by GABRIELA Philippines
As the struggling women of the world respond militantly to the call for Global Day of Action Against Imperialist Plunder, Repression and War made by the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, GABRIELA vigorously calls on all its national chapters and member-organizations as well as its allies to arouse, organize and mobilize the broad masses of the people for street marches and assemblies at the most prominent public places on the 15th of October, 2011.
The Global Day of Action also falls on the commemoration of the World Rural Women’s Day and it is but fitting to underscore the particular situation of rural women and persuade the toiling masses of women to take part in the ensuing protest actions all over the world as part of the Global Day of Action.
As the financial market of monopoly capitalist countries continues to crash, millions of working class women and men all over the world are rendered jobless. Alongside the blow of widespread unemployment, the working class and even the middle class also contend with being robbed of their homes and social benefits such as health, education and pension.
Behind the crash of the global financial market, the evil that is imperialism is making a mad dash to acquire vast tracts of rural land to secure food supply, and dominate the world’s market for agro fuel production and mineral extraction. Imperialist countries are likewise scrambling to boost private investment in land and trade, as well increase speculation in food crops in the futures markets. World Bank data show that a total of 46.6 million hectares of land was acquired by monopoly capitalists from October 2008 to August 2009 alone, a 10-fold increase from the previous decade.
As the working class in cities all over the world lose their jobs, the toiling masses in the rural areas, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America, are further losing their land and resources as transnational corporations in collusion with puppet governments monopolize food production and agriculture. Lands are reconcentrated in the hands of big local landlords and transnational corporations. Market speculation and agro-fuel production has resulted in the food crisis and intensified monopoly pricing.
With the protracted global depression monopoly capitalists have become more ravenous and the exploitation of women in rural areas has become more rabid. It is a sad and revolting irony that while rural women, mostly poor farmers and agricultural workers, make major and multiple contributions to agricultural production and produce more than half of the food grown worldwide, rural women and their children comprise most of the world’s poor and hungry.
Rural women are further denied access and control of land and resources, plunged deeper in debt and exploited as commodities in labor and sex trade. Indigenous women, together with their communities, are being displaced from their and robbed of their identities because of rampant mining. Under the caste system in parts of Asia, the situation of women continues to deteriorate as the upper castes exploit the system to preserve their economic and political power amid the deepening crisis. The resulting discontent and uprising of the rural populace are met with state violence with women and children exploited and sexually violated.
While the world’s attention is gripped by the Occupy Wall Street protests and prior to it, the riots in London, rural women together with their communities have been consistent in their struggle against imperialist plunder.
In Pakistan, rural women are protesting the militarization of their communities and fighting for their farmlands. In Bangladesh, women are calling for the preservation of agricultural lands. In India, landless Dalit women and agricultural workers have reacquired their land from illegal occupants with persistent struggle. In Malaysia, women have been fighting for equal and decent wages for women and organizing women agricultural workers groups. In the Philippines, women are resisting land ejection and grabbing and continue to struggle for genuine land reform. Indigenous women in Latin America, despite threats from their governments and from multinational corporations, are leading the fight to protect their ancestral lands from land grabbers and the environment from pollution and destruction by large scale mining. These resistances and struggles of rural women against imperialist plunder are significant contribution to the worldwide anti-imperialist struggle.
Indeed, the Global Day of Action Against Imperialist Plunder, Repression and War are coinciding with the commemoration of the World Rural Women’s Day, with the widespread action of women and men in cities and in rural areas, can only mean the growing, unwavering and intensifying struggle of peoples of the world against imperialist plunder.
Women unite against imperialist plunder and oppression!
Long live the working women of the world! Down with imperialism!