Liaison Newsletter – July 2020

World March of Women - Marche mondiale des femmes - Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres

Preparing the closure of our 5th International Action

In most of our countries and territories, the coronavirus pandemic worsened the social economic and environmental crisis that were already installed in our countries, and its situation of profound inequality – result of austerity and cuts in public policies and an enormous precariousness of life. At the same time, the governments response to the pandemic has only reinforced and made the situation we are facing more drastic.

In early July, the International Committee of the World March of Women discussed the proposal to close the 5th International Action. The difficulty of traveling and obtaining visas prevents the action from taking place as planned: a large gathering of March women from all over the world on the borders between El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. We are now preparing a decentralized action. It will be virtual where social isolation is still needed, or with street protests in countries and territories where sanutary conditions allow it.

We do not want to go back to what was called “normal”. We need a fair recovery, based on solidarity, that addresses the systemic causes of the pandemic. Therefore, at the end of the 5th International Action, we will prioritize the issue of feminist alternatives, from the point of view of the feminist economy, and the responses that we have been building for years. We will also continue to criticize and denounce transnational companies and the causes and consequences of migration.

Our voice and our struggle are fundamental so that the inequalities created by neoliberal, hetero-patriarchal, racist, colonial capitalism do not deepen even further in the post-pandemic.

We resist to live, we march to transform! –- our resistance is our way of expressing our existence. Marching for transformation is our way of practicing and defending what sustains life. During this pandemic crisis, we remain firm in our belief that the solutions will not come from those who are part of the problem, but from people who remain committed to the values and principles that connect us all: Freedom, Equality, Justice, Peace and Solidarity.

The closing week of the 5th International Action will be from the 12th to 17th October.

On October 12th and 13th, we will carry out the pilot of the Feminist School in a virtual format, which is being organized in collaboration with the World March of Women, Grassroots Global Justice (GGJ), Grassroots International (GRI) and Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN).

From October 12th to 16th, we will publish documents, videos and other virtual or face-to-face actions carried on by the regions. Each day will be dedicated to one of the regions where the WMW is organized. We will analyze the current reality of each region, actions against the pandemic and alternatives under construction, as well as reflections on the issue of transnational companies and migration. The regions will organize themselves to produce a text and videos on the local situation and the actions of the World March of Women.

On October 17th, we will once again celebrate 24 hours of Feminist Solidarity. The action will be virtual and, when possible, on the streets. We will emphasize our program for the sustainability of life, of the feminist economy and in dialogue with other counter-hegemonic economies (peasant, solidarity, ecological).

Peasant agriculture against hunger for women’s autonomy

On May 15, 2020, WMW in Portugal and Galicia organized a conversation about something that all of us who participate in the World March of Women have in common, in many languages: the defense of food sovereignty and agroecology.

Building food sovereignty is a form of changing the world because it implies the possibility of organizing life in a different way, from the most basic question –- what and how we eat -– to supporting small producers, distributing housework so that women are not the only ones responsible, building complementary exchange policies between countries. It is a form of resistance to conservatism that seeks to lock women down in their homes and prevent them from becoming autonomous. And it is a feminist resistance, because according to FAO between 70% and 75% of the food we eat is produced by peasant agriculture, made mostly by women. Read more about this dialogue here.

In Jalisco, Mexico, the alternative market Flor de Luna (Moon’s Flower), a solidarity economy project created by Ecofeminist Benita Galeana School A.C, is one of the places where this resistance happens. Founded five years ago by women organized in a network, the market sells fresh products free of pesticides. “It is the systematization of a long process of experiences, knowledge and collective learning of groups, organizations and cooperatives of women in search of alternatives to improve our quality of life, that of our families, of our community, relating care to the defense of nature”, say our sisters from Mexico.

Building feminist and popular communication

The dispute over communication is central to our struggle. Neo-liberalism and extreme right-wing forces use disinformation, false news and manipulation as a method. We are building feminist and popular communication practices. A communication without fences, which is done in many formats — posters, cards, texts, audios, videos — and which integrates the streets, the networks and the fields.

Every communication action we carry out is part of this construction. For four years now, our companions from the Americas region have been producing a bulletin that, in addition to publicizing actions, activities, experiences and political positions of militancy in the continent, is a strong experience of collective work. In Brazil, a collective formed in 2013 carries out the communication of the March. See more here

The fight against transnational corporations goes around the world

The World March of Women has mobilized in 32 countries and territories on April 24th to hold the 24h of Feminist Solidarity, a large virtual demonstration against the power and impunity of transnational corporations. Transnational corporations are accumulating more resources today than many countries. Corporate power has many instruments at its disposal to put states and their resources at the service of profit and not of people’s lives, such as trade and “investment” treaties and “aid” programs that put States in debt and condition their policies. We are resisting financialization and the precariousness of life, we are betting on strengthening the real economy. We are marching to transform models of organization of work into ways of producing life with equality, rights and dignity. See more here.

Africa in the frontline of resistance

The WMW in Africa held on Africa Liberation Day, May 25th, the webinar African Women in the Frontline Resisting Territorial Occupation Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic. The activity was organized by women from Mozambique, Tanzania, Ghana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Western Sahara, Uganda and Kenya. They discussed the challenges that women face in the pandemic and the strategies to overcome them.

The comrades shared alternatives to the model that has been generating crises and inequalities since long before the pandemic, and the opportunities we have to show these alternatives. On Africa Liberation Day, they greeted our sisters in Western Sahara and their struggle for liberation from Moroccan occupation. See more here.

We continue organizing ourselves

We will keep on marching until all of us are free. Comrades from Euskal Herria and Neuchatel kept organizing and demonstrating even during the social isolation, as all of us. “They closed us in our houses, but we know that the problem is not the virus, is the capitalist, hetero-patriarchal, colonial and racist system that kills us and continues to oppress us, even before the sanitary crisis. For that reason, we have continued to organize ourselves, and to seek new forms of mobilization, in the networks, from our balconies, and even in the street”, say our companions from Euskal Herria.

In Switzerland, the Feminist Strike on June 14th happened in all cities. Women of all generations, sexual orientations and backgrounds responded to the collective call for the strike. “At precisely 3:24 p.m. there was an intense cry of anger from all sides. The many slogans written on impromptu panels testify to the determination to organize in ways that go beyond simply denouncing injustice and violence. With or without the coronavirus, we will be there! Change is now! The Covid-19 pandemic does not diminish our will to resist to live, nor our determination to march to transform!”. See more here.

Fighting for women rights and against occupation

Neither neoliberal authoritarianism nor colonialism keep quarantine. And in times of pandemic, the repression against women who resist increases. The sisters of the World March of Women from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) send us news from Kurdistan, Lebanon and Palestine, territories where authoritarianism, militarization and economic crises have intensified even before the spread of the coronavirus. They also send news of resistance. Read them here.

We march in internationalist solidarity

Solidarity is one of the principles of the World March of Women, motivated by the understanding that we all share a history of oppression, even if it manifests itself in different ways in each country, territory or region. While capitalism exploits, depreciates and tries to control our territories, bodies and lives at all costs, internationally organized women are building strength to change the world.

We express our solidarity with the struggle of the people of the United States against racism and police violence; with the struggle of the Palestinian people against the illegal annexation of their lands by the State of Israel; with the combatants and fighters of the peasant organizations of Colombia, where only in 2020 84 leaders and 24 ex-guerrillas in the process of reincorporation were assassinated; and with the people of Mozambique, who are facing armed conflict and the looting of their territories in Cabo Delgado, due to the exploitation of natural gas. We also express our solidarity by participating in initiatives of allied movements, such as the Anti-Imperialist May Day and in Defense of a Decent Life.

We resist to live, we march to transform!
Liaison Newsletter – July 2020