The World March of Women -
"Your money AND your life":
the World Trade Organization's premise
Who are we?
The World March of Women is a global network for feminist action,
focussing mainly on the struggles against poverty and violence against
women. We believe in the globalization of solidarity; we value the
diversity of the women's movement; we believe in the leadership of women;
the importance of debating our ideas and strategies with other feminist
groups and social movements; the importance of an international autonomous
women's movement that is transparent, democratic and creative; and the
necessary alliance with other social movements.
Initiated by the Fédération des femmes du Québec (Canada) in 1996, the
World March of Women rapidly became established itself as a worldwide
movement, gaining the support of nearly 6000 women's groups in 163
countries and territories around the planet.
v Strengthen and maintain a vast solidarity movement of grass-roots
women's groups so that the March constitutes a gesture of affirmation by
women of the world.
v Promote equality between women and men and between peoples.
v Support a vast process of popular education so that all women can analyze
for themselves the causes of their oppression, and imagine possible
v To highlight the common demands and alternatives issuing from global
women's movements on the local, national, regional and international
levels, relating to the issues of poverty and violence against women.
v Bring political pressure to bear on governments and multilateral
political insti-tutions (e.g., the UN) so that they institute the changes
necessary for improving the status of women and women's quality of life
globally, and so that they pursue a disarmament and peaceful conflict
v Challenge the international financial, economic and military institutions
(IMF, NATO, WTO, WB, etc.) responsible for impoverishing and marginalizing
women and intensifying the violence committed against us, and formulate
proposals for alternative institutions.
v Convince the general public, other social sectors and social movements to
institute the changes necessary for improving the status of women and
women's quality of life the world over.
We'll be in CANCعN!
From the beginning of the World March of Women in the Year 2000, we
participated actively within the vast world movement advocating another
kind of globalization.
That's why we'll be in Cancْn, alongside the other women's networks, at the
International Forum on Women's Rights in Trade Agreements. The Forum is
part of the Peoples' Forum for Alternatives to the WTO (World Trade
Organization) that will be held before and during the 5th Ministerial
Meeting of the WTO in Cancْn (Mexico) in September 2003.
We'll be in Cancْn to denounce the neoliberal trade and military policies
imposed on our peoples, which have a devastating impact on almost all
aspects of life. These policies will have repercussions for future
generations in the form of generalized poverty, especially among peoples in
the South (in the North poverty is also on the rise). With them comes
heightened violence against women whereupon we ourselves and our rights are
turned into merchandise. The WTO has only one model of trade negotiations,
which it intends to impose on us, and we refuse to accept it. We have
summed up the model's premise as "Your money and your life!"
We'll be in Cancْn to make progress together in strengthening our ability
to mobilize, our impact on neoliberal economic and militaristic policies,
and our proposals for alternative solutions. From our feminist perspective
in solidarity and for the environment, we are determined to fight as an
international force to build another world.
We'll be in Cancْn for the demonstrations on the International Day of
Mourning for economic, military and gender wars, which will be held
everywhere on September 11. But in addition, we and all the international
social networks are planning an International Day of Action both in Cancْn
and the rest of the world to derail the WTO on September 13.
LET'S ALL BE THERE!
WTO trade policies and women
Economic globalization and trade policies affect men and women in all
societies but in different, unequal ways according to the specific roles
and tasks assigned to each within the current system of economic production
and social reproduction.
This is why we think it important to analyze economic processes taking into
account these differences and inequalities; we must denounce and do away
with them. In our opinion it is important to demand assurances that
national policies linked to regional and international agreements do not
have an adverse impact on the new and traditional economic activities of
women, as the Beijing Plataform (1995) states. Eight years after Beijing,
the women of the world are poorer, more mistreated and more marginalized
from the spaces of real power.
The WTO is a powerful international organization that applies unfair trade
policies and has as a stated objective to reduce the power of the State and
promote the "freest" possible circulation of goods and services around the
planet. What is more, the developed countries and multinational companies
dominate WTO negotiations; they pressure governments so that they can
obtain agreements that put their interests above all others. The WTO
strengthens all forms of inequality: between countries in the North and
South; between classes, races and ethnic groups; and between women and men.
Gender equality does not exist in the WTO.
We conceive of a different economy based on fair trade and socially
productive investments that are ecologically responsible. We advocate debt
cancellation for the Third World countries, an end to structural adjustment
programs, effective means to do away with financial crime and tax havens,
and a tax on financial transactions such as the Tobin tax.
This "creative utopia"-the only realistic one-motivates us, mobilizes us
and commits us as women of the world to continue our March!
That's why we are already on the move toward 2005!
Considering the urgent need to propose economic, political, social and
cultural alternatives to make another world possible, one that is founded
on gender equality and equality of all human beings and peoples, and the
respect of our planet's environment; and considering the necessity to
debate our visions of this other world among ourselves as women and with
allied organizations, locally, nationally, regionally and internationally,
we adopted a new international action of the World March of Women that will
be carried out in 2005.
The action will include three components: drawing up a Women's Global
Charter for Humanity through a process of popular education based on the 17
world demands of the March; organizing relay marches
starting on March 8, 2005, within participating coun-tries, from one
country to another, and one world region to another, to publicize our
Charter and gather support for the alternatives being proposed by
feminists; and producing a solidarity quilt made of pieces of cloth on
which each participant will be invited to illustrate her dream for
humanity. The pieces of cloth will be joined together to form a quilt and
used during the simultaneous global actions that will take place at the end
The Charter will be used in a variety of actions, at the national, regional
and international levels, when women will address their domestic
governments and the international institutions. We will also use this
document with allied social movements to advance our alternatives in those