Amendment on the women's movement to the text “Social upheavals, fightbacks and alternatives”

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For the “Social upheavals, fightbacks and alternatives” document 

From the women's seminar, July 2017. Submitted by Heather Dashner (MUS Mexico) on behalf of the seminar working group. 

 

2 / Evolution also of worldwide rate of exploitation 

 

After the first paragraph, add the following:

In this context, we note what has been called the “feminization” of the labor market and poverty. This can be understood in two senses: on the one hand, conditions that historically have been typical in the formal employment of women: instability and job insecurity, flexible contracts, salaries less than those necessary to pay for the family’s needs, have been generalized to the whole workforce. In a second sense, it also explains the increase in job opportunities for women in sectors that continue to be feminized, such as care work. The workday is doubled for those women who also perform tasks of unpaid domestic work. 

 

At the end of the third paragraph, add the following: 

... and social control to block these policies. The notion of the feminization of poverty refers to the fact that it is on this point that women also become the priority “target” of this type of policies. As mothers, they are called on to take responsibility for implementing these policies. They are also involved in the  bancarization and financialization of their economies, which can add an extra burden to their labor. 

 

After the fifth paragraph, to finish the section, add the following paragraph: 

The processes of feminization referred to – as well as the weakening of some identities that were once collectivizing, such as union identity –also explain the emergence of “new” social actors with an unprecedented role, such as women and, in many countries, the LGBT + community. 

 

Replace Section 7 with the following wording: 

Women's rights and mass mobilization against violence, rape and femicide, and for the right to abortion

In general terms, as regards the key issues of feminist struggles, the situation in recent years has been contradictory, given the growing presence of women in the labour force. The women's movement has developed multiple structures and mobilizations in all regions of the world, but faces a reactionary offensive in many countries, linked to the rise of neoconservative and fundamentalist currents. This offensive once again attacks fundamental rights: the right to live; the right to financial and social independence from men (parents, brothers or husbands); the ability to dress as they want; and the right to control reproductive capacity, especially through legal, free and safe access to abortion. 

In recent years, an important factor of social mobilization has been the response to violence against women, in the first place feminicide, in India, Turkey, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay or Mexico. Since the gigantic demonstrations in India in December 2012, many other mobilizations have taken place in as many cities: on 7 November 2015, 500,000 women mobilized in Madrid against the increase in violence and murders of women; in Argentina, hundreds of thousands of women mobilized in 2015 in response to several murders that impacted the country; in Mexico, the spread of murders and disappearances of women marked by drug trafficking to a hitherto unknown level also resulted in strong mobilizations in the country. 

These mobilizations remind us of the high level of violence in many countries, violence that affects women in the first place and also weighs on the social reality: most of the countries of Central America, Mexico and Brazil and almost all of sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa have reached their highest level of homicides not linked to war. 

Among the noticeable new factors, we find a tendency to interpellation and fruitful dialogues with social subjects that until now had not felt themselves to be a full part of the women's and feminist movements: trans collectives, black women, indigenous women, lesbians, among others. New forms of mobilization are also present, which in some countries have included using methods such as the strike, in dialogue and debate with the trade union movement, like the 8 March 2017 mobilization that was calles as the Women's International Strike, with a significant increase of mobilization, which allows us to foresee the rise of the feminist movement and the diversification of its alliances. 

The election of Donald Trump provoked an international wave of protests on 21 January 2017 at the initiative of the women's movement, not only in several cities of the United States, but also in many cities of the world, placing the women's movement at the forefront of political struggles against reaction. The various reactionary governments that have come to power in the wave of liberal offensives, try to challenge the right to abortion won by the struggles of previous decades. In this situation mass mobilizations have had to defend and extend this right, notably in the Spanish State in 2014 and in Poland in 2016. 

 

We should point out the international character of this new movement, which gives it a potential for growth. Countries like Argentina and Italy inspire in different latitudes the possibility of shaping emerging structures that connect struggles, tactics and strategies. The role that new technologies have played in this regard, particularly social networks as a platform for dissemination and communication, is undeniable.