World Social Forum 2009, Belém do Para, Brazil

Women’s Assembly Declaration

9 February 2009 by Women Assembly


In the year in which the WSF joins with the population of the
Pan-Amazon, we, women from different parts of the world gathered in
Belém, reaffirm the contribution of indigenous women and women from
all forest peoples as political subjects that enriches feminism in
the framework of the cultural diversity of our societies and
strengthens the feminist struggle against the patriarchal capitalist
global system.

The world is currently experiencing various crises that demonstrate
that this system is not viable. Financial, food, climate and
energetic crises are not isolated phenomena, but represent a crisis
of the model itself, driven by the super exploitation of work and the
environment, and financial speculation of the economy.

We are not interested in palliative answers based on market logic in
response to these crises; this can only lead to perpetuation of the
same system. We need to advance in the construction of alternatives.
We are against the use of agro-fuels and carbon credit markets as
‘solutions’ to the climate and energy crises. We, feminist women,
demand a change in the production and consumption model.

In relation to the food crisis, we affirm that transgenic foodstuffs
do not represent a solution. Our alternatives are food sovereignty
and the development of agro-ecological production.

With respect to the financial and economic crisis, we are against the
withdrawal of millions from public funds to rescue banks and
businesses. We, feminist women, demand employment protection and the
right to a decent income.

We cannot accept that attempts to maintain this system are made at
the expense of women. The mass layoffs, cuts in public spending in
social fields, and reaffirmation of this production model increase
the work involved in reproduction and sustainability of life, and
thus directly affect our lives as women.

To impose its domain worldwide, the system resorts to militarization
and arms; genocidal confrontations are fabricated that reduce women
to spoils of war and use sexual violence as a weapon of war in armed
conflict. Entire populations are forcibly displaced, forcing them to
live as political refugees. Violence against women, feminicide and
other crimes against humanity are committed on a daily basis in armed
conflicts, while perpetrators enjoy total impunity.

We, feminist women, propose radical and profound changes in relations
among human beings and with the environment, the end of lesbophobia,
of hetero-normative and racist patriarchy.

We demand the end of control over our bodies and sexuality. We claim
the right to make free decisions in relation to our lives and the
territories we inhabit. We are against the reproduction of society
through the super-exploitation of women.

We express our solidarity with women in regions of armed conflict and
war. We add our voices to those of our sisters in Haiti and reject
the violence perpetrated by the military occupation forces. We
support the Colombian, Congolese and countless other women who resist
– on a daily basis – the violence of military and militia groups in
conflict in their countries. We stand together with Iraqi women
facing the violence of the US military occupation.

At this current time, we express our particular solidarity with
Palestinian women in the Gaza Strip under military attack from
Israel, and we join the struggles for the end of war in the Middle
East.

In peace, as in war, we support the victims of patriarchal and racist
violence against black and youth women.

Equally, we express our support and solidarity to all sisters in
their resistance struggles against hydroelectric dams, timber and
mining companies and mega-projects in the Amazon and around the
world, as well as those who are persecuted as a result of their
legitimate opposition to this exploitation. We unite with those
struggling for the right to water.

We stand with all women criminalized for the practice of abortion and
defend this right. We strengthen our commitment and join together in
actions to resist fundamentalist and conservative attacks, in order
to guarantee that all those women who need to, are entitled to safe
and legal abortion.

We support the struggle for accessibility for disabled women and for
the right of migrant women to freely “come and go”.

On behalf of all these women, and of ourselves, we continue committed
to the construction of the feminist movement as a counter-hegemonic
political force and an instrument for women to achieve the
transformation of their lives and our societies, by supporting and
strengthening the self-organisation of women, dialogue, and
networking between social movements’ struggles.

On 8th March and during the Global Week of Action 2010, as women
around the world we will unite in our confrontation of the capitalist
and patriarchal system that oppresses and exploits us. In the streets
and in our homes, in forests and the countryside, in our struggles
and the in the spaces of our daily lives, we will maintain our
rebellion and mobilisation.
Belém, 1st February 2009



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