UPHOLD THE MILITANT TRADITION OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

In solidarity and with utmost joy, the International League of
People’s Struggle joins today the celebration of women in general and
their revolutionary struggle for emancipation and liberation from
imperialism, feudalism and patriarchalism. We remember and honor
millions of women who trailblazed and paved the path for women’s
liberation movement.

Women have fought long and hard to protect their families,
communities and peoples. In various periods in world history there have
been women who led their people in fighting despotic rulers and
invaders. Some examples are the heroic struggles of the Vietnamese
Trung sisters in 39 AD, the Philippines’Gabriela Silang in 1763 and the
women in the Paris Commune and Petrograd uprising.

IWD forum 09 Innu
We commemorate today the historic ties between the women’s movement and
the proletarian movement for the very concept of a day celebrating
women and women’s militant inter-nationalism originated from the
working class movement.

Women, such as Clara Zetkin, Alexandra Kollontai and Rosa Luxembourg,
have inspired others to the indispensable and imperative role of women
in the struggle against imperialism, feudalism and patriarchy. (Photo – International Women’s Day Forum in Montreal, Feb. 28, 2009)

Especially at this time when the US imperialists have perverted the
noble cause of women’s emancipation against feudal patriarchy and
so-called Muslim fundamentalism to justify invasion, occupation and
wars of aggression, women need to reaffirm the militant and
revolutionary traditions of their movement.

Reducing women’s liberation to simply a matter of individual rights or
a trivialized gender war against the opposite sex, US-led imperialism
seeks to hide the fact that its definition of equality is no more than
the right to be as exploited and oppressed as the next propertyless
person or being as mere sex object of male chauvinism and prurience.
US-led imperialism pretends to be an advocate of women’s rights while
transforming them into chattel for multinational corporations and
commodity for the labor and sex markets. US-led imperialism proposes to
bring “democratic rights” to women even as it maintains by brute force,
in alliance with local reactionaries, economies that create an endless
supply of impoverished women to exploit in their own homes or in
sweatshops .

Under global capitalism, women comprise 75% of 1.3 billion who subsist
on less than $1 per day. Majority of the 800 million impoverished and
hungry are women and children even though women produce 60% of the
world’s food supply. In the developed countries, women’s benefits –
from health care to overtime pay – are under assault by corporate
management.

Governments are also cutting social benefits, reducing pregnancy leaves
and welfare support. Even within the United States itself, hard-won
women’s rights and welfare are eroded and eradicated to satisfy the
lust for power and profits of monopoly and capitalists and the ruling
classes.

Western nations, while reaping profits off underpaid migrant labor,
enact xenophobic laws. To stifle protests against such unjust laws, the
same governments pass legislation restrictive of rights and freedoms
such as the Patriot Act that enable them to repress immigrants.

Roughly 50% of the world’s migrants are women. Hence, the irony that
these same governments that stoke anti-immigrant sentiments tolerate
disguised forms of trafficking – i.e., official programs for importing
workers, the mail-order bride system, to mention but two.

This is the world that women’s number one enemy, imperialism, has
created for womankind: a world of oppression and exploitation of entire
nations, the working people and women, a world of intolerable suffering
and relentless violence unleashed by the imperialists and their
minions.

But imperialism, feudalism and patriarchalism are facing the growing
strength and active resistance of a determined women’s liberation
movement. All over the world, women are involved in different forms of
struggle as they carry their fight in the picket lines and trade
unions, street demonstrations, parliaments and urban centers and they
are engaged in people’s war for liberation.

To the women who must try to survive in this world of darkness, the
revolutionary traditions of March 8th are both illuminating and
enlightening. Let women assert their rights to those traditions and act
in concert with their revolutionary brothers to change the world. Let
them forge a strong women’s anti-imperialist front and solidarity the
world over.

The International League of Peoples’ Struggle is more than ever
resolved to promote the crucially important role and initiative of the
women and women’s organizations within and outside the League in
advancing and realizing their own distinct demands as women,
cooperating with the menfolk as equal partners and contributing to the
general movement for national liberation, democracy and socialism
against imperialism and all reaction.

Long live the women of the world!
Persevere in the struggle against imperialism and reaction!
Raise high the banner of the women’s liberation movement!

Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson
International Coordinating Committee
International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS)

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