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of the World Women’s Conferences of grassroots women
Halinka Augustin / Netherlands
Susanne Bader / Germany
Statement of the European Coordinators of the World Women’s Conferences of the grassroots women on the occasion of the European elections 23-29 May 2019
To the women of Europe! A Europe – without nationalism!
Thousands of people all over Europe took to the streets at the weekend to achieve this. They stand up for peace, friendship among peoples and against nationalism. Their concern – no vote for right-wing parties in the European elections. The militant women’s movement was a critical part of it. Critical why? If you believe the election posters of the bourgeois parties, the words of government representatives, our vote on election day is enough to create a united and peaceful Europe. We should choose “the lesser of the evils” so that the right-wing fascistic parties do not enter the European Parliament. But what do the promises of the bourgeois parties and governments bring to the masses of women – we express our opinion !
Europe – borderless?!
The EU tightens asylum laws, stops the sea rescue “Sophia” and expands the border police “Frontex” from 2000 to 10,000 soldiers! The UN refugee agency UNHCR calls the crossing from Libya to the EU “the deadliest sea crossing in the world”. The Mediterranean Sea has become a mass grave.
The EU – a peace power?!
The EU stands for massive armament and additional expenditure of all national defence budgets. For the establishment of a defence fund with 13 billion euros, for “military mobility”. For this, civil development projects such as “Brot für die Welt” (Bread for the World) are to receive less money.
The EU continues to supply weapons to Saudi Arabia. Its satellite navigation system “Galileo” was developed as a competitor project to the USA GPS system and also serves military purposes.
Europe – for equality for women?!
Throughout Europe, women earn on average 16 percent less than men. In the capitalist system, women are primarily responsible for private household and family management. That is the basis why around 31% of women in Europe work part-time. The compatibility of work and family life is an illusion. Childcare places are expensive and the supply is insufficient. The daily crucial tension of women is a real one.
Europe – women-friendly?!
Women in Europe have no right to self-determined pregnancy or abortion – laws, churches and the state regulate women.
Europe – borderless, peace-loving, for the full emancipation of women – that is not possible with the bourgeois parties and their representatives. They have all long proved that they serve the good of the monopolies! In order to enforce our demands, we must organise ourselves and unite much more closely. Women’s awareness has awakened on a broad front. The militant women’s movement in Europe is visible, audible, active in the whole spectrum of life and work. Boundless – women of all ages organize actions, fights and days of struggle:
The militant women’s movement in Europe is part of the world women’s movement. With two world women’s conferences and a theory seminar on the liberation of women, we have created an international grassroots movement that coordinates and cooperates across national borders and continents.
We call to you:
“Let us discuss alternatives to this capitalist system, let us find and fight for them!
There can be no radical change in the situation of women without drastic and fundamental changes in the political, economic and social system. The movement for the liberation of women must unite with the struggle for fundamental social changes”…. “We are contributing to the building of a new peace movement”.
Halinka Augustin, Netherlands and Susanne Bader, Germany
European Coordinators of the worldwomens conferences of grassroots women
Introductory speech by the Kurdish Women’s Movement
International Theoretical Seminar on Women’s Liberation
2-4 December 2018 – Bangalore
Dear women, dear comrades, dear sisters,
We are honoured to be in the presence of such revolutionary, struggling women. We are especially grateful to our Indian comrades for hosting us and making this historic gathering possible. On behalf of the Kurdish women’s movement, we salute you and your resistance.
We thank the organizers for dedicating the venue hall to our precious comrade Sakine Cansiz. Sakine Cansiz, nom de guerre Sara, born 1958 in Dersim, was one of the co-founders of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party. She was detained in 1980 in the infamous military prison of Diyarbakir, where she was tortured brutally. As a leading figure of the prisoner’s resistance she became a living legend. After her release in 1991, she joined the Kurdish guerrilla. She played a special role in the founding of the Kurdish women’s guerrilla and the autonomous organisation of women within the Kurdish liberation movement. On January 9, 2013 together with two of her comrades, Fidan Dogan and Leyla Saylemez, she was assassinated by the Turkish intelligence in Paris/France. , Comrade Sara has been a symbol for women’s resistance during her lifetime and continues to drive our struggle beyond her death.
Monika Gärtner-Engel and Halinka Augustin, November 2018
Dear friends and comrades,
I will read out a joint presentation written by Monika Gärtner-Engel, the former European coordinator and a provider of ideas for the World Women’s Conference and this seminar – and by myself. Monika is also the co-author of the book, New Perspectives for the Liberation of Women, which has been translated into seven languages to date and is studied and discussed in many countries worldwide. Unfortunately, she cannot participate herself but sends us warm greetings and best wishes for success. Although she cannot be present we asked her to contribute to this speech on the topic, which is based on the above-mentioned book! I will now read out the contribution.
Dear friends and comrades,
During recent years, the international militant women’s movement has obviously strengthened itself, accomplished great achievements through struggle, and has made significant progress.
Let us just look at the last few months:
Conclusion: more and more women are becoming part of the international industrial proletariat and the working class. They constitute the backbone of the militant women’s movement. The numerous female textile workers are in the vanguard worldwide.
From the Philippines sent Sharon Cabusao Silva greetings ” Fiery and militant greetings on International Women’s Day!”
From Africa writes Mwambu Margaret Jane from Uganda: “Thank you so much and wishing you a happy women’s day, see you soon”. Yours, Mwambu Margaret Jane
Dear Sisters & Women Activists,
Solidarity greetings to all on International Women’s Day. On 109th International Women’s Day Socialist Women’s Forum organized a rally at 11am 8th March 2019. Also six leftist women’s organizations including Socialist Women’s Forum observed International Women’s Day jointly. Our call was ‘protest rape-sexual harassment-violence and come on the struggle to establish women with human dignity and equal right’. On this occasion we demanded ‘ Equal right on inheritance’; ‘Equal-wage on equal-work’; ‘Establish uniform civil code’; ‘Economic value of household works in GDP’; ‘Stop violence against women’; ‘Stop gender-base violence at work’ etc.
Please keep us informed about your activities, analysis and keep in touch.
General Secretary/Central Committee
Socialist Women’s Forum
Solidarische Grüße an Alle am Internationalen Frauentag. Am 109. Internationalen Frauentag organisierte das Sozialistische Frauenforum am 8. März 2019 um 11 Uhr eine Demonstration. Auch sechs linke Frauenorganisationen, darunter das Socialist Women’s Forum, haben gemeinsam am Internationalen Frauentag teilgenommen. Unser Aufruf lautete “Protest gegen sexuelle Belästigung – Gewalt und der Kampf um die Verwirklichung von Frauen mit Menschenwürde und Gleichberechtigung”. Bei dieser Gelegenheit forderten wir ‘ Gleiches Recht auf Erbschaft’; ‘Gleiches Entgelt für gleiche Arbeit’; ‘Einheitliches Zivilgesetzbuch’; ‘Wirtschaftlicher Wert von Haushaltsarbeiten im BIP’; ‘Gewalt gegen Frauen beenden’; ‘Geschlechterbezogene Gewalt am Arbeitsplatz beenden’ usw.
Bitte informieren Sie uns über Ihre Aktivitäten, Analysen und bleiben Sie in Kontakt.
European Coordinators of the
World Women‘s Conferences of Grassroot Women
Halinka Augustin/Netherlands and Susanne Bader/Germany
Call of the World Women’s Movement for International Women’s Day 2019
“In the struggle for liberation I felt freedom for the first time, that’s why I organized myself!”
In many countries of the world, women’s consciousness has awakened on a massive scale!
On International Women’s Day, the day of struggle of the world women’s movement, we look with pride at our revolutionary pioneers like Clara Zetkin! She wrote under the impression of the first socialist revolution in Russia in 1917, as a result of which the right to vote for women was won:
“The first dictatorship of the proletariat is a true pioneer of full social equality for women.“
In many countries, on International Women’s Day 2019, the women’s movement chooses the “strike” as a form of protest, following the example of the workers’ movement. The struggle for the liberation of women is on the agenda in the 21st century. Women of all social strata and classes are at odds with the capitalist system, its representatives in the bourgeois parties and governments. But the contradiction is often still limited to individual questions and demands and is non-binding in its form. In order to become a force that can change society, it needs clarity and organization.
The first theoretical seminar of the World Women’s Movement 2018 in India was an important contribution to this. In this strategy debate it became clear:
From Africa to Europe to Asia female workers fight organized for their equal rights and participation in social life. In India, Sri Lanka, female tea plantation workers are on strike for equal wages with their male colleagues. Female textile workers in Bangladesh are fighting union battles for wages they and their families can live on. Women farmers demand a right to land. The approximately 67 million domestic workers worldwide demand employment contracts and social security, protection against sexual violence and an end to lawlessness. Carers and nurses in the Netherlands and Germany fight for recognition of their work and higher wages.
Women are climbing the highest mountains!
This was the motto of the six-days of the self-organized World Women’s Conference of grassroots women in Kathmandu, Nepal. 1,300 participants from 48 countries took part, including 74 delegates from 40 countries and more than 200 volunteer helpers. In ten workshops, the participants discussed central issues of the women’s movement. Women’s organisations from 61 countries were actively involved in the preparation programme.
Theses of the impulse paper by Monika Gaertner-Engel for the theoretical seminar on the theory of women’s liberation, India, December 2018