BUT – We need more! Forward in the Building of an International and Socialist Women's Movement!
Article by Almedina Gunic, International Women's Secretary of the RCIT, 8th March 2019, www.thecommunists.net
From Delhi to Seoul, from Lagos to Pretoria, from Caracas to Buenos Aires, from Moscow to Paris – several million women took the streets on International Women's Day 2018 to protest against oppression and sexism. The militants raised slogans for equal wage, full access to education, the end of violence against women, abortion rights and many more. For more than 24hours women protests left a vivid mark in the public attention and provoked debates. All of this happened exactly one year ago. However, the world has not changed to the better for the working class women and oppressed since then.
In September 2018 a series of rapes – mainly against minors – shocked India. Every 13.5 minutes a woman is raped in that country. Since the movement against rape started in 2013, many women as well as their supporters developed in the field of self-defense. However, the sexual attacks against minors, especially against children, have reached a new high. In addition, the abuse of adult women has not decreased.
In the year of 2016 we have seen that 14 out of the 25 countries with the highest rate of femicide were located in Latin America. In an Oxford study from 2018 it is stated that 86% of young people aged 15 to 25 in the region of Latin America explained in a survey that they would not intervene if a friend of them would hit his girlfriend.
A number of local initiatives have formed in Ethiopia to protect school girls from child marriage. In the year of 2018, in average two in five young women under the age of 18 were forced to marry and give birth to children. The young women in South Africa protested the racist rules of the schools which regulated the hair styles to standards of Caucasian hair. Until today the schools have not changed their standards in this most wealthy and most developed country in Black Africa.
Black women in the United States suffer from the effects of racism on an incredibly high level. Two studies were published in 2018 saying that a well educated, healthy and wealthy white woman will have a much smaller risk for early death during pregnancy compared to poorer white women. A well educated, healthy and wealthy black woman is not only a rare phenomenon in the U.S. She will still have the highest risk of early death during pregnancy irrespective of her wealthy and well educated background and her good health. The only reason for this is the massive racism that results in less professional help by the health staff irrespective of the wealth of the black women.
These are just few examples of so many forms of oppression and exploitation of women worldwide. The International Women's Day is an important symbol of resistance. It mobilizes the women of the working class and the oppressed to take the streets and demand their rights. For this, we honor the 8th March each and every year. But this is not enough. A special day for the cause of women's liberation out of 365 days each year is not enough. Each and every day in this year and each and every day in the years ahead has to be a day of vivid protests for women's rights.
It is time to organize ourselves not only for this one day per year. It is time to build unity and solidarity of working class women internationally and consistently. It is time to make steps forward in the creation of an International and Socialist Women's Movement! We have to educate and organize ourselves in order to fulfill this task. Sisters all around the world, it is time to join the RCIT and to fight with the support of an international, revolutionary organization! It is time to prepare for the future! It is time to prepare for a Socialist Women's Movement that makes each day to an International Women's Day!