Global actions honor women's resistance
Mar 19, 2009
Celebrations, commemorations and protests were held worldwide on
International Women's Day (IWD) this year from Lima, Peru, to Lahore,
Pakistan. The themes varied but all actions demonstrated women declaring their
rights and protesting against injustice.
Below is a representation of just some of the global activities on
IWD—March 8—this year.
The heroic women of Gaza stood up in the face of a U.S.-backed Israeli
military siege that left 192 of their sisters dead and hundreds injured, with
thousands made homeless. Thousands celebrated IWD all over Gaza. They called
upon the international community to end the 18-month siege. Their sisters in
the Occupied West Bank cities of Ramallah and Hebron also rallied.
Philippine women marched by the thousands in Manila, under the leadership of
Gabriela, a women’s organization, to denounce U.S.-Philippine military
exercises and the Visiting Forces Agreement, while demanding higher wages and
lower food prices.
Migrant women workers, who number in the tens of millions worldwide, were
represented in demonstrations in Hong Kong, Greece, Lebanon and many other
countries, demanding decent pay and working conditions, and an end to all forms
African workers in Athens, Greece.
Pakistani women demonstrated in Islamabad, Karachi and other cities for
equal rights and an end to discrimination. In Dhaka, Bangladesh, a prominent
banner carried by marchers denounced violence against women and girls.
Women in Warsaw and other Eastern European cities protested the setbacks in
their countries since the fall of the socialist governments. They demanded
higher pay, full reproductive rights and separation of church and state, in
opposition to the collaboration of the Catholic Church and government in
denying them choice in reproductive matters.
Women of Via Campesina held a sit-in at the Ministry of Agriculture in
Brasília, Brazil, demanding justice. They and their sisters, who carried
out occupations and demonstrations in Pernambuco, Pará, São Paulo,
Alagoas and several other states, objected to government support for
agribusiness. They demanded rights for pro-worker social movements and an end
to repression and violence against them.
In Caracas and other Venezuelan cities, marchers tied together women’s
issues and their country’s revolutionary process under the theme,
“Men and women weaving socialist conscience for our mother Earth.”
President Hugo Chávez announced the newly expanded Ministry of Women and
Gender Equality. This bureau will promote women’s committees in tens of
thousands of local community councils. Women’s economic and social rights
will be expanded under new legislation.
Socialist Cuba ceaselessly puts the goals of International Women’s Day
into action under the leadership of the Federation of Cuban Women, whose
membership is 4 million. This year 900 delegates commemorated this vital day at
the federation’s eighth Congress in Havana.