As the world’s eyes are on Ukraine on this International Women’s Day, March 8, 2022, we are reminded of the disproportionate impact that war and militarism have on women. This is a reality that the women of the global South are acutely aware of because of the steady assaults on the humanity of peoples in the South executed by the U.S./EU/NATO Axis of Domination. The militarized terror of the Axis of Domination in the service of their economic elites have been even more intensely felt by the women of Africa and the African Diaspora. The socialist groundings of the day were expressed in its early unfolding. Indeed, the earliest militants for International Working Women’s Day, lifted up the violence of capitalism as labor exploitation.
International Women’s Day
Beijing - Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), and the theme for this year’s celebration is “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.” We recognize the tremendous contribution and leadership demonstrated by women and girls around the world in shaping our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and a more sustainable future. A global review of the progress achieved towards commitments made at the Fourth World Conference on Women 25 years ago in Beijing, conducted by UN Women in 2020, reveals that no country has fully delivered on the Beijing Platform for Action, nor is close to it. Globally, women currently hold just one-quarter of the seats at the tables of power across the board and are absent from some key decision-making spaces, including in peace and climate negotiations. This reality is despite the advances that we can see globally: there are now more girls in school than ever before, fewer women are dying in childbirth, and over the past decade, 131 countries have passed laws to support women’s equality.
International Women’s Day was founded after 15,000 women marched through New York City in 1908 to demand three things: better hours, better pay, and voting rights. In most of the world, the last of these has been cemented – but the pandemic has thrown the former two into jeopardy. In summer 2020, the McKinsey Global Institute reported that around the world, women were at 1.8 times the risk of Covid redundancy compared to the risk facing men. Research from the University of Exeter also found that women in the UK were twice as likely to have lost their job during the first wave of the pandemic. Around 133,000 more women were furloughed during the first wave, too, meaning more are likely in line for redundancies when the scheme ends. In the UK, as redundancies have proliferated, men’s employment has now fallen more than women’s – but that women were often first in the firing line indicates qualitative divisions in work.
On the 8th of March, we commemorate working women, revolutionary women. Clara Zetkin, later a founder of the German Communist Party, proposed the commemoration in a conference of socialist women in 1920, to pay homage to the struggle of women against capitalist exploitation. We remember the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of March 26, 1911, in the US where 146 women textile workers were burned alive in a factory with the exits chained shut, assassinated by Big Capital. We commemorate the fight for social justice, for the rights of the working class, and the struggle against patriarchy and capitalism, which are inextricably linked. March 8 also stands out as a highly revolutionary date because of the events of 1917 in Czarist Russia when thousands of women came out into the streets demanding their rights, protesting exploitation and...
Chile has witnessed a week of renewed protests demanding the resignation of billionaire President Sebastián Piñera and calling for a Peoples’ Convention to scrap former dictator Augusto Pinochet’s 1980 neoliberal laws, replacing them with a new Constitution. On March 8 — International Working Women’s Day — more than a million people demonstrated in Santiago and elsewhere. Reporter Alisha Lubben in the March 8 Chile Today News described the massive event in Santiago: “The streets were electric with the voices of over one million women. Along the metro ride to Santa Lucia, cheers and chants permeated into the stations and grew louder and more enthusiastic with each stop. “Exiting the metro station, reaching the march was nearly impossible as even side streets and alleyways were brimming with women and children.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A group of women outside Mexico City’s main cathedral clashed on Sunday with men protesting abortion who made Nazi salutes, among scuffles that left dozens injured during a protest of tens of thousands of people on International Women’s Day.