands.
Canada, a country built by immigrants, now mainly recruits temporary workers, who are denied hope for permanent residency. In the US , the Obama administration deports 1100 aspiring Americans every day. This year, President Obama will hit the dubious landmark of having deported two million people during his presidency.
The women of the world are neither blind, nor deaf; they are neither dumb, nor still.
In the face of all odds, working peoples are rising up. Fierce resistance by women against exploitation and oppression takes place today as part of larger militant movements for liberation and social justice.
In Venezuela, attempts to destabilize President Nicolas Maduro’s duly-elected government have been met by the mobilization of thousands of Venezuelan women taking to the streets, in support of Maduro. Across the capital of Caracas and in other regions throughout Venezuela, demonstrations and marches of toiling women have exposed and rejected the violence incited by the U.S. backed right-wing opposition, headed by Leopoldo Lopez.
Elsewhere, women oppose the imperialist culture that serves to uphold the ruling elite by spreading ignorance and setting working class people against each other. In Uganda, the government of President Yoweri Museveni, influenced by right wing religious groups from imperialist countries, has recently passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, imposing life imprisonment for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, or intersexed Ugandans, and criminalizing supporters of the LGBTQ community or any person who “promotes homosexuality.”
In defiance of mounting violence, courageous women have brought international attention on this issue through campaign work, drawing media support, and linking with human rights organizations and LGBTQ allies.
In Spain, where new restrictive legislation on abortion will set back women’s reproductive rights by 25 years, thousands of women across the country have mobilized to block the legislation. In December, 2013, women from such countries as India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and the Philippines joined forces for a series of activities dubbed, “Grassroots Women’s Solidarity,” during the People’s Global Camp in Bali, Indonesia. The Camp was set up in protest of the 9th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization taking place there and included many colourful and militant activities, marches and workshops to expose the bankrupt WTO. Finally, at the camp, the International Women’s Alliance (IWA) successfully launched its “US Troops Out Now” campaign, aimed to stop militarization and US intervention in the Asia Pacific region and beyond. Women from grassroots organizations led by the IWA forged their strength with other sectors, such as youth, workers, and peasants, for larger mobilizations, which collectively exposed and made its call to junk the renewed neoliberal offensives of the World Trade Organization.
Women of the World, Rise Up and Unite!! Stop the criminalization of women migrants and their families!! No to developmental aggression!! Free Women Political Prisoners!! Stop Imperialist Wars of Aggression!! Decent Jobs and conditions for all!! Solidarity Against Precarious Work!! Women Unite Against the Capitalist Crisis!! Livelihood and a Sustainable planet!!