International Women’s Day celebrations: Women resolve to step up the struggle for equality, justice and freedom from exploitation

Hundreds of women marched in Delhi, from Mandi House to Parliament, on March 8 this year, to mark International Women’s Day and to reaffirm their resolve to step up the struggle for a new society, free from exploitation, inequality, injustice and violence. Working women and men, youth and students, young and old, all enthusiastically participated in the program.

IWD march with banner
PMS contingent in the IWD march

PMS speaker addressing the gathering on 8 March 2018

Joint program on the occasion of International Women's Day. [Top] March from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar, [Middle] Spirited Purogami Mahila Sangathan contingent taking part in the march, and [Bottom] PMS representative addressing the public meeting in Parliament Street

More than 20 organisations, actively fighting for the rights of the people, participated in the march, under the joint banner which proclaimed “We march together on March 8!” They carried bright banners and placards hailing International Women’s Day and the struggle of women against exploitation and injustice. Slogans such as – “Long live International Women’s Day!”, “An attack on one is an attack on al!”, “An attack on women is an attack on the whole of society!”, “Down with the fascist, anti-social attacks on our people!”, “Let us get organized, take political power in our hands and change society!” – resonated through the streets of New Delhi, as the demonstration made its way to the Parliament.

At Parliament, a massive rally was held, in which representatives of the participating organisations addressed the participants. Members of several organisations presented skits, dances and group songs, highlighting the struggles of different sections of women for their rights.

The organisations that had come together to jointly organize the march and rally included AIDWA, NFIW, Purogami Maila Sangathan, AIPWA, Jagori, Nirantar, Swastika Mahila Samiti, CBC, All India Confederation for the Blind, Azad Foundation, CREA, Centre for Struggling Women, Feminism in India, Nari Shakti Manch, TARSHI, Joint Women's Program, Rahi Foundation, Saheli, Sama, YWCA, Delhi Viklang Adhikar Manch, The Leprosy Mission and Kamkaji Mahila Sangh.

Speakers highlighted the deplorable plight of women and girls in our society. They denounced the state for its attacks on women and denial of the right of women to livelihood, education, health and basic amenities such as clean drinking water, toilets and sanitation, public transport and protection from assaults on their dignity. They called for united struggle of women to resist these attacks and demanded that those guilty of crimes against women should be severely punished. They demanded equal wages for equal work, pension and social security and end to contract labour. They demanded loan waiver, state procurement and remunerative prices for the peasants. They raised the demand for rights of differently abled persons, particularly women and the rights of the visually impaired. They called for an end to state organized communal violence and other attempts to break the fighting unity of the people. Women student activists from JNU highlighted the apathy of the university administration towards sexual harassment of women students, the demand for disbanding of the GSCASH and other attacks on the rights and freedoms of the students.

World-wide celebration of International Women's Day

Toronto

Canada

Turkey

Turkey

Spain

Spain

Pakistan

Pakistan

Philipines

Philippines

USA

 

US

The speaker of Purgami Mahila Sangathan recalled that it was the Second International Conference of Socialist Women held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1910 that decided that 8th March would be celebrated as International Working Women's Day every year. The life experience of Indian women confirms that the struggle for the liberation of women is inseparably tied to the struggle for socialism – that is, for the liberation of human labour from exploitation by the owners of capital. This is the conclusion that the founders of International Women’s Day reached 108 years ago. It is a conclusion that has stood the test of time.

She called on all the participants to unite in the struggle, with the perspective of putting an end to this unjust and oppressive order, taking political power in our hands and ushering in a new society free from exploitation.

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IWD    Mar 16-31 2018    Voice of the Party    History    Rights     2018   

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