Statement on International Women´s Day 2018

Issued by the Office of the Chairperson
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
8 March 2018

The first observances of International Working Women’s Day (IWWD) by socialist movements in 1911 underscored the fundamental demands of women: the end to imperialist war and establishment of genuine people’s governments that realized the basic demands for bread, jobs, peace, and freedom. Popular women’s organizations sought the abolition of capitalism and wage slavery of workers in tandem with emancipation of women through socialized education, child care and universal health programs.

The International League of Peoples’ Struggles joins and calls on all the ILPS member organizations and groups and all social movements working for national and social liberation in observing the 2108 International Working Women’s Day to reclaim the proud tradition of IWWD in realizing the still unfinished aspiration of truly liberating women and peoples from the clutches of imperialist and capitalist exploitation.

berta C demo
Honduras: Justice for Berta Caceres!

The basic contradictions obtaining during the inter-imperialist wars a century ago – where waning and new colonial powers squabbled over occupied and newly conquered territories to relieve the crisis of overproduction of goods and stunted consumer growth – are raging even fiercer today.   While US imperialists are desperately trying to maintain global hegemony, new rivals, China and Russia, are poised to snatch regions away from its influence and establish their own free trade blocs and partnerships.

The neoliberal economic policy that these imperialist rivals use to consign weak and poor countries to remain as raw material exporters and buyers of finished goods exacts a great toll on the welfare of women and children. Free trade agreements destroy food security in food producing countries, oblige client puppet governments to remove labor and other social protection for women, and raise prices of food, housing, health care and education, rendering billions of poor women and men enslaved to precarious everyday existence. Even in the advanced capitalist countries, the poor are not spared from structural adjustment austerity programs that slashed pensions, health and other social welfare services.

Moreover, the neoliberal doctrine underpins the drive of the US and other imperialists to foment rivalries and pocket wars that inflict environmental disasters, breed prostitution among, and foist war crimes on women and children. In the past decade, the US has staged aggressive regime-change interventions that lead to massive refugee and immigration crises in the Middle East, South Asia and Latin America.

Openly fascist, chauvinist and nativist movements are resurgent in all countries.  They espouse the eradication of both nominal and real reforms for women. Trump’s ascendance has brought about the rollback of women’s health gains.  The struggle for women’s rights is also criminalized in parts of South Asia and Africa. Client regimes in Turkey and the Philippines are espousing misogynist moves while working to reestablish martial law or national security state governments that are strongly imbued with militaristic violence against women. All over the world, women are under direct attack, specifically targeted by antidemocratic forces.

Since the observance of the first women’s international day, neoliberalism has sought to water down women’s social movement calls with neoliberal feminism in attempts to convince women that basic problems can be addressed with such token mechanisms as micro-finance, pseudo-cooperatives, and dole out support programs. In many countries of the world, these programs have created conflict within the family and ripped unity within communities.

In the face of all these challenges, national liberation and social movements should persevere in organizing women locally and in global solidarity against the ever increasing violence inflicted by the crisis of imperialism. The first advocates and organizers and movers of women’s liberation movements have proven that women and men fighting together can defeat military superpowers and their local puppets and establish just economic systems that lead to the genuine liberation of women.

Gabriela demo
Women partake of the struggle for justice and national liberation in the Philippines.

We must take heart in the real victories that Peshmerga and Kurdish women fighters made in reclaiming dignity against proxy mercenaries of regional hegemons, support the struggles of indigenous women in the Amazon rainforests against mining corporations, and forge solidarity relations with the Rohingya and the Lumad women now being exterminated respectively by the despots Aung Saan Su Kyi and Rodrigo Duterte.  As we mark International Women’s Day, we rededicate our commitments to defeating the resurrected Transpacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the expanding Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade zone, even as we seek to strengthen the women garment workers of Cambodia and women farmers of India as they battle the local effects of multinational corporations.

The people are under attack, women are targeted for attack. What do we do? We fight back. The League foresees even worse manifestations of this global crisis erupting into open war. Just as our forebears Rosa, Clara, Krupskaya, Angela and Leila saw the power of women and people united in the face of murderous warmongers, tyrants and dictators, so we now choose to forge greater unity, employ the sharpest analytical and organizing calls, and advance with local victories until global emancipation is achieved.

Long live international solidarity!

Let the International Working Women’s Day every year focus our struggles to achieve genuine equality and emancipation free from the clutches of imperialism!

Khaled 5thIA
Leila Khaled, Palestinian liberation fighter, addresses 5th International Assembly of the ILPS in Manila.

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