Since 2021, all over the world, especially for women in the poorest countries, there are bitter effects of the deepening misery due to the economic and environmental crisis. The general increase in prices, the lack of jobs and food mean hunger and hardship for poor families. The effects of the transition to climate catastrophe, such as the deforestation of the Amazon jungle, or regional environmental disasters, undermine livelihoods worldwide. Women and children suffer particularly. Their dignity is often trampled underfoot in the global refugee movement, which has grown to over 80 million.
Women have had to demand minimum conditions such as democracy, basic rights, and protections against Covid-19. Even in the pandemic, women around the world have kept the traditional goals of the women’s movement struggle upright.
A clear sign of this is the wave of protests in 2021 against violence against women, for gender equality, and against restrictions on abortion.
In Poland, women took to the streets in January and in October against even tighter restrictions on abortion.
In India, another rape that resulted in death prompted numerous demonstrations. A Dalit girl, only nine years old, was abused and murdered while fetching water. More than 32,000 cases of rape were registered in the Asian country in 2019, one rape every 17 minutes.
We especially want to highlight the courageous struggle of Afghan women who take their protests against the fascist Taliban regime to the streets even at the risk of their lives. To them belongs our full international solidarity in the struggle for women’s liberation.
Workers around the world are fighting together against mass layoffs, plant closures and the dismantling of democratic rights and freedoms. Plants like Nissan in Spain closed in 2021, as did General Motors, Ford and LG suppliers in Brazil and India. Thousands of workers lost their jobs as livelihoods for their families. Stop stewards at VW in South Africa, who fought for coronavirus protections, continue to fight their dismissal. At General Motors in Silao Mexico, a new militant union headed by a woman recently won a clear majority in elections. Congratulations on that. In the joint group-wide struggle, the PSA workforce in France stood shoulder to shoulder with the Opel workforce. This successfully prevented the threatened cold closure of the Opel plant in Eisenach, Germany. The trump card here was international workers’ unity and solidarity! All these struggles also mean a win for women and families.
We in the International Automotive Workers’ Coordination stand for unity across countries and national borders for women’s liberation and gender equality. And we say that to do this it is necessary to overcome this unjust system, with equal activity of women and men, with tireless grassroots work to reach minds and hearts for a just and equal world.
The 3rd World Conference of Grassroots Women, September 3 – 10, 2022 in Tunis/Tunisia will strengthen the international solidarity and power of the militant women’s movement. As the International Automotive Workers’ Coordination, we call for support for preparation, mobilization and participation.
Let’s organize workplace and trade union actions for International Women’s Day – still in strict compliance with health protection due to the Covid-19 pandemic!
Workers’ and women’s movement hand in hand! When a woman leads the way, no man is backward!
Let’s celebrate March 8 as an international day of struggle for women’s liberation from exploitation and oppression!