7 The cause of women’s liberation and the rights of women against sexual discrimination, exploitation and violence

Final Resolution for Workshop 7
Approved by the Plenary of the ILPS First International Assembly
25-27 May 2001
Zutphen, The Netherlands

The cause of women’s liberation and the rights of women against sexual discrimination, exploitation and violence

Towards Women’s Liberation

At no time in human history have we witnessed such unrestrained and rapacious displacement and dispossession of women across the globe, spawning uncontrollable poverty and deprivation.

At no time in human history have women been asked to shoulder such a burden of responsibility for the survival of family, community and nation, and to exercise the utmost self-denial and sacrifice.

Even so, at no time in human history have we witnessed the strength of commitment to and intensity of desire for liberation among women of the world.

One part of this world of bitter contrast, irony and suffering is a world created by imperialism at its current form of untrammeled globalization. Using local patriarchy, retrograde feudalism, militarism and fundamentalism, imperialism continues and intensifies its global plunder and exploitation of peoples and nations. Using such instrumentalities as the IMF/WB, imperialism not only strengthens the local elite and structures of oppression but creates new ways to exploit and extract profit. Women in poor countries as well as those in rich industrialized countries are under continued assault on varying degrees by imperialism as the latter exacerbates class, race, caste and gender oppression, and fosters intolerance and bigotry to create civil and ethnic wars.

Toiling women of the colonized and semi-colonized countries experience loss of land and livelihood, the theft of their national patrimony and self-sufficiency, even as the value of their labor is cheapened to mere subsistence levels. Women of the imperialist countries experience the loss of employment benefits, and social welfare programs even as unemployment and underemployment increase, and cost of living and taxes rise.

In a daisy-chain of production and markets, imperialist globalization wages a war against women, shredding their cultures and traditions, and transforming them into labor slaves, sex slaves and/or mindless consumers of unnecessary capitalist products, both material and non-material. At every step of the process, imperialism reaps maximum profits and grows even greedier.

Through globalist policies of liberalization, deregulation and privatization; through intellectual property rights provisions which favor businesses; through development models favoring transnational corporations; through corrupt, weak and brutal puppet governments; through militaries oriented towards torture and murder in defense of monopoly capital; through orthodoxies and fundamentalist movements’ myriad, indeed, are the ways and means by which imperialism wages a war against women of the world.

Despite its strength and unimaginable resources, which are also its inherent weaknesses, imperialism has not found women easy to subjugate. The world over, masses of women, despite efforts of imperialism to depoliticize and coopt them towards reformism, struggle to free themselves from class, gender, caste and race oppression, dismantling local patriarchy and feudalism, and smashing the chains with which imperialism seeks to bind them.

In furtherance of the time-honored struggle of women for emancipation and liberation, we resolve to:

  1. End imperialist globalization and all its structures and channels such as the WTO, IMF, WB and military alliances and agreements; end neo-colonialism; dismantle patriarchy, fundamentalism and retrograde feudalism.

  2. Promote, protect and expand the rights of women and end all forms of gender discrimination, gender inequality, and all forms of exploitation, oppression, subjugation and violence.

  3. Create, in coordination with progressive sectors of the other half of the human race, a society based on social, political and economic justice, genuine peace, freedom and equality.

  4. Continue to strengthen, consolidate and widen a global militant women’s movement so that the abilities and capabilities of millions of women can be harnessed in the struggle against imperialism, patriarchy and retrograde feudalism.

  5. Join forces with progressive and anti-imperialist social and mass movements towards genuine social transformation of nations and societies all over the world.

We further resolve to:

  1. Call a women’s conference under the auspices of the ILPS as an initial step towards a continuing dialogue among us to study, discuss and analyze the emerging issues and concerns of women and how our movement against imperialism could be advanced.

  2. Regularly exchange and share information and visits among us and our organizations to have deeper and clearer understanding of our issues and to deepen solidarity among us.

  3. Forge multilateral and/or bilateral support between and among our organization on various endeavors that will advance women’s struggle for liberation and against imperialism and its lackeys.

  4. Begin to consolidate and further the gains of the ILPS women’s workshop held in Zutphen, the Netherlands through the activation of the ILPS women’s study commission.

  5. Launch mass-based campaigns and mobilizations against imperialism and its lackeys.

  6. Build and strengthen mass-based militant women’s organization and movements in the colonized and semi-colonized and in imperialist countries and expand mutual contacts and networks/linkages against imperialist globalization and all its instruments, channels and reactionary governments.

  7. Call public attention to and struggle against the violation on the rights of women, discriminatory policies and programs against women, increasing violence committed against women and children and women’s marginalization.

  8. Extend solidarity with actual struggle of women needing immediate and urgent support and action such as the struggle of the Afghan women against fundamentalism, the Turkish women against oppression by the fascist state, and the struggle of the Palestinian women to free their country from the US-Israeli intervention, aggression and occupation of their territory.

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