WORLD MARCH OF WOMEN International Women’s Day Declaration
We strengthen our struggles and solidarity to advance the autonomy, freedom, the defense of our bodies and the progress made by the feminist movements in the world.
Women in the world are dealing with the effects of political situations, violence, extreme poverty and natural situations caused by the destruction and over-exploitation of nature, including by mining companies. These situations are affecting the lives of all women worldwide and it challenges us to find creative forms to confront. However, we organize ourselves and continue to advance our actions and struggles that can build alternatives for women to live in fulfillness.
In Africa, we know that, under situations of war, women in the Central African Republic worked hard and succeeded in electing a woman, Catherine Samba- Panza, as head of state Transition. This is a first step to increase the participation of women in the ongoing negotiation process, but this opens up a new challenge that is - The return of 500,000 displaced persons to Bangui, including persons displaced to the 16 municipalities and 78 sub - municipalities or refugees; rebuilding a rule of law; recovery of the economy after the economic decline of the country.
Recently the Uganda government enacted a Law that criminalizes homosexuality until death sentence and further a minister of Ethics and Integrity claimed that “men raping girls is natural and seems to imply heterosexual rape is morally preferable to consensual homosexual activity”. Furtherly, Zimbabwe president Mugabe saluted the government of Uganda and promised that his country shall pass similar law in future. These positions of heads of states clearly show the backlash in women´s rights and human rights in general.
In Western Sahara continues the brutal repression of the Moroccan Saharawi people living in the occupied territory of Laayoune forces. The UNMS (National Union of Saharawi Women) denounce the complicity of European governments who signed the fisheries agreement between the EU and Morocco and call for solidarity of women around the world. The conclusions of the recent conference of solidarity with the Saharawi women made an appeal to the international community, to the UN, the African Union and the European Parliament for the end of plundering of Western Saharan’s resources , the condemnation of violations of Human rights in the Occupied Sahara by Morocco, through a mechanism of protection of human rights , the elimination of the wall of shame and the implementation of the UN resolutions , which provide for a referendum on self-determination for the Saharawi people to express freely and transparently.
In the Arab world women are still suffering from massive violence from organized conservative powers. In Iraq, Yemen and in Syria millions of people are killed in the war supported by imperial powers; in Egypt and Tunisia women are still working hard to gain their rights through a very hard transitional phase; in Morocco women movement are working for legal reform strengthening their movement towards progressive change.
The Palestinian women are under daily offensive practices from the Israeli occupation, and struggling for their national rights in the same time they are struggling for their social equality, and still calling for solidarity to end the Israeli occupation, and to implement the unavailable rights of Palestinian people.
In Asia, rampant privatization and corporate occupation of public lands and services continue to impoverish women and their families, particularly in the rural and indigenous communities, and deprive them of their sources of food and livelihood. This situation renders women, girls and children vulnerable to trafficking, exploitation, prostitution and sexual violence. Many instances of private business take-over of urban spaces have dislocated urban poor communities, pushing into forests, mining areas and foreshore lands. Corporate land-grabbers have actually intensified the catastrophe and impact caused by typhoons and natural disasters. Deprived of social services, income and livelihood, women’s autonomy is further jeopardized by fundamentalist religious forces that deny them reproductive rights, promoting homophobia and lesbophobia.
In the other hand the widespread prevalence of violence against women is a serious issue, particularly with regard to domestic violence and marital rape, child marriages, and trafficking in women and girls. Collective rape in India and degradation of working conditions in the region remain of big concern.
In Europe, women are on the streets in defense of the right to safe abortion, which is threatened in many countries of the continent where abortion was already an earned right. In the Spanish State, the ultraconservative right-wing government wants to change the law governing access to abortion.
Demonstrations also denounce the rise of conservatism and right-wing groups, which especially attack the rights and achievements of women, and state repression to popular mobilization. Women in Europe are fighting everyday against neo-liberal policies and austerity measures destroying our access to health, education, housing and common services, and pushing some people into racism and xenophobia.
In Latin America we find attempts of coup d’état to constitutional government of Venezuela, through violent and systematic attacks of opposition forces through social networking. Our sisters from the World March of women have spoken publicly denouncing the attacks and maneuvers that are generating the right wing, supported by U.S. television channels and Latin channels in the United States.
Several countries continue the defense of their territories while facing physical and psychological attacks. Women also face sexual violence through forced and early marriages, putting girls into slavery lives, as leads also the worldwide development of the sex industry.
The increased power of corporations has contributed to dispossession and accumulation of natural resources like land, water, forests, and replacement of household agriculture by extraction and monocultures, pushing women and communities to a dead end, without alternative livelihoods. The state is resigning from its responsibility to ensure access to basic health services, education and housing where women and families are given this burden and responsibility without any means to bear the costs that it represents.
Likewise, we continue contributing pushing for the elimination of patriarchy, capitalism and colonialism, promoting social organization for the defense of the progressive governments of the continents, ones that believe that another world is possible. In these situations, we women continue to organize ourselves, finding creative ways to defend life, to expand our movements, alliances, generate alternatives so that all can be together in action.
The 9th International Meeting in São Paulo, was a time of reaffirmation of our greatness, our strength, our diversity, and above all of our unity and solidarity in the commitment to proceed in our march. With this strength and inspiration we seek from all the women who came before us, and young girls who side-to-side walk with us, to prepare for our 4th Global Action in 2015 , to achieve a mobilization that strengthen us in the defense of our bodies and territories, and advance the independence, freedom and peace for women and peoples.
Solidarity among women around the world is essential for survival, defend and advance.
Women of the World, we are on the march until we are all free!