EMONSTRATION SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26
International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
As we approach the International Day for the Elimination of Violence
Against Women, we are reminded that the greatest form of violence on the
largest scale that women suffer is from wars of aggression, militarism
This day was originally enshrined by the
UN to mark the assassination of the Mirabal sisters in Dominican
Republic, who were brutally murdered for their opposition to the
Trujillo dictatorship in 1960. The sisters are symbols of both popular
and feminist resistance and among the heroines of our international
Today violence against women continues to plague our
society on a daily basis: domestic violence, systemic violence of the
state and its anti-immigrant and racist policies, the violence of
poverty, lack of services and poor working conditions.
this is in a context of an affluent society in Canada, where
corporations and banks enjoy healthy profits and low taxes, and where a
$15 minimum wage is seen as an outrageous demand. The double talk has
not changed with the new Trudeau government that finally set up a
Commission into the murder and disappearance of hundreds of indigenous
women while at the same time pushing ahead pipelines for resource
extraction on native lands that will destroy their lives and future.
We, the Women of Diverse Origins cannot forget that Canada is an
imperialist power, engaging in war efforts and bombing campaigns that
are leaving thousands of women, children and men in the Middle East and
elsewhere digging themselves out from under cities left in rubble,
fleeing bombs and mortars. Canada is contributing to the militarization
of humanitarian aid to Haiti, military equipment to reactionary regimes
like Saudi Arabia, and has participated in regime change interventions
in Honduras and elsewhere.
The recent US and NATO-led military
aggressions and proxy wars for control of resources in West Asia
(Middle East) and Africa have caused massive destruction. At the same
time the so-called war on terrorism is used to repress movements
everywhere that oppose plunder of land and resources and environmental
destruction. All of this has hit especially hard at women and children
and contributed to the forced migration of over one million people.
Sexual violence against women has become a military strategy in wars
today. The female body becomes a trophy of war, used to torture,
intimidate, punish and destroy community structure. In the Congo,
Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Guatemala, Colombia and Haiti,
a majority of women have undergone some form of sexual violence during
the armed conflicts committed in their majority by military and
paramilitary forces. The imposition of order by force, by fear and
abuse, is carried out according patriarchal patterns of authority.
However, as the imperialists rev up their engines of war to control the
world and its resources, they are igniting the resistance of the women
and the peoples of the world.
Women’s and people’s resistance grows
In Palestine, the women and people have resisted 68 years of the
Zionist Apartheid Israeli occupation, supported militarily, economically
and politically by American imperialism and its eager ally, Canada.
This policy has remained unchanged under the Trudeau government, but the
world-wide Boycott, Divest and Sanctions campaign against Israel is
having an impact. This can be seen by growing attempts to shut BDS down.
In India, another staunch Canadian ally, the impunity granted the
military in certain parts of the country under the Armed Forces Special
Powers Act (AFSPA) is being challenged. In Kashmir, under military
occupation, women are courageously confronting soldiers even at the cost
of their lives. In Manipur, women have fought back for years against
AFSPA to protest rape and murder by state military forces deployed in
We have seen women of Saharawi (Western Sahara),
fighting for their national rights and economic sovereignty under the
occupation of Morocco, where Saskatchewan-based giant Potash Corp is
exploiting the world’s largest reserve of rock phosphate.
are one with these women and others who have chosen to take up arms in
Kurdish Rojava to defend their land and their right to exist as a
We are inspired by indigenous women in the Philippines
standing up to the paramilitary and government troops sent in to make
way for Canadian and other foreign-controlled mining and extractive
We join with them to resist mining aggression abroad and at home.
We are one with the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline by the
Standing Rock Sioux tribe and members of over 100 tribes from across the
US and Canada.
We honour Berta Caceres and the struggle of the Lenca people in Honduras, that cost her life in March this year.
We refuse to be fooled into supporting regime change by the US, which is meddling in
countries of Latin America it considers as its back yard. We are one
with the people and women of Venezuela who are resisting pressure to
topple their President; we stand with the people and women of Cuba. They
are holding steadfast to their principles while the US hypocritically
re-establishes diplomatic relations while maintaining the 60-year
criminal economic blockade it has imposed on Cuba.
attempts at peace talks in Colombia have been manipulated to a first
defeat by right-wing opposition forces, the fight for peace is making
headway in the Philippines, where the Revolutionary movement has placed
the people’s economic, social and political demands as an integral part
of the agenda They refuse to discuss disarming the revolutionary forces
without first tackling the roots of the 47-year armed conflict.
Women everywhere are taking their place in these struggles, in protest
actions and strikes. This means overcoming difficulties, even breaking
tradition, to join the people’s ranks. We have no choice but to defend
our land, our jobs and freedom, true democracy and peace. A just and
lasting peace that is linked to the struggle for national sovereignty,
social justice and genuine freedom.
Thus we, Women of Diverse
Origins (WDO), as part of the International Women’s Alliance (IWA), call
on our member groups and allies in all sectors to march in
commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence
Against Women. Let us march side-by side to eliminate violence against
women and to underline the need to fight for peace here and in the
Women of the World Unite!
Stop Violence Against Women!
No to Militarism, Occupation and Wars of Aggression!
Women Say No to Imperialist War!
Women want Peace with Justice!
No More Blood for Oil!
No more Blood for Gold!
Protect the Land, Protect our Rights, Freedom and Dignity!