This year, March 8 stands again as a date of great struggle around the world for the rights of working class women, young women and girls. From the IWL-FI, we will push with all our forces the calling for a strike on this date, and we will push all initiatives to strengthen it in the countries we are present.
Unlike what the UN and the entrepreneurs say, attempting to sell roses and candy, March 8 was originated from a workers and revolutionary struggle. This date, declared as the International Women’s Day, first emerged as a rank and file movement of immigrant women. They worked in textile factories in New York and organized broad strikes and actions to improve their working conditions and to obtain the right to union representation.
The 1910, International Socialist Women Conference proposed March 8 as a day of world struggle of all the working class to achieve rights and equality and for liberation from oppression and exploitation for all working class women. However, this day only became international after the textile workers in Saint Petersburg began the 1917 workers revolution with their strike, which would influence the entire world from Russia.
The strike method as a tool of the working class for March 8 is an achievement we must strengthen. We do not want this day “off” as public employees, nor do we want a feminine stoppage. On the contrary, we want to go to our workplaces, unions and neighborhoods for the entire working class to take women’s demands into their hands.
We will lead the fight, we will speak our needs, our more urgent demands, and we will decide how to fill the streets on this date. But we do not want factories, schools, commerce and enterprises working without us that day, we want to stop them!
We want unions and labor federations led by different bureaucracies to stop isolating us. They must truly take on this struggle, calling for general strikes on March 8 in defense of women’s rights. We would like to relate each one of the daily struggles to this fight. They must join our demands with those of the entire working class.
Our struggle must not be limited to just facing supposed “emerging fascism”, but it must face all hunger and submission policies from the different imperialist and lackey governments, whether right wing, far right wing or even those self-named “left wing”.
Our calling and our fight is so that they all stop favoring the great enterprises and we free ourselves from the submission imposed on us women workers. For example, working until death with the pensions reforms pushed around the world, or the inhumane conditions the migrants in the Mediterranean or the USA are exposed to. These governments repress and persecute the fighters. We also face them to demand immediate freedom of political prisoners.
We stand for the demand of equal wage, extended maternity leave, daycare in workplaces, flexible hours for mothers, workers’ self-defense against harassment, formal labor conditions and non-slave work for black, migrants and natives. Besides, the demand of labor social quotas policies and quality public services.
We demand our right to life. We demand policies of prevention against male chauvinistic violence, punishment to rapists, stalkers and women murderers. We demand the end of hate crimes against trans, travesties and all LBTIs.
We stand for our right to decide the time of motherhood, and not to be mothers if we do not wish it. We demand legal, safe and free abortion, as well as policies and budget to protect motherhood and childhood, and for the right to simple adoption for women who for any reason may not become pregnant people.
We want young women to be free to walk the streets without disappearing, being raped or suffering slave jobs. We demand the right to education and we demand for all Churches to be separated from the states.
We will fill the streets on this day, and we will fight together for a world without exploitation or oppression. The fight for our emancipation will only end fully when we end exploitation. Therefore, our fight is part of the entire working class, fighting male chauvinism amongst our class and incorporating women in all the fights of the workers.
The IWL-FI will take on this fight and we will make our best efforts to prepare it. Besides being an essential human right, the fight for women’s liberation is part of our daily fight for the building of a socialist world, where, as Rose Luxemburg said, “a world where we are socially equal, humanly different and completely free”.