Argentina: FIT Unidad Statement for March 8

No more austerity and violence against women and sexual dissidence. The State and governments are responsible

One square, two rallies

The capitalist crisis, which worsened hand in hand with the pandemic, particularly hits women all over the world. Both conservative and so-called “progressive” governments have chosen to prioritize the interests of the pharmaceutical multinationals, to finance large corporations and subsidize businessmen while increasing precariousness, unemployment and poverty and, at the same time, maintaining the private health business. That is why this March 8, thousands of women, along with our comrades in struggle, return to the streets to demand for our rights.

So far this year alone there have been at least 60 femicides. And one year after the creation of the Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity, the situation did not change and is getting worse. The announced “budget 13 times larger” than that of the previous government represents in fact 0.074% of the national budget. Meanwhile, impunity grows and many of these femicides are executed by personnel of the same repressive forces for which a large part of the budget voted in Congress is orientated: 1 out of every 5 femicides are commited by them, even as in the case of Úrsula with up to 18 complaints. The police and the justice system are accomplices of cover-up and impunity. The most complete example was given by the governor of the province of Buenos Aires himself, Axel Kicilloff, together with Minister Berni. While the repudiation of the femicide of Ursula Bahillo at the hands of an agent of the Bonaerense was spreading, they rewarded this force by guaranteeing them more patrol cars, as they had previously guaranteed them pay raises and other benefits. That is why broad sectors with our cry of Ni Una Menos, of enough femicides, transvesticides and hate crimes, raise the “Out with Berni” and the denunciation of the persecution and repression of those who go out to fight, with a clear orientation: the governments, the State, its police and its justice system are responsible.

In Argentina, the deterioration of our living conditions is categorical. In response we are witnessing important struggles where working women are protagonists, from their workplaces against layoffs and for working conditions and wages, and from the slums against hunger and for genuine work. We defend the struggle for the unity of the employed and unemployed working class.

Nurses and health workers are protagonists in this day of struggle. All of them, who leave their lives in their jobs in the hospitals, in the struggle for professional recognition and wages equal to the basic basket, without budget or supplies. As well as the teaching women, who fight for better conditions for their children, while all governments open the doors of the schools and force them to give in-person lessons without any security measures. Young women are also protagonists. They face labor precariousness, becoming a great example of struggle as it happens with the Just workers of La Matanza, Hey Latam and the Apps workers. The same happens with the aeronautical workers who resist company closures as in LATAM or face precariousness and employer persecution as in GPS, the outsourced company of Aerolíneas Argentinas; in the ArreBeef meat packing plant, where women lead a very hard struggle for their sources of income; in the factories under workers’ management, like Zanon in Neuquén or Madygraf in the northern zone of Gran Buenos Aires, among so many thousands of other women workers in struggle who will be part of the mobilization and the rally that we will promote together with various organizations in Plaza Congreso.

Thousands of women from the piquetero movement are fighting and winning the streets massively against hunger, those who are at the head of the soup kitchens to assist the thousands of people who have also fallen into poverty, the domestic workers, those who assist women who suffer violence and also see how the State abandons them and protects the violent ones… Al of them will also be present at this event. This is what happened to our comrades Esther Mamani and Emilse Gajes, who are part of the list of femicide victims that are shaking our country in this 2021.Women of the various land occupations, such as those who led the struggle for housing in Guernica, many of them victims of violence, who had to face the state repression of Berni and Kicillof just for demanding something as basic as a place to live in the midst of the pandemic; the women of Los Ceibos and so many others who demand decent housing will also be there. Along with the women of the poorest neighborhoods we denounce that while the government makes demagogy, they and their families still do not have access to the most basic things, such as water, food and jobs, without any infrastructure in their neighborhoods and having to guarantee food for their sons and daughters in spite of inflation and tariffs will also assist.

In recent years and throughout the country, women and sexually diverse people have shown the opposite of what the leaderships of the central unions do, which maintain total complicity with the government and the bosses while our living conditions worsen, the salary goes down and the care tasks multiply inside and outside the home. The integration of feminism into state management, in which sectors of the women’s movement have been called upon to trust, is not a way out of this reality. No government has ever given us anything for free. Our independent organization and the confidence in our own fighting strength: that is the path we are betting on deepening.

The national government, with the support of Macrism and all the bosses, imposed a budget of austerity and greater indebtedness with the IMF. The impact that this has on the lives of the working majorities is also in sight. While millions are destined to the payment of an illegitimate and fraudulent debt, to strengthen the ministries of Security and the repressive forces, the government makes demagogy talking about our rights, without applying any policy that would really change the situation of women.

The strength of the green tide, which in 2020 conquered legal abortion, has new challenges to face the wave of femicides, labor precariousness and the policy of the governments and the State institutions that condemn women and sexual diversity to miserable welfare income, even disguising it as “attention” to the “care policy” as the officials like to say.

While we continue to fight for the guarantee of voluntary abortion, won through struggle, organization and street mobilization a few months ago, together with the implementation of a scientific and secular CSE, free contraception in all health centers, while we continue to demand the release of all those imprisoned for abortion, we must set up, as we did for legal abortion, a great movement of struggle for the separation of the Church from the State and the repeal of all the decrees of the dictatorship that guarantee its funding and that of denominational education. With the same strength, we have to build an unbreakable alliance with those who fight for work and housing and organize independently, without ties of any kind, so that the crisis is not paid for by working women and our families.

For all this, this March 8, from the Frente de Izquierda-Unidad, together with the groups Juntas y a la Izquierda, Pan y Rosas, Plenario de Trabajadoras and Isadora, we take to the streets and say that the State and the governments are responsible for the femicides and for this reality that we women, sexual diversity, and our working families are living through.  For this reason, we demand that the union leaderships of the CGT and CTAs break their truce and call for an active strike and mobilization for all of our rights. We will march by thousands, from Plaza de Mayo to the National Congress, where an action is called for our day of struggle. On March 8, therefore, there will be a square and two acts. That of the organizations linked to the national government, and ours, which we promote independently of the government, of the invisible ministries, of the State institutions and of the bosses’ parties that defend the interests of those who oppress and exploit us, those of us who fight against patriarchy and capitalism. A mobilization and an act where fighting women from different sectors will be protagonists and the girls of the green tide too, so that our demands are heard loud and clear:

  • Ni Una Menos. No more femicides, trans/transvesticides and hate crimes. Extraordinary and urgent budget to combat gender violence.
  •  Governments, the State, its justice and security forces are responsible. Dissolution of the repressive apparatus of the State. Election of judges and prosecutors with popular vote and revocable mandates.
  • Enough of austerity, no to the payment of the fraudulent foreign debt. Down with the pact with the IMF. Money for the attention of gender violence, for health, housing, work and education and not for the foreign debt.
  • No more precariousness, labor flexibilization and unemployment. Genuine work for all, wages equal to the family basket.
  • Let us support all the ongoing struggles of the health workers who are in the front line against COVID, especially the nurses in struggle for professional and salary recognition; the teachers who fight for a safe return and salaries in line with inflation; the Aeronautical workers who face dismissals and union and employer persecution, the workers of the Arrebeef meat packing plant, of Hey Latam, GPS, Latam; the women of the piquetero movement who are leading a massive plan of struggle against the government’s policies; to the brave women of Guernica and to all the processes of struggle for land, work and housing; to the women domestic workers who have just led the first marches in the history of the most massive women’s union in the country; to the women who fight together with their comrades to keep the workers’ managements alive, as in Zanon in Neuquén and Madygraff in the northern area of Greater Buenos Aires, among many others.
  • We demand the effective application throughout the country of the law on voluntary interruption of pregnancy, free contraceptives in all health centers and Comprehensive Sex Education with a gender, scientific and secular perspective at all educational levels.
  • Separation of the Churches from the State. Down with the decrees of the dictatorship that guarantee their financing and that sustained and sustain all governments.
  • For a great movement of struggle, organized and in the streets, independent of the governments in power, of the parties that defend this social regime, of the churches and of the institutions of the State, to conquer each and every one of our rights.