International Women*s Day

On March 8 many women came together at numerous places to loudly claim equal rights. The International Women*s Struggle Demo took place in Berlin Kreuzberg. One member of Iwspace held the following speech.

von Iwspace

2017, Berlin, 8. März, Woman Days, International Womans Space
Photo: Inga Alice Lauenroth

We women of the world have united, and we shout:

International Strike!

We see sexist shit all over the world. In Russia, domestic violence has been decriminalised. In many places, girls are forced to marry and bear children. We see a rise in antifeminism here and everywhere. At the same time, there are mass deportations from Germany – and now they even want the power to access refugees’ phones for surveillance. Deportation is racist violence against women.

But in resistance there is hope! Just last month we saw 160,000 people come together in Barcelona to demand human treatment for refugees. And in Berlin we continue to build strong networks fighting sexism and racism. Today we come together to define the world we want to live in!

We strike to denounce:

  • That the state controls and criminalizes our migration and movements – in Germany they now even talk about putting electronic trackers on refugees’ legs!
  • That state violence is backed up by racist and sexist police violence!
  • That capitalism exploits and profits from our informal and underpaid work!
  • That domestic work and care work are unpaid in the home and underpaid in the market!
  • That this economic violence increases our vulnerability to sexualized violence – and in extreme cases, feminicide!

We strike to reclaim our right to abortion so that nobody is forced to give birth.

We strike because care work must be the responsibility of society as a whole, not our obligation as women.

We strike because women of colour are doubly exploited under capitalism.

We strike to build networks of solidarity and to make the work we do visible – work that creates support networks and vital strategies in crisis contexts.

And we know we are not all here today. And we strike for those whose voices have been violently erased:

  • Absent are the migrants trying to reach Europe, drowned in the Mediterranean sea. Almost 6000 since 2016!
  • Absent are those deported by this inhumane migration system!
  • Absent are those dead due to unsafe abortions!
  • Absent are those in jail for self-defense against a violent husband!
  • Absent are the lesbians and the transgender people killed by hate crime.
  • Absent are the victims of racist killings.
  • Absent are the political prisoners and those persecuted, assassinated, because they dared to fight back against racist, sexist and capitalist systems. For example, Berta Caceres in Honduras!
  • Absent are those imprisoned for minor offenses that criminalize forms of survival, while capitalism’s crimes remain unpunished!

We organize to defend ourselves and take care of each other. Because domestic violence, rape within marriage and forced marriage are crimes! In the face of attempts to intimidate us, we transform our individual mourning into collective consolation and collective anger. We organize ourselves!

We organize together everywhere: in homes, in the streets, in the workplace, in schools, in our neighborhoods. The strength of our movement lies in the bonds we create between us.

We see the women’s movement emerging as an alternative to the rise of right-wing power. And we see that the new backlash against women and feminism is an attempt to neutralize our strength and divide us. We say no.

We want this demonstration to become a celebration where we will build our shared future!

Because we reclaim our time for ourselves and for each other – to come together, not just today but every day!

(This speech was translated and adapted from the brasilian version of the call from the argentinian movement #NiUnaMenos. For more information click here.

Some impressions of the International Women*s Struggle Demo by photographer Inga Alice Lauenroth (8. März, 2017)

2017, Berlin, 8. März, Woman Days, International Womans Space

2017, Berlin, 8. März, Woman Days, International Womans Space

2017, Berlin, 8. März, Woman Days, International Womans Space

2017, Berlin, 8. März, Woman Days, International Womans Space

2017, Berlin, 8. März, Woman Days, International Womans Space

2017, Berlin, 8. März, Woman Days, International Womans Space

2017, Berlin, 8. März, Woman Days, International Womans Space

2017, Berlin, 8. März, Woman Days, International Womans Space

For more information on International Women Space, their activities and their book „In our own words“ (2015) click here.