Today 8th March marks International Women’s Day. This is an historic day that has to be remembered for the struggles of poor women over 100 years ago who fought for an 8-hour work day, and decent working and living conditions for women. Over the decades International Women’s Day has symbolized the ongoing struggles for living wages, against violence, the rights of women and most importantly against patriarchy.
Although more than 100 years has passed since this significant date not much has changed for women and girls who live in rural areas. Women and girls who live in rural areas in SADC play a crucial role in improving rural livelihoods and the overall wellbeing of those who live in the country side. However, they experience increasing levels of inequality and are often at the forefront of being marginalised and displaced as a result of the increasing land grabs in the region, no access to clean drinking water and are victims of gender-based violence.
of the World Women’s Conferences
of grassroot women
Halinka Augustin/ Europe / Netherlands
Susanne Bader/ Europe / Germany
Zaman Masudi/ Germany / Deputy
Meral Cicek / Near East
2018 / 03 / 18
Women of the World ! World women of all continents ! „Women rise for Afrin !“
The Turkish government carries out an invasion against international law in the Democratic Federation of North Syria. Hundreds of thousands of men and women are escaping.
The kurdish women movement calls for an international solidarity campaign „Women rise for Afrin !“.
At our 2. World Women‘s Conference of grassroot women in Kathmandu / Nepal we decided mutually: Our partnerships across country borders from grassroots to grassroots are a duty that no struggle is left without solidarity.
On 21 March 2018 ICOR ( International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations ) calls for a worldwide day of action.„Efrin will live!“
21 March is the day of the Newroz festival, a day of peace and freedom. This day and also other actions on March 24, 2018 ( Global Action day for Afrin ) are fine opportunities to make good on our promise. „Women rise for Efrin !“ „Efrin will live !“
Let us take over responsibility for actions and alliances and let us show that we fight alongside our kurdish sisters !
International Appeal on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
“On this day, 25 November, we unite forces with all women in the world to eliminate all form of violence. Our main concern is the fight for freedom, equality, justice, solidarity and, above all, peace.”
Continental Coordinators – World Women Conferences Representative – World March of Women Africa
In West Africa numerous women are caught up in battles. They do all they can to support the demands for better living conditions for everyone.
Women are the people most responsible for the survival of families and thus particularly vulnerable because the have to provide the bare necessities, also during battles. Despite all the risks, they have do carry out their activities accordingly. They organise themselves.
In Kenya many young people lose their lives in the fight against government troops. Women desperately seek platforms for a solution. The political situation demands that women raise their voices against oppression. In Nairobi a large peace demonstration denounced murder. But police and the military continue to kill. In Sudan we see that the decision of the people for independence subjects many women to great violence. In Somalia militarism remains a threat with terrorist attacks and bombs. It is not possible for women to gather together. Rape is used as a mass war weapon.
Call for an International Day of Action against Feminicide
Let’s make August 3rd the International Day of Struggle against Feminicide through our joint organization!
On August 3rd 2017 is the third anniversary of the genocidal attack by the so-called Islamic State (IS) on Êzidi (Yazidi) Kurds in the Northern Iraqi city of Sinjar. Starting on August 3, 2014 the attacks and massacres caused a humanitarian catastrophe but importantly had the genocidal objective of eradicating the whole Êzidi community. Women were systematically targeted within this genocide and therefore it also constitutes a feminicide.
On August 3, 2014 the world became witness to a genocidal attack by IS, having the ultimate goal of eliminating one of the oldest religious communities in the world, the Êzidis. Rendered helpless and defenceless when the peshmerga troops of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) withdrew from their positions in Sinjar without prior warning, the Êzidi community suffered systematic massacre, rape, torture, displacement, enslavement of girls and women and forced recruitment of boys as child soldiers.
Unofficial reports show that over 5 thousand women and children were kidnapped and sold on slavemarkets in the course of the assault. The women and girls were not only sold in Northern Iraq and Syria but also in countries like Saudi Arabia, where they continue to be held and exploited as sex slaves.
Support from the chair of the federal union of women in ver.di – now more than ever.
We – the women in ver.di – would like to express our strongest support for the struggles and actions taken by our comrades of the GARMENT WORKERS TRADE UNION CENTRE.
Having followed your struggles for dignified wages and working conditions, the women in ver.di are deeply impressed by your activism and your ongoing mobilization. We are proud to show our solidarity to you — to workers – especially women – who rise against a system of exploitation that might seem impossible to defeat.
We in ver.di know how difficult this fight can be – even if you surely face problems and resistances we can hardly imagine. This is why it is important to us to show you that your voices are heard and you actions are seen here in Germany and in Europe.
In times of right-wing politicians on the rise who threaten reproductive rights and health care for women all over Europe and the U.S. and neoliberal politics that affect financial security of workers everywhere we feel the need to be an ally to working women all over the world.
Strong trade unions that voice the demands of working women are an important counterpart to capitalist exploitation and to those who hold power and wealth. To us, gender equality and women’s rights are at the heart of these struggles, since they are far too often neglected and under attack. To us, solidarity, exchange and cooperation with organizations all over the world are important values we would like to uphold. Rest assured that the women in ver.dioffer their support to you.
We will continue supporting your struggle on an individual and collective basis by reporting on your actions to our committee members, by further endorsing the Joly Project and by actively promoting the Clean Clothes Campaign – which implies asking critical questions on the origins of the clothes we buy and the conditions under which they were manufactured.
Lastly, we wish you an excellent and fruitful conference where courageous and fierce ideascan be discussed and shared.
The women in ver.di send their kindest regards from Berlin and stand beside you in
Suse Bader, Germany – Europe Coordinator
Halinka Augustin, Netherlands – Europe Coordinator
Zaman Masudi, Germany – Deputy Europe Coordinator
Call for International Women‘s Day 2017, March 8
We want a social order in which women are truly liberated!
106 years have passed since the German socialist Clara Zetkin proclaimed the International Women‘s Day at the II. International Conference of Socialist Women! Peace, in the face of the imminent imperialist World War I, jobs, and women‘s suffrage were central demands back then. It has been 100 years since the victorious October Revolution in Russia took place which brought about groundbreaking achievements for the liberation of women in socialism.
For 10 years we have been building a democratic movement for the preparation of World Women‘s Conferences which stands above party lines and which is financially independent!
Two successful World Women‘s Conferences, which were organised independently by the grass-roots women, resulted from this. „Young World Women“ were born and have become involved actively: „No more violence – no more low pay – no more sexism – stop at the red line“ is their slogan. In only 10 years a World Women‘s Movement came into being which took roots in grass-roots movements and organisations in all continents. This transnational coordination and cooperation is farsighted and seminal. All over the world, women face great challenges. The mass of women carry the greatest burden because they have to go through their living conditions under the most difficult circumstances. World Women in Europe report how austerity programmes brought families poverty, hunger and hardship. There is no or only insufficient medical service – pregnant women are forced to deliver on tables and sick people are brought to the hospital by tractors. Women are increasingly exposed to sexual violence. Women belonging to minorities, such as Sinti and Romanies, are regarded as „fair game“ by their employers and the police. Sexism subordinates women and treats them as commodities, sex objects. In all European countries, women earn less than men. Concerning vocation and career, they are discriminated against everywhere. When they become old, they live in poverty! The mass of women is doubly exploited and oppressed! It is the role in the family allocated to the woman by society which is responsible for this. More and more women are getting into conflict with this. The militant women‘s movement in Europedemonstrates its force! Women are active in resistance commitees against the company VW and its criminal manipulation of gas emmissions. In the struggle for tariffs, employees of the health- and special-care services demand more personell or „Strike on the International Women‘s Day!“ This demand comes from Italy and the United States of America. Miner‘s Women were part of the 2nd International Miner‘s Conference in India. In Diyarbakir/Kurdistan, the Kurdish women‘s movement carried out an extraordinary congress for their struggle for freedom and democracy in the middle of a fascist dictatorship. Resistance is forming, mass demonstrations and the occupation of parlaments etc. take place in Poland, Romania, Spain, France, the Netherlands and many more, against right-wing politics and governments. Worldwide, over 60 million people are refugees. Women and children are especially exposed to violence, arbitrariness and abuse. The war in Syria has created a humanitarian catastrophe of an unimaginable dimension. The World Women‘s Europe Conference in November 2016 took a stand: „We World Women of Europe oblige ourselves…to bond tightly with refugees in our countries,…and to support their demands to right of residence, legal papers, existencial help and the reunification of families. Together, we want to fight for our rights and our dignity!“
It is necessary to build a new and independent World Peace Movement in order to combat the roots of imperialist wars. This World Peace Movement rejects to be in the pocket of any imperialist country of the world. Here, women must stride forwards constructively. The Europe of those in power is built on sand! The World Women‘s Movement is a movement of the future! Strengthen the militant women‘s movement in your country! Campaign with us for a future without expolitation and oppression and in which humans live in harmony with nature! Let us discuss and exchange our views about alternatives to this system based on profit!
„Women of the world will climb the highest mountains! We will build a society in which women are not discriminated, exploited and oppressed!“ (Resolution of Kathmandu – 2nd World Women‘s Conference of grass-roots women 2016)
3 August 2016 marks the 2nd anniversary of the Feminicide and Genocide by Islamic State (IS) against Yazidi people in Sinjar/Shengal. On 3 August 2014 IS attacked and captured Sinjar, which is the historical homeland of Yazidis, a Kurdish religious minority whose ancient religion is linked to Zoroastrianism. ISIL destroyed Yazidi shrines, executed resisters and demanded the residents to swear allegiance or be killed. During the IS-massacre in Sinjar up to 5.000 Yazidis were executed. Almost 200.000 people managed to flee. 50.000 Yazidis fled into the Sinjar Montains, where they were trapped without food, water or medical care, facing starvation and dehydration.
At the same time approximately 5.000 Yazidi women and children were captured. They were appropriated as spoils of war and sold as sex slaves to Muslim men or given to ISIL commanders. Those who refuse to convert were tortured, raped and eventually murdered. Babies born in the prison where the women are held were taken from their mothers to an unknown fate. Women allegedly raped by ISIL fighters have committed suicide by jumping to their death from Mount Sinjar. While a high number of women managed to flee or could be liberated, approximately some 3.000 women are still in ISIL captivity.
European Coordinators of the 2nd World Women’s Conference of grassroots women
Halinka Augustin (Netherlands), Monika Gaertner-Engel (Germany)
Maria Hagberg (Sweden), Angélica Urrutia (Germany), deputies
To the Women of Europe
Call for International Women’s Day, March 8
March 8 we go out on the streets and hold rallies and other activities together with millions of other women all over the world. International Women’s Day is one of thecommon days of action and struggle of the
World women – those women worldwide who are preparing and will be holding the 2nd World Women’s Conference of grassroots women in Kathmandu/Nepal from 13 to 18 March, 2016.
Women’s Women’s consciousness and internationalist cooperation is growing, worldwide and in Europe. In the Europe wide actual refugee disaster, refugee women and their children often are the most affected – and women often are in the forefront, when it comes to organizing international solidarity and practical help on grass-roots level.
Today on 25 November, the worldwide Day Against Violence Against Women, we have gathered here in Stuttgart at the Memorial Against Fascism and War. This Day Against Violence Against Women is a cornerstone of joint action of the World Women’s Conference of grassroots women and is being observed in many countries worldwide. The 2nd World Women’s Conference is planned to be taking place next March in Nepal, also because the women’s movement has played an important political role in Nepal.
Correspondence from worldwomen in Essen, Germany
on the occasion of International day against violence on women
Dear Sisters from Anwa, Nepal
With great dismay we read 2 days ago your letter to all world women. As representatives of eight women’s organizations preparing in Nepal the World Women’s Conference, you wrote us: “We have analyzed the situation, to be very hard and difficult after the in and out blockade by India. Most of the hotels are closed, schools are closed, public transportations are almost halted, household has become very difficult, most sensitive part is people are dying lack of medication. If the situation does not change, at least we have to postpone the conference, therefore they have decided to await and watch for more 15 days.
We hold great esteem for you and will accept your decision. You accomplished great things in the past and also now, during the preparation of the World Women’s Conference of Grassroots Women 2016 in your country!