Over the past several years, working class movements across the world have taken to the streets and plazas on March 8, International Working Women’s Day in recognition of the day as an important day of struggle and resistance and to further the cause of women’s liberation. The day which corporations and NGOs have attempted to dilute into a day to give presents to women and recognize their achievements has radical roots. It was established by socialist women in the heat of militant labor and internationalist organizing in order to highlight women’s centrality in the struggle to overthrow class based oppression, as well as to end the unique oppression faced by women.
Today the roots of the day have once again been put at the center of the conversation with people’s movements, feminist organizations, left parties, and progressive groups organizing militant mobilizations, strikes, and actions to demand an end to gender-based violence and oppression, the guarantee to fundamental rights such as abortion and safety, and dignity in the broadest sense, meaning access to employment, housing, and education.
In the United States, feminists continue to celebrate the legacy of IWD, even in the current hostile political climate. Last week, the United States Senate voted down the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would have enshrined the right to an abortion into law rather than merely into legal code. On March 6 and 7, on the weekend preceding International Working Women’s Day, women’s rights activists in the Party for Socialism and Liberation widely denounced the Senate’s actions in a series of rallies and marches organized in cities across the country. Signs across the country were emblazoned with slogans such as “End the war on women’s rights!”, “Only the struggle has won women’s rights!”, and “Safe abortions, on demand, no apologies!”
End the war on women’s rights! Today in honor of International Women’s Day organizers held a rally in Pensacola demanding an end to the war on reproductive rights. pic.twitter.com/98KpZk3u0C
— PSL – Central Gulf Coast (@PSLCGC) March 7, 2022
Meanwhile, in Brazil, the women of the Landless Workers Movement (MST) continue to advance the struggle of women within their broader demand for people’s agrarian reform. On March 8, 100 women occupied the Botafogo Farm, in the municipality of Jussari to demand the area be designated for agrarian reform. Women of the MST also held actions, distributed food, and marched in numerous Brazilian cities alongside other people’s movements in the country such as Levante Popular da Juventude (Popular Youth Uprising), World March of Women, Movement Against Dams, and others.
8M| Fortaleza – CE
Pela Vida das Mulheres, Bolsonaro Nunca Mais!
Por um Brasil sem machismo, racismo e fome!
— MST Oficial (@MST_Oficial) March 8, 2022
In Guatemala, women in Izabal organized a community forum centered around International Women’s Day, with an emphasis on food sovereignty.
#Izabal Comunidad El Esfuerzo Túnico, El Estor realizan Foro comunitario en el marco de Día Inter. de la Mujer, con diferentes comunidades organizadas y combativas contra el machismo y el patriarcado
¡Sembrando Soberanía Alimentaria y solidaridad, cosechamos derechos y vida!#8M pic.twitter.com/S61uZ5n4uL
— CUC (@CUCGuatemala) March 8, 2022
Across Colombia, feminists organized actions like a sit-in demanding accountability for harassment, marches opposing violence against women, and a fair selling goods creating by working women.
#8M 💚💜| Miles de mujeres de la ciudad de Bogotá también salieron a movilizarse hoy en contra de los abusos policiales y las violencias contra las mujeres. Este es el panorama actual de la marcha feminista y antipatriarcal. pic.twitter.com/8A8Vdjf55d
— Colombia Informa (@Col_Informa) March 8, 2022
In El Salvador, women marched in protest of femicide, and the “complicit silence of the state”.
Feminists in Mexico mobilized in cities across the country against femicides and violence. The country has one of the highest rates of femicide in the region and the callousness with which the phenomenon is treated by the justice system was the subject of an Amnesty International report “Justice on Trial: Failures in criminal investigations of femicides preceded by disappearance in the State of Mexico”.
— 𝚕𝚒𝚣𝚋𝚎𝚝𝚑 (@abismada_) March 8, 2022
In the Indian State of Kerala, where communists hold political power, the state government introduced several measures centered around women’s issues. As the Chief Minister of Kerala tweeted, the measures included “A portal to manage complaints on dowry, martial arts training for women, premarital counseling program, and gender audited books for Anganwadis.”
In Zambia, the Socialist Party Women’s League gathered across the country (Eastern, Lusaka, Luapula provinces) in public demonstrations to draw attention to the deep social and economic inequalities inherited from African feudalism, colonialism and contemporary capitalism.
[IN CASE YOU MISSED IT] Lusaka Province Women's Day commemoration pic.twitter.com/q1tkShXHQm
— Socialist Party Zambia (@SPZambia) March 9, 2022
In Tanzania, peasant women of Mtandao wa Vikundi vya Wakulima Tanzania, in collaboration with organisations in the international peasant network of La Via Campesina Southern and Eastern Africa, held a weekend workshop on working-class women struggles in Africa and a public march to mark International Women’s Day, under the banner: ‘Dismantle Social Classes To Build Gender Equality.’
As International Working Women Day #IWD2022 unfolds, @MVIWATA members in Mtwara region along with @LVCSEAf member organisation representatives marches in Masasi Mtwara to mark, recogize and celebrate the role of women in all the spheres of human life. #EndViolenceAgainstWomen pic.twitter.com/9oxfoZMZ4C
— La Via Campesina SEAf (@LVCSEAf) March 8, 2022
In Italy, feminist organization Non Una Di Meno, originally founded to oppose femicide, called a general strike for March 8th to address the precarious situation of women workers after two years of pandemic, among other agitational points such as student’s and LGBTQ issues. “On 8M we show that we are not alone, that we are a collective force.” wrote the organization. “We are convinced: the feminist and transfeminist strike is for the people, of all genders.”
Siamo al fianco di tutte le donne che in tutto il mondo scenderanno in piazza al grido di #nonunadimeno, contro ogni forma di violenza e discriminazione di genere verso donne, ma anche gay, lesbiche, trans e queer. #8Marzo pic.twitter.com/tbWQbRkEHW
— Potere al Popolo (@potere_alpopolo) March 8, 2022
Women activists organized throughout all of Europe, including in Tuzla, where feminists organized a march for safe childbirth and other reproductive rights. In Zagreb, the Faktiv feminist collective also called for a general strike. The collective wrote: “It is up to us to fight on behalf of girls and girls, on behalf of pensioners, workers, refugees and migrants, on behalf of trans and intersex people, on behalf of the homeless and all women who cannot fight for themselves today.”
— Oštra Nula (@ostranula) March 8, 2022