By La Clase
On Monday March 8, 2021, day of the working woman, we women took the streets with voices in our necks filled with demands, denounces, requirements and proposals, expressing with banners, speeches, slogans, rallies, flyers, statements, debates, declarations, poetry and songs; this is how it happened in Brion Square, Chacaito (Caracas).
Different organizations, activists and feminist referents gathered us in the afternoon of this day called by the organizations who articulate under the #MujeresContraLasViolencias (Women Against Violences) campaign. With our banners held high we started a popular assembly for a #8MRelbeldeYDeLucha (8MInStruggleAndRebel) in which each woman denounced the different and constant violations that are exercised against women’s human rights both socially and institutionally.
The #MujeresContraLasViolencias campaign has grown as an autonomous space of articulation, ample and democratic, a space for reflection, creation and mobilization where the Partido Socialismo y Libertad (PSL) participates since its first meetings to launch it back in 2019 until its establishment in 2020, encouraging the creation of a feminist agenda that allows the feminist movement to gather forces in order to demand rights and claims, without pretending to proclame itself as the only feminist space of the country.
In a context of strong questioning in Venezuela against the national government’s fake socialism and also against the bosses’ parties who through their speeches make a propagandistic and opportunistic use of feminist demands, this space of articulation opens itself to a dialogue between social and political organizations who focus their feminist position in the discrimination created by patriarchy and capitalism, a cultural and economic system that favors oppression against women based on their gender, which is also exploited by their class condition.
This 8M 2021, at Brion square in Chacaito, Mujeres en Lucha (Women in Struggle), a feminist initiative formed by independent women and PSL militants, elevated our voices to question how precariousness and the government’s policy stereotype us under the woman-mother-reproductive-caretaker pattern and practically force us to reproduce, even from a short age, to finally introduce us in a labour market that is unfair, discriminatory and patriarchal, formal and informal, with a salary that barely reaches the daily dollar.
Forced to give birth, especially the poorest ones – in a body that just left childhood -, by not recognizing the autonomy of our bodies who are oppressed, sexualized for the enjoyment and trade of a sick and perverse masculinity, further proved by the existing criminalization of abortion. An abusive impunity that fails to create and implement severe penalties against the trafficking of girls and women, in light of the growing and worrying wave of femicides that leaves us vulnerable to sexist violence, also leaving us unprotected against through the commercialization of contraceptives.
This is how the statistics of social organizations contrast the government’s negative to offer official data on feminicides and maternal mortality, demonstrating that too many woman are being killed and in circumstances that are entirely preventable; however, passing over this reality, the National Executive declares that we are not a priority.
This is why the call we made in that square from Mujeres en Lucha is for all women to organize ourselves in every space we occupy to demand the government an economic plan that contemplates a salary that is equal to the price of the basic food basket, adjusted monthly (salary indexation), a quarantine rent for informal female workers, the halt of the foreign debt payments and to establish taxes to multinationals and big capitals, the oil to be 100% Venezuelan without mixed companies, besides the confiscation of all the corrupt goods. With all that, to establish an emergency social fund to respond to the social crisis and the pandemic.
With these resources we can develop a campaign to discuss nationwide and to assume as a national problem the violence against women, to push for secular sexual education to decide for ourselves when to become mothers, to distribute contraceptives massively and free of charge and, of course, to make abortion once and for all, legal, safe and free of charge to avoid so many deaths and risks that are perfectly avoidable, especially those of poorer women. Likewise we demand that from this emergency social fund resources are destined to establish a care network for abused women.
These demands, perfectly viable, are based on the reality, idiosyncrasy and sovereignty of the country and we, organized, can push for this economic plan, popular and alternative, that would benefit the society at large and addresses the main demands and priorities of women in Venezuela. Boosting a plan of this nature requires the autonomous struggle of the women’s movement, since we are not aiming at distributing seats, power quotes or simply modifying and creating laws that are not gestated in the heat of the mobilizations.
We congratulate everyone (female, male and non-binary) who mobilized in this day of struggle that managed to get out in the streets despite the persuasive attempts of Maduro’s government announcing, days before, the suspension of protests for women’s day as part of the measures to prevent COVID-19 contagions, measures that have more to do with the social control that the country is experiencing and in which is almost impossible to stop working in order to obtain with huge efforts our daily bread, especially for the majority of informal workers, regardless of their gender.
This year we celebrate that different mobilizations happened in Caracas, as well as actions in different cities of the country called within the #MujeresContraLasViolencias in Mérida, Sucre and Puerto Ordaz. In this sense we congratulate feminist partners from other organizations who came to join us in Chacaito before and after their actions called at the same time in Bolívar square. Re receive that warm greeting in sorority and we are won to the idea of joining forces around common campaigns with respect and autonomy.
We move forward! Mujeres en Lucha is all of us, to strengthen the feminist movement independent from governments and the bosses’ parties, against every form of violence against women.