8 March: guarantee rights and overthrow the backlashes!
Lets take to the streets, go on strikes, shake the structures on this International Women's Day of Struggle
We have reached another 8 March, International Women's Struggle Day. Working women around the world have not stopped resisting at any moment against the violence of sexism and capitalism, for rights, for life and for full freedom.
According to a report published by UN Women, at the current pace we are going, we would need approximately 300 years to achieve gender equality.
A recent report published by international organisations points out that the increase in authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism, combined with the still recent effects of the covid-19 pandemic, have served as the perfect recipe for the weakening of women's legal and social protections.
In countries with apparently very different realities, women have suffered severe backlashes.
Afghanistan and the United States are examples. Women under the Taliban regime have lost access to education and even health care - they cannot consult with male doctors. They cannot get divorced or report spousal abuse. Those who are LGBTQIA+ are criminalised or harassed. These women have, in effect, lost the right to their freedom in general.
In the US, women have also lost rights over their own bodies. The US Supreme Court struck down the legal Roe v. Wade milestone, which guaranteed the right to abortion. Since then, more than 10 states have prohibited the interruption of pregnancy and, from the perspective of rights, are evaluated negatively, below authoritarian regimes such as Saudi Arabia.
The same study indicates that in Brazil women have suffered a real backlash or "retaliations" against the oppressed people and its struggles. The study openly assesses that the number of feminicides in the country "underlines the prevalence of male dominance in Brazilian society" and that former president Jair Bolsonaro and his government have fulfilled roles as "main defenders of this rape culture".
In Italy, as in Brazil, they want to privilege the rights of the fetus from the very conception, to the detriment of women's bodies and choice. Poland still has one of the most restrictive laws on abortion. In Hungary, persecutions of women's, LGBTQIA+ and democracy struggles have been constant, and the same has been happening with more force in Russia, amid Putin's invasion of Ukraine.
And especially on this situation, after a year of military aggression, Ukrainian women persist in the struggle tirelessly, facing the horrors of war and all the violence that hits hard on women, who care for family members or act on the frontline, to ensure self-determination, protect their families and their territories.
In the face of so many attacks, there have also been responses, with intense mobilisations of women all over the world. For gender issues or for political, economic and social demands, they have faced oppression in countries like Afghanistan, Turkey, Myanmar, Palestine, Hong Kong, Russia, Poland, Angola, South Africa, Tigray, USA, Mexico, El Salvador, Colombia, Chile, Argentina and others.
In Iran, with the assassination of Jina Amini in September 2022 as the spark for an uprising, Iranian women raised their voices and elected "Women" as the first watchword, followed by the demand for "Life and Freedom". The movement continues to this day. In retaliation, dozens of schoolgirls were poisoned in a massive and criminal biological attack by fundamentalists opposed to girls' education in the country.
In France and the United Kingdom, a wave of strikes in various sectors shook governments and employers who insist on reducing or removing historic rights, privatising public services and making jobs more precarious. In France, a series of protests and strikes have been held against the pension reform of Macron's government. Women are the ones who feel the weight of the restriction to decent pensions the most.
In Peru, women are in the frontline of the struggle, mostly peasant and indigenous women, who are fighting against the government of a woman, Dina Boluarte, who despite sharing the same gender, is not on the same side as the poorest class or the interests of working women.
The International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggles believes that it is the role of the trade union sector to build resistance against attacks on the rights of women and other vulnerable groups, because this is a necessary struggle for the whole working class.
It is important to remember that the progress towards gender equality has never been linear and that the advances made so far are still being attacked. We must be vigilant, to ensure legal and social protections for women, including measures to ensure gender equality in the workplace, to combat sexist and misogynist violence and to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights.
We say "enough feminicide, violence, repression and patriarchal, colonial and capitalist exploitation".