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.
Feudal structures, chains of morality, religions, customs, traditions and laws build a network of the special oppression of women. This is organized by the bourgeois state and family system in capitalism. Throughout the world, women are primarily responsible for housework, raising children, caring for and caring for the elderly and the sick. The intensification of the general crisis of capitalism increasingly questions the living conditions of the masses worldwide. The 300 participants from three continents reported on this impressively at the International Theoretical Seminar of the World Women’s Movement in India at the end of 2018. “We women bear the greatest burden, under very difficult conditions. But we women can do more than housework and children, we stand with men in the struggle for our rights. Capitalism is our enemy, not the men! “Organization is the guarantor for the success of our struggles”, “we lead individual struggles but in the future we must fight together across borders”.
Women of all classes worldwide demand a right to self-determination over their bodies, their lives. Starting from Argentina with ½ million women, a wave of protests has spread in the countries of Latin America. Every 30 hours a woman dies in Argentina due to domestic violence, in Germany every 58 hours. In many European countries, pupils refuse to attend classes on Fridays to save the natural environment and its future. Increasingly, the struggles are politicized, directed against the policies of right-wing governments, against fascism and war. In Brazil hundreds of thousands of women demonstrated against the fascist and extremely misogynistic president Bolsonaro. In Turkey and Northern Kurdistan women stand up against the fascist Erdogan regime. In Rojava, women’s defense units have fought in a leading and highly organized way for liberation from the fascist IS and have taken significant steps forward in women’s liberation, democracy and freedom.
In the face of the looming Second World War in 1932, Clara Zetkin, as President by seniority of the Reichstag, called for “the united front of all working people to throw back fascism”.
Today the women’s movement again faces the challenge to face imperialist rivalry and threats of war. Their justified struggle for liberation, for the full emancipation in a liberated society needs a transnational union and coordination.
Since its beginning in 2006, the process of establishing World Women’s Conferences of grassroots women has developed into an international movement of world women. This was only possible because it is organized and works on the basis of principles. We have set ourselves the goal of strengthening the women’s movement in the long term! The development of the militant women’s movement in one’s own country is a yardstick. To achieve this, women’s organisation must improve and the coordination of world women must be reliable and continuous.
We will build a society in which women are not discriminated against, exploited and oppressed!
Long live the international militant women’s movement – forward to the 3rd World Women’s Conference 2021!