Translated by J. Palameda
“WOMEN DEMAND RESPECT FOR LIFE, FOOD SECURITY, UNIVERSAL HEALTH, AND AN END TO VIOLENCE”
The Covid-19 pandemic has so far caused the death of more than 200,000 people around the world, and more than 3 million people are infected across the world, a situation that has led to the deepest humanitarian crisis of our epoch and been expressed in all fields of social activity.
This pandemic has laid bare the true nature of capitalism as a system of economic, social, political and cultural exploitation and injustice, which in its inhuman voracity and bloodthirst is the fundamental cause of the suffering of millions of human beings, on top of facing the danger of death and disease, the population does not have the bare minimum conditions to face the situation. This is because capitalism, in its essence, guarantees the accumulation of wealth in a few hands and the exploitation of the working classes, and the peoples and resources of poor countries. The indicators show the large economic gaps, since the richest 1% of the population has twice the wealth of 6.9 billion people. The great imperialist powers accumulate wealth, while approximately 735 million people live in extreme poverty with no prospect of overcoming their precarious condition.
In this scenario, the great imperialist powers: the United States, China, The European Union, and Russia, are trying to take advantage of the situation to resolve their contradictions and continue in their quest for domination and hegemony without caring about life and the vital problems of humanity.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, cases of COVID-19 infections are skyrocketing day by day as well as the number of people who have died from this disease. The pandemic is spreading every day throughout the continent, leaving millions of families defenseless.
During this pandemic all inequities and forms of exploitation have escalated significantly: governments representing the interests of capitalism and the powerful take advantage of this situation to impose adjustment measures and policies with which the weight of the crisis is offloaded on the people and the government does not hesitate to break laws and constitutional mandates, and they also do not hesitate to tear down human rights conquered by struggles over many years.
We therefore demand that governments institute a MORATORY ON EXTERNAL DEBT to ensure that these resources are allocated to meet the health, food, and sanitation needs of poor families, especially single-mother households.
In this context, we commemorate May 1st, International Day of the Working Class and of the workers of the world, and on this date, despite the confinement, the people raise the flags of class unity and solidarity of the exploited to revitalize the great ideal of transforming society.
On this historic date, the women’s and feminist organizations that drive the Meeting of Latin American and Caribbean Women, salute the women workers and urban and rural workers in the region, and the world, while denouncing the hyper-exploitative conditions in which millions of women around the world work without cease and in the worst conditions of precariousness on the front line of confronting the pandemic as health workers, workers for life and society. In confinement, we women live with the overload of work since, under these conditions, reproductive and domestic labor has increased substantially, generating conditions of physical and emotional wear. Today it has become evident that the work of social reproduction, precarious and exploited, is more feminized than ever before. To make matters worse, in the wake of the expansion of the pandemic, capitalist governments are imposing anti-worker and neo-liberal austerity policies that plan for the elimination of millions of jobs. the increase in unemployment, and greater labor exploitation.
We fight every day to confront these conditions of suffering and exploitation of women and families, and in this context, we also have to address the violence that has been directed against women, children, and adolescents without us having the possibility of confronting on the streets the patriarchal and structural violence that is present every day. Throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, femicide, rape and sexual crimes have multiplied, putting women’s lives and integrity at serious risk.
Despite these conditions, we women organized ourselves together with our peoples to face the pandemic and its consequences. The casserole pan protests, strikes, work stoppages, and permanent activism through social networks show that we are not resigned to having our right to life, health, and dignity taken away from us. We have raised our flags and fists and now we are preparing to commemorate May 1st with greater determination and defiance to: DEMAND RESPECT FOR HUMAN LIFE, UNIVERSAL HEALTH, FOOD SECURITY, STABLE, DIGNIFIED AND SAFE WORK; ELIMINATION OF ALL TYPES OF VIOLENCE AGAINST US!
On this May 1st, we will unite our voices and fists to fight together for our rights. We will come together from all areas of Latin America and the Caribbean to say that we are more alive than ever, stronger and more resolute in the purpose of building with our life’s effort and experiences the new world that will be a dawn that embraces all humanity in a song of freedom, justice and dignity.