This statement, slightly edited here, was issued March 8 by the International Women’s Alliance, a global grassroots women’s organization. For more information, see iwa2010.org.
On this International Working Women’s Day, the International Women’s Alliance continues to amplify the voices of women and children around the globe who continue to struggle against intensified attacks by state fascism, wars of aggression and neoliberalism resulting in their further oppression and exploitation.
In the U.S., women comprise more than half the workforce, relying more and more on immigrant and migrant labor, and continue to face wage inequality. Persistent inequality has far-reaching economic consequences.
Along the southern border of the U.S., hundreds of thousands of migrants are seeking asylum across the border to escape violence, poverty and political corruption in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Once they have managed to survive the dangerous trek, they are immediately faced with inhumane treatment by Border Patrol and Homeland Security agents. Children, forced to separate from their families, [are] placed in overcrowded detention facilities.
As the U.S. continues to augment its war budget in the billions toward senseless wars and wall borders, the global capitalist crisis devastates the lives of the majority of the world’s population, with women and children feeling the brunt of this crisis. Forced migration and widening inequality across and within countries in the North and South are … manifestations of a humanitarian crisis. The crisis of nature is visible in an ever-increasing number of natural catastrophes, which hit predominantly poor and vulnerable populations.
The logic of the system of rapacious capitalism requires it to constantly seek out more land, resources and labour. Artificially created conflicts and proxy civil wars, fed and fanned by external powers for their own gain, ravage parts of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, affecting particularly the women. We hear the hypocritical invocation of democracy by regime changers in situations like Venezuela — where the U.S. and Canada are shamelessly playing a leading role — often the same players who financed and supported coups in places like Chile and propped up genocidal dictators!
To counter our growing resistance, governments — regardless of the political party — use distractions such as heightened nationalism to divide us and provide fodder for neo-fascists.
In Quebec, the latest incarnation of secular fundamentalism is the law excluding women and others from work if they choose religiously observant clothing, even as the Premier denies the existence of Islamophobia, something his Status of Woman Minister actually proves with her utterances! It is clear such laws have nothing to do with religious neutrality or protection of women. Instead, they feed racism, hate, attacks on women and undermine women’s economic autonomy.
Women throughout the world need to unite and resist the increasing fascism in their respective countries and throughout the world. Working women must continue fighting for their rights and against oppression and exploitation!
Long Live International Working Women’s Day!