Change the lives of women to change the world. Change the world to change the lives of women

3rd International Action : Call to action

We, activists of the World March of Women, struggle together against the root causes of poverty and sexist violence. Ten years after our first International Meeting, we gathered together in Panxón, Galicia, from 14th – 21st October 2008. We were 136 women from 48 countries from all five continents, joined together to construct proposals around our Action Areas: Peace and demilitarisation; Common good; Violence against women; Women’s work.

During these seven days, we also joined many Galician sisters and male supporters in a public forum for debates and a fair to defend Food Sovereignty and women’s self-determination. We also took part in an amazingly joyful, positive demonstration – along with more than 5,000 people – in the streets of Vigo on Sunday morning, 19th October. Accompanied by the sound of “batucada” drums, we created rhythms for women’s rights, against machismo and for peace.

Our struggles continue in the global context of an increasing offensive of the conservative sectors of society, religious fundamentalism of every kind, including communalism, the criminalisation of protest, the disrespect of people’s rights over their territories, rising militarization, and violence perpetrated by governments in the name of an alleged “war against terror”.

Patriarchy, capitalism and racism are three systems interlinked to control our bodies and our lives. The institutions of countries from the South and North – governments, large companies, and religions – want to prevent us from achieving our rights and take away rights we have gained. Following in the wake of the food, energy, environmental, and ethical crises, the financial crisis reveals once more the speculative, destructive, neocolonial character of these systems. Yet again, the State is called on to bow to the interests of the financial system and transnational companies, abandoning the people and saving the market.

We struggle together permanently to resist the system imposed on us and to construct alternatives based on the values of peace, justice, equality, freedom and solidarity. In 2010, our collective voice will be even stronger from 8th March to 17th October:

– Marches of many kinds, colours and rhythms will open our mobilisation calendar and celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the declaration of International Women’s Day.
– Marches and other simultaneous actions around the world on 17th October will strengthen our presence in Sud Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Between 8th March and 17th October, we will carry out many actions, including defending the rights of domestic and rural workers, and rejecting the promotion of the prostitution industry during the World Football Cup in South Africa.

With the aim of making explicit the diverse causes and interests at the heart of increasing militarization, we focus our actions on various issues. We condemn the exploitation of our resources by multinationals, which impoverish the most vulnerable peoples. We denounce the State’s responsibility in the development of the arms industry that leads to extreme violence against women.

We refuse to accept that armed conflicts are waged for the control of the natural riches of a people. We refuse intervention or threats to people’s sovereignty by imperialist powers. We refuse to accept that women’s bodies be used as spoils of war!

Women on the March until we are all free!

Panxon, Galicia, 20th October 2008