With March 8 a few days off, strikes, marches and other mass actions are being prepared in dozens of countries on five continents, in the framework of the fourth international women’s strike. In a world shaken by rebellions, with greater prominence in Latin America, the Middle East and France, the working class and the people fight against capitalist governments and regimes. In all these struggles, women play an active role as part of the labor and popular movement and, with young women at the forefront, as protagonists of the new global wave of women´s struggles that began in 2015.
Among other examples, this is demonstrated by Chilean women who face police repression and spread their performance against sexist and institutional violence throughout the world; Argentine women who continue to fight for legal abortion; French women who participate in the general strike against the anti-retirement reform; Lebanese women, active in the popular rebellion against the corrupt regime; Iranian women who reject both American interference and the oppressive Mullah regime; Women in Turkey who resist the government´s project to legalize marriage between rapists and their underage victims; Palestinian women who repudiate the new and hypocritical imperialist-Zionist “peace plan”.
In its decline, this imperialist capitalist system and its governments propagate austerity, debt, plunder and extractivist plans across the planet; wars, migration crises and environmental destruction. We are facing a global offensive against all rights, including gender rights. For working-class women, who are doubly exploited, this implies greater unemployment, wage inequality, job insecurity and harassment from bosses and employers. All social policies are also cut, which in turn increases the domestic burden assigned to women and increases the levels of sexist violence. The reformist sectors of capitalism, labor bureaucracies and religious leaders are complicit in this offensive against our rights.
This new 8M is a great opportunity to reaffirm the strength of women in the streets, as well as the need to confront this capitalist system that is inhuman by nature and father of all violence, to move in a radically opposite direction: equality and socialism. Since the ruling class benefits from unpaid female domestic work, to eradicate women´s oppression, it is necessary to combat and defeat the capitalist system that sustains it. That is why, in the feminist and LGBTI+ movement, which is poly-classist, we fight in unity of action for each partial demand and, at the same time, promote a socialist, revolutionary and internationalist solution.
On March 8, 103 years ago, Petrograd textile workers came out to defend their rights and ignited the spark of the Russian Revolution, which brought the working class to power for the first time in history. Recalling that feat, we reaffirm that, just as it is impossible to obtain significant economic, democratic, social and political achievements without the participation of women, it is also not possible to conquer our full emancipation without an anti-capitalist and socialist roadmap in conjunction with workers and the youth. With that conviction, among other claims we demand:
- For women workers, gender equality in wages and access to employment.
- Against sexist violence and femicides, emergency budget with control of women’s organizations.
- Comprehensive sexual education, with a gender and sexual diversity perspective.
- Legal, safe and free abortion. In countries where that right already exists, no restrictions. Free contraceptives.
- Fight against trafficking and procuring networks and their state protection; social reintegration plans for victims. Employment alternatives for those who wish to leave prostitution and social rights for sex workers.
- Full equality of rights for the LGBTI+ community. Trans labor quota.
- Socialization of domestic work and the right to retirement where it is not in force. Double school day and opening of community early childhood gardens, canteens, laundries and nursing homes.
- Secular state. Annulment of all state privileges and subsidies to religious institutions and religious and private education. No to religious fundamentalism.
This new March 8, the ISL calls on all activists committed to the defense of women´s and LGBTI+ rights, especially the youth, to take up these causes and invites you to join our ranks to fight together, as Rosa Luxemburg said, “for a world in which we are socially equal, humanly different and completely free”.
- Long live International Working Women’s Day!
- Long live the international women´s strike!
- Against sexism and capitalism: equality and socialism!
February 21, 2020