March 8, a day to celebrate, to strike, to fight back
Statement by Die LINKE Berlin Internationals
The 8th of March is a day of action for women and everyone who wants to fight sexism and oppression. Germany has a militant tradition in the fight for women’s rights. Women pioneers in the Left such as Clara Zetkin and Rosa Luxemburg spoke about women’s oppression showing that it was a main field of struggle, but also a class issue, which had to be fought from a class perspective and involve men and women struggling in solidarity to end discriminations and fight for a socialist society.
International Women’s day was first initiated under Luise Zietz and Zetkin’s support in August 1910, during an International Women's Conference which was organized to precede the general meeting of the Socialist Second International in Copenhagen, Denmark and it was inspired by the struggles of American socialist women. 110 years later, although many things have changed, this struggle is essential.
The women’s movement has been on the rise in the last years, getting inspiration from the worldwide struggles against discriminations, sexism and violence against women. In Germany, despite advances won, and despite living in the heart of European Union (which is supposed to protect women’s rights), women have many reasons to come to the streets.
Contrary to formal equality, there is a gender gap in the real earnings, and the neoliberal agendas of the present and previous governments have weakened the welfare state (kindergartens, health and education) and raised the burden for the women of the working class. Flexible working conditions mean that many women work under worse conditions and insecurity. Women however are a steady part of the work force and an important force of militancy when they mobilize in the workplaces and in the movement.
This year’s mobilization in Berlin is organized by a number of women’s and LGBTQI+ groups and calls for a demonstration on 8 March, at 14.00, starting from Leopoldplatz. The call (taken from Frauenkampftag) focuses on the following issues:
For solidarity among all oppressed people, whether they are women, LGBTQI+, people of colour, immigrants and refugees. Against the menace of far right wing policies, which preach hate, discriminations and dream the return to “traditional values” (ban of abortion rights, criminalization of same sex relations).
We want to live in a world without exploitation of people and nature, so we are fighting against the destruction of the natural environment and the worldwide exploitation of resources. That means a struggle against the capitalist system, for a world where everyone can live, love and work in freedom and self-determination.
Equal rights for all: Against unemployment, exploitation, forced labor, mini-wages and poverty in old age we fight for equal and higher wages and better working conditions! Against sexist behaviors and against the stigmatization and harassment of persons who do not fulfill the social ideals and and the binary model “man – woman”. We challenge particularly forms of violence affecting LGBTQI+ (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans *, inter- and queer people) and people of color.
As part of the social movements and as a living part of the left, we support and join the event. We meet on Sunday, March 8th at Leopoldplatz