This year 8th of March marked the 110th anniversary of the resolution on the “International Women’s Day”, proposed by the communist Clara Zetkin. In the resolution it says: “In agreement with the class-conscious political and trade organizations of the proletariat in their respective countries, the socialist women of all nationalities will hold each year a Women’s Day, whose foremost purpose it must be to aid the attainment of women’s suffrage. This demand must be discussed in connection with the entire women’s question according to the socialist conception of social things. The Women’s Day must have an international character and is to be prepared carefully.”
All over the world women went on the streets and showed in a lively way the power of that day, the progressive, struggling and revolutionary women put their demands on the streets. This years 8th of March showed that oppression and exploitation of women is increasing with the increasing crisis of capital. Women all over the world, and especially in the oppressed countries of Latin America, Asia and Africa took to the streets in their millions. In the 8th of march demonstrations it was shown that the struggle of women is not isolated, but the demands are connected to the position of women in society and the oppression and exploitation within the imperialist world system. Women stand against worsening conditions for the population, against violence against women and killings of women, against state repression: against patriarchy and imperialism!
This report is not completed with all activities which took place on this year’s 8th of March, but the most powerful and exemplary activities.
In Mexico the situation of the people and especially women is aggravating more and more. 3.825 women were killed in 2019, which is 7% more than in 2018. Around 80.000 women attended the demonstration on 8th of march and there were clashes with police, where around 60 demonstrators were injured. One journalist explained the pressing problem of women murders: „In Mexico it‘s like we‘re in a state of war; we‘re in a humanitarian crisis because of the quantity of women that have disappeared of been killed“.
On Monday, the women organizations called for a strike of women: around 36 million of women strike on 9th of march. That strike was so powerful that even the federal government had to tolerate it and tried to integrate it in their own politics to make it less harmful:
„There is ‚official‘ support at the federal level, but I don‘t think that translates into dialogue or understanding. The president even said men are allowed to take the day off too if they want, completely missing the point and undermining the strike“, an activist said. This huge strike was directed against women murders.
With around one million of women joining the 8th of march demonstrations all over the country, that were probably the biggest demonstrations all over the world in Chile. The actions were taking place in the context of the mass protests which are all over the country since October 2019. This mass protests directed the worse situation of education, health care and pension system, as well as the high costs for public transport. The march pointed out the important role of the women in the protests against exploitation and oppression. „That is where the general framework of the strike was established, as well as the unifying slogan: ‚We are the front line against state terrorism‘“, an activist said.
Thousands of Pakistani women took to the streets in the largest-ever women‘s day demonstration in the country. They demanded minimum wages for the working class and bodily rights, they protested against violence on women. It was in various cities in Pakistan.
Pakistan is, according to the bourgeois reports, one of the most dangerous countries for women in the world. The demonstration was attacked by reactionary forces, who attacked the demonstrators with stones and sticks, several women were injured. The harsh patriarchy in the country is also defended by the government. A parliamentarian said about the women protesters: „They want to destroy this country‘s social structures“. One women activist said about the demonstration: „I fully support the march because it demands economic and social justice for the working-class women“. The demonstrations showed also the importance of women workers in the women‘s movement and the connection to the working class. The working class is the most consistent revolutionary force, it has to become a special role within the struggle against patriarchy, it has to lead the struggle.
At the demonstration in the capital Jakarta, women from different organizations and trade unions demanded especially to revoke laws which oppress women, such as the „omnibus“ law. This law should „open up“ for foreign investment, to make it easier for foreign companies to exploit the cheap labour in the country. The government cynically promises „creation of more jobs“, and decreased the taxes for imperialist companies. Huge resistance already developed in the country against that law.
In Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek police detained dozens of women‘s activists shortly after masked men attacked the demonstration for 8th of march.
The protests of 8th of March were directed mainly against the politics of president Rodrigo Duterte. The women protesters condemned the thousands of people died in extra-judicial killings, in the so-called „war against drugs“, which is a war against the poor people and the revolutionary movement. A big figure of Rodrigo Duterte was burned in a demonstration. One activist pointed out: „We‘re so alarmed. We have seen his direct attacks on women under his iron-hand rule and it‘s now time to heighten our resistance.“
The burning of the figure of Rodrigo Duterte, his shirt colored in the flags of USA and China, showed the consciousness of the demonstrators, that the struggle against oppression and exploitation is also a struggle against imperialism, which controls the country and deepens the oppression of women.
Huge protests were taking place in India. One of the most important demands was against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which was passed in December 2019. That racist law is to divide the population by the hindu-fascist Indian state.
Also the Tamil minority in India protested at 8th of march. Their demands were directed against enforced disappearances, occupation and Tamil genocide. There were mainly protesting mothers of disappeared and killed people and hundreds of people showed their solidarity on the streets with them.
You can read here an own report about 8th of March demonstrations in African countries.
Thousands of people demonstrated in Istanbul, despite a protest ban by the government. The police tried to block the march and fired tear gas against the women protesters.
Also refugee women in Turkey protested against the bad situation and held posters for the International Women‘s day, 8th of march.
This year the 8th of march demonstrations in the Balkans were numerous, which is an important sign to the oppressed countries in that region. Especially because of European Union, an imperialist alliance, the situation in this countries is worsening for the peoples and therefore also for women. The deepening political and economical crisis of European Union is showing its ugly face in the increasing poverty and exploitation in the Balkan countries. Therefore a Women‘s Movement has also to be directed against imperialist exploitation, which is the main source of deepening patriarchy in the region.
There were demonstrations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Romania, North Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo, Bulgaria and Croatia against violence and oppression of women and for women‘s rights.
The Women‘s march in Montenegro was held in the capital, Podgorica, under the slogan „Go away Fascism“.
The 8th of March demonstration in Romania took place in front of the Cathedral of the People‘s Salvation in Bucharest, to criticize the strong social influence of the Orthodox Church in Romania, especially in the question of abortion and women‘s submission to men.
In Serbian capital city Belgrade the women went on the street with the slogan „Feminism Forward, Patriarchy Back!“. One of the organizers said: „We raise our voice against the exploitation of women, the daily humiliation and discrimination of women, the sexual blackmail of women, the brutal repression against trade union activists and all who fight for social justice (…), violence against women“.
In Spain around 120.000 took part in the 8th of march demonstration in the capital city Madrid. On friday, 6th of March, around six million of women took part in a nationwide strike in Spain to demand equal payment and rights for women.
More than 60.000 women took to the streets only in Paris for a strong 8th of March demonstration. This powerful 8th of march is also connected to the protests and strike going on in France, expecially the strike against the pension reform since November 2019. In the protest the demands against women murders was pointed out. The protesting women took posters with the names of women, who were murdered.