World March of Women Declaration, International Women’s Day 2012


This 8th March, we, women of the World
March of Women, continue on the march, to resist, and to construct a world for
us, for others, for our peoples, for all living things and the environment.
These actions continue to confront the onslaught of the lethal capitalist
paradigm with its false solutions to the crises and its fundamentalist,
conservative ideology.

We are bearing the brunt of a crisis of the
capitalist, racist and patriarchal system that, in order to sustain itself,
imposes brutal “austerity measures” that force us and our peoples to pay for a
crisis that we didn’t provoke: social service budget cuts, salary and pension
reductions, the promotion of war and the increased commodification of all
spheres of life. We women pay the highest price: we are the first to be made
redundant and, as well as our regular domestic tasks, we have to take on
responsibilities that were previously covered by social services. These
measures carry the weight of patriarchal, capitalist, racist ideology, and thus
support policies that encourage women to return to the home, and that stimulate
the advance of prostitution, the sale of women, and the increase of violence
against women, trafficking and migration.

We denounce the continued imposition of free trade
agreements that attempt to transform common goods such as health, education and
water in merchandise, and create markets for the exploitation of cheap labour
in countries of the global south. We reject the consumer culture that
impoverishes communities, creating dependency and exterminating local

We stand in solidarity with the women struggling
in Europe – especially in Greece, but also in Portugal, Galicia, the Spanish
State, Italy and Macedonia – who are organising themselves to resist the
neoliberal, reactionary offensive promoted by financial and political
institutions, and by their own governments, in the service of transnational
corporations and their interests. We also stand in solidarity with the women of
the global south who confront famine, impoverishment, slavery and violence, but
who continue to construct their resistance.

We denounce the advance of militarisation around
the world as a strategy to control our bodies, lives, movements and
territories, to strengthen neo-colonialism, and to guarantee a new round of
looting and appropriation of natural resources, as well as the continued
enrichment of the arms industry as a reaction to the crisis. We are fearful in
our affirmation of the threat of the return of societal values such as
militarisation and authoritarianism in diverse countries around the world, such
as: the Middle East, for example Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, where women and
people continue to struggle against all forms of fundamentalist dictatorship
and for real democracy; in Palestine where women struggle against colonialism
and Zionism; in various African countries – such as in Senegal where the
government uses the army’s strength to support electoral interests, or in Mali
where armed groups are terrorising the civil population in their struggle for
control of the northern region; in Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala and Colombia
where re-militarisation processes are underway; and in diverse countries in
Asia-Oceania where the presence of US military troops is being strengthened.

We stand in solidarity with women and peoples in
resistance and in struggle in all territories at war, under military control or
the threat of it, or who are experiencing the negative impacts of foreign
military presence. Despite these extreme situations, we women continue to
defend our territory, our bodies and land from the exploitation by official and
non-official, state and private, armies.

We denounce the globalised mass media’s collective
strategy that seeks to revitalise conservative dogmas and values and to put at
risk the achievements and advances of women around the world. Spaces for
participation are closed off, protest is criminalised, and the right to make decisions
about our own bodies is undermined. Our reproductive self-determination is
threatened in those places where we have already achieved it, such as in
diverse North American and European (Portugal, Spain, etc) countries, where
abortion is legal, but where this right is undermined in practice by cuts in
public budgets for hospitals and pregnancy interruption services. In many other
countries in Latin America and Asia-Oceania, such as in Brazil, Japan and
Vanuatu, women who abort continue to be criminalised. In Mexico, abortion has
been legalised in the Federal District (the capital) and is criminalised in the
rest of the country, while in Honduras, the day-after contraceptive pill has
been forbidden. In Nicaragua, abortion has been made a crime through Constitutional
Reform, even when the mother’s life is at risk or in rape cases. Following this
example, in Russia the president’s wife is at the forefront of campaigns to
prohibit abortion without exception. Self-entitled “pro-life” groups – that in
reality defend the death of women – offend us and health professionals in North
America, pressure parliament to change the law in South Africa, and prevent any
kind of debate in Pakistan.

We stand in solidarity with all women who continue
to struggle and confront the police, public services and the unjust justice
system, as well as those who struggle against violence and its perpetrators.

In the face of such situations, we are present in
the streets, we create our alternatives, and we put them into practice. Once
again, we demonstrate our resistance and our self-defence through our bodies
and our territories. We strengthen our struggle for structural changes in our
lives and we will continue on the march until we are all free!

We call for the networking between our movements
and the strengthening of alliances with other movements, for it is in this way
that we will construct a free world.

Around the World,
8th March 2012