About IWD and Power…
International Women’s Day is about power: theirs and ours. Their power puts courts and legislatures in charge of whether or not a woman can have an abortion. Our power leaves this decision where it belongs: with the woman herself. Their power dictates a profit-driven “managed care” health care system, at the service of the health insurance industry and transnational pharmaceutical companies. Our power lies in grassroots organizing, for a national system of universal health care under community control.
Their power rests in greedy corporations owned by an ultra-wealthy few that deplete the world’s resources and exploit its people. Our power depends on building a mass movement for a new society rooted in cooperation, equality, and workers’ control.
Their power dumps toxic waste sites in our poorest communities-of-color, and builds dams that destroy the livelihoods of countless farmers in our poorest countries. Our power demands environmental justice. Their power busts unions. Our power is at our worksites, talking with our co-workers about the connections between workers’ rights, human rights, and women’s rights. Their power is “welfare reform” that pushes women into low-paid, dead-end jobs, and their children into inadequate child care. Our power is the fight for the creation of good jobs with pay equity and benefits, and the full funding of quality child care, education, and social services.
Their power dupes young men and women into signing away their rights and often their lives for the sake of U.S. imperialism. Our power gets the word out on alternatives to “jobs” in the military and calls for huge cuts in the military budget. Their power blames hunger and poverty on over-population. Our power blames hunger and poverty on policies and practices consciously designed to protect and enrich the global capitalist class, in particular the agribusiness of the most developed countries.
Their power gets channeled through politicians whose primary allegiance is to the economic requirements of global capitalism. Our power gets exerted through political action completely independent of both mainstream, capitalist parties. Their power resides in exploitation, inequality, domination, violence, and deception. Our power resides in cooperation, compassion, respectful communication, justice, and collective action.
March 8th — International Women’s Day– is our day. It’s our opportunity to come together to speak out for a world where democratic socialist feminist values and programs enable people to live lives in ways they never will be able to under capitalism and patriarchy. That’s the truth. That’s our power
Budget Cuts Are An Assault On Women
Now is the time for both women and men across Scotland, the UK, and internationally to take to the streets to demand an end to violence against women and the attitudes that support it.
The cuts which have descended on the public sector fall heavily on women, and aid and abet violence against women in all its forms. It is likely to be women that are most severely affected by the changes to housing benefit and to working tax credit. It is likely to be women who will pick up the slack as social care is slashed and subsidies for childcare disappear. It is likely to be women who absorb the rising anger of a generation of youth cast aside unable to obtain either employment or further education.
As radical activists, we need to take advantage of all opportunities to put forward a socialist and feminist perspective on violence against women, including all budget cuts. We must make our position clear: capitalism and patriarchy breed violence. What we are confronting today, in these austerity budgets, is systemic violence that includes poverty, unemployment; and inadequate housing, childcare, mass transit, social services, and access to education and training– all coupled with discrimination and bigotry based on gender, age, sexual preference, and physical appearance and ability.
Massive layoffs and budget cuts are guaranteeing further disintegration of the public sector– a global crisis that is causing an upsurge in the level of all forms of violence against women.
Zero tolerance of the abuse of women. Defend and expand the public sector. No cuts! Tax the rich!
Susan Dorazio & Mhairi MacAlpine