This #25N marks the 60th anniversary of the atrocious femicide of the Mirabal sisters, Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa who were kidnapped, tortured and killed for rebelling against the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. In their memory, 25 November has been established as an international date for the fight against violence against women and gender diversity. Sixty years after that triple femicide, the entire world is crying out: Patricia, Minerva and Maria Teresa Presentes. #NiUnaMenos, vivas nos queremos. (Not One Less-We want us alive)
The combination of the COVID-19 pandemic, together with the current capitalist economic crisis, has only deepened violence against women and gender diversity, with an increase in femicide and transvesticides, sexual abuse and rape, an increase in care work that is feminised, new impediments to access to sexual and reproductive health, an increase in the wage gap and a greater feminisation of poverty.
The precariousness of work for women has deepened, since besides being the most vulnerable and the first to lose their jobs or suffer low wages, teleworking or home-office hours have been imposed, which make schedules more flexible and increase burdens, making double or triple shifts increasingly strenuous, as with millions of teachers, most whom are women, who are at the forefront of government-imposed online education.
Women continue to be the protagonists on the front line of the battle against the pandemic. Women health workers in all countries are doing a heroic job in caring for people suffering from COVID-19 under conditions of government neglect and privatisation of health systems and losing labour rights. Instead of increasing the budgets for supplying the hospitals and hiring more health workers and providing decent salaries, the treasuries are used to pay the foreign debts to the imperialist agencies, or the IMF austerity plans imposed to burden the working class with the crisis.
If we look at the numbers of male violence in the world, they are chilling: only in 2018 (UN) 87.000 women were victims of femicide and new reports of UN Women (2020) show that until April of this year 243 million women and girls between 15 and 49 years old had suffered sexual or physical violence worldwide by their partners or ex-partners. In addition, for every three months of the pandemic, an additional 15 million cases of gender-based violence occur worldwide.
This #25N is not just another date in the feminist calendar, but it comes in the worst crisis in the history of the capitalist-imperialist system. Therefore, we have the challenge to transform it into a great world day of struggle against the capitalist governments of the day, which are responsible for the situation of women and gender diversity. We take the example of working women, black, migrant and indigenous women and of the popular sectors that are on the streets fighting against the austerity plans that are more violence, more oppression and exploitation for working women. Like the Mexican women against femicide and trafficking networks; the Polish women against the attack on the right to abortion; the Chilean women against Piñera and the Pinochet constitution; the Argentinean women with the green tide for the right to decide; the Peruvian women who are leading a popular rebellion against the corrupt political regime; the black and migrant women who are part of the anti-racist rebellion in the heart of imperialism; the Algerian women who promoted the 8M the Hirak and the people’s rebellion; the Turkish women who do not leave the streets to resist and protect their rights, such as alimony for divorced women and the Istanbul Convention that protects and fights patriarchal violence. With all of them we say no more gender-based violence, and we denounce governments are responsible!
As part of the struggle against violence, the women’s movement faces the repressive and criminalisation policy of governments, who commit police abuses on women’s mobilisations, as happened in Cancun, Mexico, where a demonstration demanding justice for the femicide of Alexis was dispersed with gunshots, resulting in several wounded and injured. Repression that we women who fight for our rights face, in every march in the Dignity Square in Chile, the women of the land seizures in Argentina, the Turkish women against Erdogan’s repressive regime.
From the International Workers’ Unity-Fourth International we call for coordinated actions of struggle all over the world against all forms of patriarchal violence by confronting the capitalist governments and the reactionary churches that are enemies of women’s rights. Let us build a great anti-racist, anti-clerical, anti-imperialist, anti-patriarchal and anti-capitalist day all over the world to fight against male violence and for our rights. Against the capitalist governments’ austerity plans, so women workers do not pay for the crisis. Long live the international struggle of women and gender diversity against violence. Let us go out to conquer each of our rights.
International Workers’ Unity-Fourth International