The cause of women’s rights and liberation

Resolution of Commission No. 7 

One hundred and one years after the declaration of the International Working Women’s Day, women worldwide have learned the value of persistent struggle in overcoming even the most difficult barriers. Indeed the past century of women’s struggles have won many victories for women such as the right to suffrage, property, to equal wage for equal work, to maternity leave, to unionize and to organize. Moreover, women’s movements have contributed immensely to the gains and advances made by peoples and nations as part of people’s and national liberation movements throughout history.

These gains though are not universal and are now under siege as the global protracted economic depression worsens living conditions and hinders women’s ongoing struggles for equality and emancipation. The protracted global depression is driving imperialist countries to further extract profit through more complex measures that lead to more vicious attacks on the lives and livelihood on women and the of the toiling peoples.

Wars of aggression and foreign interventions in many parts of the world impose extra hardships and further exploitation and abuse of women. There is no doubt that imperialism paved the way for the systematic and systemic perpetration of violence against women.

Yet, these situations also compel women to raise their level of resistance against imperialist globalization and assert their rights. Women’s movements are now sharing lessons from their own collective actions and their participation in people’s struggles. Women’s movements all over the world are linking struggles for a global movement to end imperialist pillage and plunder, colonialism and neo-colonialism towards building an alternate system founded on genuine democracy, liberty, equality, peace, freedom and justice where women’s rights are upheld. 

It is in this spirit of intensifying the peoples’ struggle against imperialism that the ILPS, through its Commission 7 on the Cause of Women’s Liberation and Right Against All Forms of Sexual Discrimination, Exploitation and Violation, has been steadfast intensifying women’s resistance against imperialism and its attacks on the lives, livelihood and rights of women and has served as a primary force in the formation of a broad unity of anti-imperialist women with the founding of the International Women’s Alliance (IWA) in 2010 and its successful and inspiring First General Assembly in July 5-6 this year.

Within the ILPS 4th International Assembly theme of “Build a bright future! Mobilize the people to resist exploitation and oppression amidst the protracted global depression, state terrorism and wars of aggression,” we have explored in depth the various forms where women are mobilized in the fight against imperialism. We have shared strategies of women’s struggle against imperialism and women’s resistance to imperialism’s attacks in women’s lives.

Through our sharing and discussion, we have affirmed the:

  1. Significance of a grassroots-based women’s movement particularly among the toiling classes;

  2. Width and breadth of women’s participation in anti-imperialist struggles from parliament and policy advocacy to participation in the armed struggle; and

  3. Importance for an inter-regional and international linking of women’s movements all over the world.

One hundred and one years after the declaration of the International Working Women’s Day and on the 10th anniversary of the ILPS, we declare that our task now is to broaden and strengthen the participation of women in the anti-imperialist movement.

ILPS thus resolves to further help strengthen the participation of women in the anti-imperialist movement by:

  1. Condemning imperialist economic policies that specifically attack women’s lives and livelihood including wars of aggression/interventionist wars and state-sponsored militarization that victimize women;

  2. Exposing imperialist ploys to derail and co-opt women’s movements from pursuing the genuine interests of majority of the women in the world, which is to be liberated from the exploitation and oppression of imperialism and its policies;

  3. Supporting anti-imperialist actions led by women’s movements all over the world from local to regional to international levels; and

  4. Enjoining more women’s organizations, especially grassroots women’s organizations, from all over the world to join the ILPS.

Specifically, we must:

  1. Develop a strong platform on women’s economic rights especially as the global economic crisis exacerbates the attacks on women’s rights. Launch campaigns against imperialist policies that impact specifically on women, such as:

    1. Corporate agriculture and mining which plunder resources, pave the way for land-grabbing and result to the general dislocation of rural women from their livelihood;

    2. Imperialist policies that result to massive unemployment and violation of the economic rights of working women;

    3. Labor export policy which at this time of worsening global crisis results to the further dislocation of migrant workers, intensified racism, heightened vulnerability of women migrants to violence against women. The worsening global crisis has also led to an increasing number of undocumented migrants and the crafting of restrictive policies on women migrants, such as the return directive of the European Union;

    4. Spiraling prices of food and other basic commodities worldwide;

    5. Privatization, austerity measures and budget cuts which further constrict women’s access to social services and lead to intensified attack on the economic rights of women;

    6. Wars of aggression, imperialist intervention and state-sponsored militarization and repression that lead to further violation of women’s political rights and heightened vulnerability to gender violence;

    7. Imperialist policies that find their way to women’s lives through multilateral formations such as the UN, ASEAN and GFMD, which peddle a fake façade of protecting and advancing women’s rights and interests but in reality serve as instruments for imperialism to further violate women’s rights;

  2. Support anti-imperialist women’s actions by:

    1. Militantly commemorating March 8 International Women’s Day and other red-letter days to highlight women’s issues and struggles, such as October 15 Rural Women’s Day, November 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, November 29 International Women’s Human Rights Defenders Day and May 1 Labor Day;

    2. Continue working with local, regional and international anti-imperialist women’s formations on actions and initiatives of women’s movements against imperialist policies;

    3. Supporting the exchange of women’s experiences in all levels by sending delegations to countries where women’s struggles are developed; and

    4. Building a stronger women youth base to learn more about the struggles young women face and to mobilize them in their multitude in the people’s struggle against imperialism.

  3. Expand the membership of women’s organizations from all sectors in the ILPS.

  4. Strengthen Commission 7 by:

    1. Reinforcing the Commission Secretariat;

    2. Regularizing communication among members of the Commission;

    3. Conducting an annual gathering for study conference of its members.

Other resolutions:

  1. Support the struggle of farmers and agricultural workers of Bukidnon to pressure the Philippine government to scrap CARPER and implement genuine agrarian reform;

  2. Support the work of the union of women workers in the informal sector in Hong Kong;

  3. Support the campaign to hold agricultural corporations, in collusion with governments and the IMF-WB, liable and accountable in the destruction of livelihood and the violation of the rights of women and children;

  4. Support the democracy campaign in Malaysia for clean and honest elections;

  5. Campaign for the protection against political persecution of women human rights defenders all over the world, such as Melissa Roxas from the US and Zeynep Celaliyan from Kurdistan;

  6. Support the anti-nuclear campaign in Japan and in other parts of the world;

  7. Support the struggle of the Buffalo-Tamaraw-Limus (BTL) farmers of Bukidnon and the removal from office of Mindanao State University President Ma. Luisa Soliven who has supported rather than condemned land-grabbing from the farmers;

  8. Call to end the commodification of women in tourism areas such as the tourist areas in Visayas Region, Philippines;

  9. Support the campaign of migrant women towards the recognition of domestic work as work at the level of the UN International Labor Organization.

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