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:
- in France, 250,000 civil servants in 150 cities, many women, against President Macron’s “reform plans”
- in Spain, on International Women’s Day, six million against violence against women
- in Belgium the European campaign for the self-determined right to abortion and against the patronising of church and state took place
- in Germany, nurses at the Celenus Clinic in Bad Langensalza (Thuringia) won a collective agreement after 220 strike days against lockouts and threats of dismissal.
- in the Netherlands, nursing staff, nurses struggle for better working conditions
- young women, girls and boys all over Europe are active for the environment and the future in the FridaysForFuture movement.
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