World March of Women 11th International Meeting Bilbao, 22nd-28thOctober 2018
.This reorganization also means an increase of violence against women in all its patriarchal, racist and colonialist dimensions whose most significant manifestations are the aggression of the territories, bodies and communities for their control and exploitation, which causes great displacements, migrations, refugees, human trafficking, sexual exploitation, violence against lesbians and sexually diverse people and the militarization of life.
From our resistances in the territories we develop political and economic experiences that tackle the system of domination and exploitation, placing in the centre of our proposals the sustainability of life. The daily construction of self- organization, solidarity, agro-ecology, feminist economy, the protection of common goods and the recovery of ancestral knowledges are strategies to ensure a dignified life and to build women’s autonomy over their bodies, their sexuality and a life free of racist and patriarchal violence.
We reaffirm women’s self- organization as our strengthening strategy as political subjects that are building a worldwide movement, in alliance with movements that share with us the commitment of transforming the world and ensure people’s right to self-determination and the right to resist.
Strengthened with the collective construction in this 11thInternational meeting we make a call to continue our march by actively participating in the feminist struggles of our countries, in the construction of solidarity actions and in alliance with the populations and grassroots movements.
We start today organizing our 5thInternational action in 2020. We reaffirm the 24thof April as the day we organize our 24 hours of solidarity across the world to denounce the role of transnationals companies. We call our political movement to continue with the mobilizations denouncing the violence that women suffer and the attacks on our lives and on our territories that result in forced migration, external and internal, building alternatives from feminist economy principles that protect our ways of creating sustainable lives.
Sophia Ogutu (Kenya)
Solange Kone ( Costa de Marfil)
Nalú Faria ( Brasil)
Mafalda Galdames ( Chile)
Bushra Kaliq ( Pakistao)
Françoaise Caillard (Nova Caledonea)
Marianna Brito (Suiza)
Vania Martins (Portugal)
Ruba Odeh ( Palestina)
Unity, solidarity and struggle, key words to overcome patriarchy
for: Marilys Zayas Shuman
The participation of Cuba in the 11th International Meeting of the World March of Women was a space to learn our strengths and weaknesses, to reaffirm and take experiences in new forms of struggle, and a time to rethink our challenges and expectations.
During the meeting held in the city of Bilbao, Spain, at the end of October 2018 one of the main proposals of the Cuban delegation was the denunciation of the economic and financial blockade against Cuba, Venezuela and other countries of the world by the government of the United States . Elpidia Moreno, National Coordinator of the WMW in the island, explained how the blockade affects Cuban women, although the shortcomings to which they have been subjected has not destroyed the solidarity and the ability to continue fighting for their rights.
Moreno added that it is essential to work for the incorporation of Caribbean countries and enhance relations with Social Movements
and also said that Cuban women should continue working on integrating young women into the struggles of this movement. Doing so from a legal perspective. is one of the priorities of work in the next two years, for it suggested that in addition to the work that is done from the National Coordinations they should promote international youth meetings so that the young people know about the struggles and challenges of the women of the continents, and learn from the exchange of experiences in the modes of action.
Zulema Hidalgo, who is a member of the Cuban Chapter of the WMM and represents the Oscar Arnulfo Romero Center delegation, said that from Cuba we have to fight for feminism on the island and in the region to be an ideology of ways of doing things. of ways of thinking and placing it in the scenarios and political decision-making spaces of the countries.
It considered essential the formation of diverse social actors for the attention of the violence of gender and the studies of the solidarity economy to promote the entrepreneurship
of women and that opens horizons to a culture of self-management so they can create their small businesses in their communities.
For the Cuban delegation it was very important to know the work experience in the Basque Country, we also value in high esteem its organization and the spaces for exchange and fraternization. As well as the modest contributions that we do, we made advances in the consensus for the struggle.
The MMM from the island is coordinated by the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) and in the meeting aswell participated as part of the delegation of the FMC, the Editorial de la Mujer, the National Association of Small Farmers and the Oscar Arnulfo Romero Center, all members of the Cuban Chapter with the support of organizations such as OXFAM, SDC and the World March of Women of the Americas.
For Angela Scott
When I got the call about going to Bilbao for the World March of Women convening as a representative of Grassroots Global Justice and the US Chapter, I was immediately up for it. Here was a chance for me to gather with feminists from 36 countries all around the world who are working in their communities to further the rights of women as well as build relationships that stretch far beyond borders. Thinking back now, there are a few things that I will never forget about this experience. One is the unity and power of the Bilbao women.
In one evening after our arrival, we were told that a woman had been murdered and that women were taking to the streets. Whenever there was a case of femicide the women of Bilbao did this. As a group of us walked to the meeting place I expected to see a small gathering of women there but instead there was a community. We marched through the streets and women begin to join at every turn. I looked back and we were hundreds or, so it seemed. Raised fists and flying flags filled the streets. This was powerful but, in a way, also sad. We marched, danced, sang and chanted at the top of our lungs. It made me think of my own community. At home, when Sandra Bland was murdered,
we marched. When Nia Wilsons throat was slit on the train, we marched. When he and she and them and they were murdered we marched so that the streets were not only filled with our blood but our cries for justice.I will never forget that. All the women gathering to comfort and lend each other strength. This was us.
The next few days listening to women talk about their struggles at first made me feel ashamed to be there representing a country that had a history and present so vile. I listened to my sisters talk about the rise of fascism in their regions. I listened to women from Palestine and Brazil and Argentina and Cuba and my heart sank for them as they spoke with such passion and fear in their voice. I realized why we were there, why I was there. Here were all my sisters from around the globe fighting the same fight as me, fighting the same oppressors. Patriarchy, capitalism, colonialism, militarization. For them that face was the United States, but I was there from the United States and although I have some privileges my community is fighting the same forces. I know what it’s like for militarized men to occupy my community. We march and sing, and our blood and tears stain the concrete and neither dries.
This space was important. It was essential for me to break bread with my sisters. And in particular, as a black woman from the U.S., to build with my African siblings.
Some important decisions were made at the convening with regard to the global action of 2020. We set our guiding slogan and elected our new International Committee. The US chapter is excited to build a shared plan of action with our regional comrades, including through the development of shared feminist political education. We are excited for the WMW to continue to grow into support of youth leadership and LGBTQ issues. Especially, given the presence of Trump’s administration we know that now is the time to be building an international feminist movement from the grassroots.
The women on the march, the women who are in Bilbao, some for the first time and others who have historically participated in the construction of these meetings, we understood that meeting is a victory for women.
From different territories, from different countries with similar realities, to find ourselves as women defying the patriarchal mandates that want to see us separated, divided, alone in our homes without questioning absolutely nothing, giving our work force to capitalism, submissive, without the possibility of deciding about what to do with our lives.
The International Meeting ment days of reflection, of mystics, of hugs, of laughter, of conversations with words or signs, of sharing, of recognizing ourselves in women who day by day expose their lives putting their bodies. Our slogan for action is clear and reflects the current moment that our countries are going through, that is why we say Resist to live, March to transform.
We leave strengthened, with the conviction that before the advance of neoliberal capitalism we must be together and organized.
For: Alejandra Laprea/ María Centeno
Bilbao is a humid city that welcomes without much ado and at every step it reminds you how strong a town and its women must be to have settled in that territory where a persistent rain permeates every stone, every body.
Strong women who disarm with a hug or a smile too effusive like the ones the Caribbean women do.
The XI Meeting of the World March of Women was a party and a political meeting, which paraphrasing international policy commentators, we can only qualify as high level.
The agenda started with the delegations, the women of Euskal Herria, international observers and guests marching through Bilbao to the Bizkaia Aretoa, a place that would be our shelter for the meeting for 5 days.
Accompanied by drums, tambourines and typical instruments of Euskal Herria, slogans were heard from America, Africa, Asia and Europe. Exciting to hear "Alertaaaaa to the walking of the feminist struggle through the Bilbao’s streets " and more than symbolic because this march and its songs was a summary of what has been built for 18 years in the WMM, feminist internationalism arising from the consciousness that the struggle is of class, gender and ethnicity and that our enemy is patriarchal and colonial capitalism and its expression is global.
For the Venezuelan delegation, the XI Encuentro was the opportunity to receive the close embrace of those who share the dream of feminist socialism, who accompany the Bolivarian revolution and those who are willing to hear the other side of history, that is not shown in the mass media and that every day Venezuelan women build in daily resistance.
Our delegation denounced the blockade and the criminal economic sanctions that are an instrument to destroy the peoples, and that continue to punish Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and other countries that do not kneel before the will of the imperial powers.
The XI Meeting combined the debate of the delegations with their daily public presence in cultural spaces such as debates, concerts, marches and acts of solidarity with local struggles. Every night we had the opportunity to leave a feminist footprint in the old town of Bilbao, accompanying for a few days the dynamics of struggle and resistance of Basque organizations.
For the closing day again the international delegates took to the streets to the cry of Gora Borroka Feminist! (Long live the Feminist struggle!). accompanied by partner organizations such as Via Campesina, Friends of the Earth, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance and The Global Campaign to Claim the Sovereignty of Peoples, Dismantle Corporate Power and End Impunity and the Feministon Herria (Feminist People). As the march progressed, migrant women joined in, women who raise the flag of self-defense against machismo, trade unionists, cooperatives, care workers, etc. They added up recognizing the imperative need to globalize hope, to globalize the struggles of the rebellious peoples. They marched and sang in Basque, Portuguese, Arabic, French, English and Spanish, denouncing in all languages the criminal alliance of capitalism with patriarchy and its consequences on the bodies and territories of women.
Already getting closer to the XI International Meeting of the WMM, the delegations of the Americas are envisaging the end of a long road full of challenges, struggles and dreams.
The work of the region has been done through virtual encounters, drawing from meetings in other areas of articulation, and taking time out of their very demanding national agendas to get to Bilbao.
In the baggage of the delegations from the Americas there are not only personal items, but also the voices of thousands who have decided to march until we are all free.
The editorial of the Second Bulletin of the Americas has been focused to sharing some of the expectations and proposals with which the Americas join the XI International Meeting.
The Americas come to the XI International Meeting with their experiences of resistance and mobilization to confront neoliberalism, conservatism and hatred.We would like to discuss the global context and the extractivist model and how it affects the lives of women and share with all the collective creation of global actions against patriarchy, fundamentalism and transnational, neoliberal, racist, misogynous and lesbophobic capital.
We will denounce imperialism, the economic and financial blockades that are applied to countries that decide to try other models of political organization.
We will share our struggles for Legal Abortion and against sexist violence. Our sustained experience in the defense of the land body territory, within the framework of caring for the web of life for good living, without subjection. And our various forms of resistance to the neoliberal onslaught that vainly tries to push back the popular gains that during the first decade of the 21st century, the progressive decade we have had.
Our proposals are from the anti-system feminist struggle that acts to dismantle heteropatriarchal, racist and colonial capitalism. From our collective strength as women we get involved in the processes of alliance with movements and actions to build a model in which the center is the sustainability of life.
In the Americas we hope that the XI International Meeting will be a space to deepen our articulation, our solidarity and to organize our common agendas for the V International Action of the March of Women
Every 28th Our Rights.
La Araña Feminista - MMM Venezuela in articulation with other Feminist organizations such as the Left Cultural Front and RIAS promotes since February 2018 the activity “Every 28th for Our Rights” a permanent appointment for the legalization of abortion in the country.
With the demonstrations carried out monthly in front of the National Constituent Assembly building we seek the declaration of the Venezuelan state as secular, the recognition of women´s right to decide on their bodies and the duty of the state to guarantee that motherhood is absolutely voluntary, which implies legal abortions and in conditions that protect the life and health of women.
Our feminist proposals are being considered for a chapter on Sexual Rights and Reproductive Rights in the next Venezuelan constitution, but also got a right to speak before the Commission of Women and Gender Equity and the promise of a right of speech before the plenary session of the National Constituent Assembly, which has not yet happened.
We joined the Green wave