Statement of the Working Women Committee, adopted by the WFTU 2023 Precedential Council Meeting
International Working Women’s Day 2023
WFTU Women demand Equity and Equality – Say no to wars
Now is the time for the spark to ignite again. Just like in the 19th century, when women workers rose up against the exploitation of early industrial capitalism, now again the time has come to take up the cudgels against the most barbaric system that boils in the cauldrons of neoliberalism. Imperialism sacrifices the lives of the workers of the world for the sake of profit. Women workers are enslaved and subjugated within the working class which is already marginalized to the point of deprivation.
The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the gender gap even further as the 100-year estimation needed to close the gender gap has now been reevaluated to 136 years. Gender wage disparity has widened. Women’s work participation rate has plummeted. Capitalist economies shamelessly use the pandemic to deny and snatch away the rights of the workers.
Capitalism, in its greed for more economic and political power, has reached its highest form, that of imperialism. Imperialist rivalries have caused wars driving millions into destitution. Trade wars for economic hegemony spell further doom for the working people. Misery abounds in the world. Poverty, terrorism, racism, refugee crisis, war – all at once – sharply affect women and women workers.
The increase in the unpaid care work of women illustrates the perpetuating patriarchy in the capitalist system. Women’s contribution to the GDP and the unpaid economic activity is not assessed. Gender-sensitive budgets do not see the light of the day. All this and a lot more devastation is the making of the capitalist world order. Capitalism at its core, is anti-women.
The scourge of capitalism intensifies as it encounters its downturn. But the working-class resistance is strongly built against the brutal onslaught across the world. Women workers stand as soldiers on the forefront. They deserve our militant salutations. This is the legacy of the militant class-oriented women who sowed the seeds of rebellion almost a century ago. They took to the streets demanding peace and their rights. We pay our rich tributes to them.
The hope lies on the workers struggles across Europe, USA, India etc. But the doom of capitalism descends with the blessings of political powers. Working class strategy should strengthen. Women workers have a decisive role to play, because the mutually reinforcing dialectical relationship between the capitalist class structure and the hierarchical gender structuring, are the root causes that deny women their rights.
Now is the time to stir up the indignation. Rouse the consciousness of the masses of women. We affirm our demands for the importance of adopting policies, legislation, and laws that ensure the achievement of non-discrimination against women and provide protection for them, especially in Palestine, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and all areas where women suffer from killing, torture, displacement and lack of security and safety.
On this International Working Women’s Day, the women of WFTU stand up with conviction to say loud and clear: “Working women demand equity and equality. We say No to imperialistic wars. We shall not compromise on our rights”.
The World Federation of Trade Unions and its Working Women Committee, call upon working women, the entire working class, and the class-oriented trade unions all over the world to organize militant initiatives, actions, and activities on March 8th, 2023 under the banners, principles and goals of the World Federation of Trade Unions.