World March of Women: Global Charter of Humanity Relay

An irreversible movement
Saturday 23 April 2005
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The World March of Women is a movement composed of women’s groups of diverse ethnic, cultural, religious, political and class backgrounds, and different ages and sexual orientation. Far from dividing us, this diversity unites us in greater, more far reaching solidarity.

In 2000, as part of the World March of Women, we wrote a political platform containing 17 practical demands for the elimination of poverty throughout the world, wealth sharing, the eradication of violence against women and the respect of women’s physical and moral integrity. We transmitted these demands to the leaders of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and United Nations. We received not even one concrete response. We also transmitted these demands to elected officials and leaders in our countries.

Ever since, we have ceaselessly continued to defend our demands. We are proposing alternatives to build another world. We are active in the world’s social movements and in our societies. We are furthering the thinking about women’s place in the world and the place we should be occupying.

With this Women’s Global Charter for Humanity and our upcoming actions, we reaffirm that another world is possible, a world filled with hope and life that is truly a fine place to live. We proclaim our love of the world, its diversity and its beauty.

Montréal. April 18, 2005

Thousands of women are celebrating the passage of the Women’s Global Charter for Humanity through their country. They numbered nearly 40,000 in the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil, on March 8, 2005, for the launch of the Charter and the Relay through the Americas. Another 3000 women were present when the Charter crossed the border into Argentina and continued through Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Haiti, Cuba and Honduras.

At every stop, women organize actions to present and distribute the Charter and transmit it to decision-makers. In every country women also create a quilt square representing the values of the Charter that they then attach to an international solidarity quilt.

The Charter is now in Mexico (April 21–28) before going to United States, and Canada, where it will be arriving in Vancouver on May 1, 2005. It will travel through the English-speaking provinces until it reaches Québec on May 7, 2005. Québec women will send the Charter to women in Turkey, which is the starting point of the European Relay. The Relay will end on October 17, 2005, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. On that date, members of the March will hold 24 Hours of Feminist Solidarity.

Delegates of the World March of Women who were gathered in Kigali, Rwanda, adopted the Charter on December 10, 2004. The Women’s Global Charter for Humanity is a proposal to build a world where exploitation, oppression, intolerance and exclusion no longer exist and where integrity, diversity and the rights and freedoms of all are respected. It contains 31 affirmations describing the principles essential to the construction of such a world. These affirmations are based on five values: equality, freedom, solidarity, justice and peace.

A wealth of information and photos can be found in the 2005 section of the World March of Women Web site: http://mmf.lecarrefour.org. The text of the Charter and the list of countries participating in the Relay can be found at: http://www.marchemondiale.org

The World March of Women is a global feminist action network made up of 5500 women’s groups from 163 countries and territories. The World March of Women is struggling for an end to poverty and violence against women.