A new women’s resistance is emerging

March 8, 2017

March 8 will be a day of protest, forums and speakouts, and strikes in several dozen countries around the world. This statement from the Revolutionary Workers’ Party in Mexico supports the strike call and sets the protest in the contest of the struggle for a new world.

SOLIDARITY IS our weapon! Organization is our strength!

A new wave of women's resistance is emerging, building fresh alliances and solidarity across the globe. An emergency of patriarchal violence is coming to light, one which affects women from all latitudes and all countries alike. It makes our work invisible, it objectifies, it hypersexualizes, it discriminates.

The call by the women of the world for the International Women's Strike shows the potential for organizing a common front to fight retrograde, conservative and patriarchal policies that assail our very lives.

Donald Trump's victory, along with his openly misogynist rhetoric, has put women on alert--not only in the United States--to the danger of worsening capitalist policies of a profoundly conservative and fundamentalist nature.

The so-called "democratic" and "progressive" governments that promote neoliberalism and the free market try to make us believe that the gap between men and women is shrinking, but the reality is that women lag behind in virtually all social indicators: work, wages, education, health, social security, as a percentage of elected officials, and access to resources. These imbalances and inequalities keep women at a disadvantage.

Women workers lead a demonstration against gas price hikes in Mexico City
Women workers lead a demonstration against gas price hikes in Mexico City (Mujeres en Resistencia | Facebook)

Society finds itself sinking deeper and deeper into an economic and political crisis. Today, women workers continue to fight for the same rights we've been organizing for over the course of decades. Instead of equality, we get dribs and drabs. And often enough, what seems like growing equity merely expresses a proportional worsening of the crisis and the impoverishment of the whole working class.

In recent times, women across the whole planet have taken action in defense of sexual and reproductive rights. In Latin America, these actions have been particularly strong in the face of the rise of feminicide, hate crimes, sexual assault and all forms of sexist violence. Resistance has grown against the criminalization of activists who defend women, defend our communities, land and neighborhoods, and defend our environment.

HERE AND now, women are placing the accent on continuing the fight to improve living conditions and to confront the neoliberal economic model. They will refuse to retreat from the historic gains we have won. These struggles form the backdrop against which women from different countries have, over the past months, created the conditions from which broader and more powerful coordination, connections and organization among women can became a reality.

A new generation of women is invigorating today's struggles, thousands of women are bringing their enthusiasm and hope, they are rebelling and questioning the social order--and with it a whole series of hegemonic norms that stamp out diversity, plurality or difference.

The visibility of sexual dissidents and identities in our resistance movements has added a new spectrum of struggle, generating paradigms and strengthening initiatives, as well as contributing elements to our debates. Characterizing recent women's struggles from an intersectional point of view has enriched the political agenda and deepened our analysis, pointing toward an anti-capitalist, anti-racist, sexually diverse and environmentalist feminism.

The radicalization of women recaptures the original meaning of March 8 and puts the accent on the sexual division of labor where women perform multiple types of labor that are not socially recognized--from this springs the call for a strike of domestic and caring labor.

Questioning the role assigned to us socially and the value given to the work we perform in this system will be a starting point from which more women will join in and initiate a movement, ever more unified and revolutionary on an international scale.

Women will shake the world on March 8. This is the time for resistance, for women to join in and take the lead in organizing, to propose next steps, to bring us together, to accompany one another. This year, March 8 will be a day for struggle--women have decided to go on strike. Women of the world will rise up, and we will not turn back.

The Revolutionary Workers' Party gives its full support for the historic struggle for women's rights. We call for building a feminism of the 99 percent of women from whom the patriarchal capitalist system has stripped away their work, their bodies, their resources and their autonomy. And we add our voices to the global call and invitation to construct an international, organized women's movement that will fight defend of our lives.

We strike against sexist violence! We strike against feminicide! We strike against precarious jobs! We strike for women, and with women!

Revolutionary Workers' Party
Mexico City, March 2017

Translated by Todd Chretien

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