Our feminist struggles and those of our foremothers on every continent have forged new freedoms for us, our daughters and sons and all the young girls and boys who will walk the earth after us. In 2000, we collected 5 million signatures demanding the end of poverty and violence against women. In 2005 we took to the streets again, inviting humanity to join us in our struggle for Equality, Freedom, Justice, Peace and Solidarity, weaving our dreams at the same time as we wove and constructed our global quilt.
Today, as before, we denounce capitalism, patriarchy and their institutions - such as transnational corporations and national oligarchies
that extract profit through: discrimination, oppression and exploitation of our peoples and especially of women; the looting of our territories, water, earth, biodiversity and sources of energy; the non-recognition of our individual and collective rights. We condemn these systems, which are sustained by the privileges held by men over women, of whites over blacks and indigenous peoples, as well as the exclusion of lesbians, immigrants, and many other life situations, by them considered “abnormal”. We denounce their repressive character and the criminalisation of our struggles.
This 17th October – the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty – we draw attention to the reality lived by us as women: our work within our families and community is not recognised and increases with every public service budget cut, we have less ownership and control of resources, we have lower salaries, our employment conditions are precarious and companies control our sexuality and bodies. We do not have the same educational opportunities and our knowledge and qualifications are less recognised. The links between poverty and violence against women manifests itself in the trafficking of women and sexual exploitation, in feminicide, in the use of women’s bodies as spoils of war.
We recognise the various forms of oppression against women in all four corners of the world. We have manifested many times - and we will continue to do so - against the military occupations of Palestine, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Iraq. At this time, we particularly want to show our solidarity with women struggling against the military dictatorship in Burma, who played a central role during the initial protests against rises in fuel prices and thus ‘opened the way’ for monks, students and the general population. We support our sisters in Costa Rica in their NO vote in the national referendum on the subject of the Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the USA. We commit ourselves to the struggle to overcome the terrible violence suffered by women in the armed conflicts in the regions of Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Darfur, in western Sudan.
We reaffirm our pathways in the struggle against poverty and violence against women:
Women’s economic autonomy and the redistribution of wealth: Decent employment, along with workers rights and fair remuneration; management, use and control of resources and means of life; strengthening of the solidarity economy; valorisation of women’s reproductive and productive work. Non-payment of external debts that threaten the national sovereignty of countries, and surveillance of new loans. Non-negotiation or signing of free-trade agreements, whose aim is the protection of transnational corporations’ interests.
For food sovereignty and against the privatisation of nature: self-management of our environmental resources based on a development model that respects the basic needs of present and future generations. The right to maintain our means of life, to produce our own food in the way we want to and to feed ourselves according to our own cultural traditions.
No to violence against women: Fight against sexist violence, which is the instrument of control of our lives, our bodies and our sexuality, that turns us into objects subject to the desires of others. Commitment and practical actions on the part of the State and of society – particularly social movements – in the prevention and punishment of violence against women.
Peace and demilitarisation: To put an end to impunity and the use of women’s bodies as spoils of war and of rape as a weapon of war. Participation of women in the resolution of conflicts. Policies for disarmament and against occupations and foreign military presence, including military bases and exercises.
We will march until all women are free from oppression!
Granja do Ulmeiro, Portugal, 8th October, 2007
International Committee of the World March of Women
World March of Women