WSF Tunis

Declaration of the International Women’s dynamic at the Assembly of Social movements of the World social forum

13 April 2013 by Assembly of Social Movements

We are very pleased with the strong presence of women, as well as women’s and feminist organisations, who took part in the World Social Forum in Tunis in March 2013, and who declared their solidarity with women’s struggles around the world, in particular in the Arab world.

A joint analysis prevailed over the diversity of work undertaken in different activities during the week:
- austerity policies and neoliberal globalisation predominantly affect women and are having a harder and harder impact on people;
- wars fomented around the world (Palestine, Syria, Libya, Mali, Congo…) use women’s bodies as a weapon of war and exacerbate their sexual exploitation (rape, early and forced marriage)
- the increased influence of fundamentalists and religious powers in relation to policies which adhere to the principle of restructuring world markets represents a threat to the emancipation of women.

Their ultimate aim is to establish a post-revolutionary society based on a new theocratic power, by attacking the foundations of the rule of law and by giving the patriarchy a religious stamp. The status of women is becoming a major political challenge for societies and institutions, as daily instances of violence aim to exclude women from public space; these retrograde policies stem from the same neoliberal economic policies which are enforcing austerity all around the world.

Currently, it is women who are primarily affected by the erosion of economic and social rights and by widespread precarity.

As women, and women’s and feminist organisations, we state:
- our unfailing commitment to the universality of women’s fundamental rights;
- our desire for the ratified CEDAW to become the base for enshrining women’s rights in constitutions, particularly in Arab countries;
- our right to benefit from the world’s resources (water, possession of land, mining wealth);
- our determination to fight against all forms of violence perpetrated against women (rape, sexual harassment)
- our demand for protection for women refugees in conflict zones, as well as victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation.

As women, we demand from the WSF International Council,
- the inclusion of the women’s assembly in the WSF official program;
- more diverse representation in the composition of the International Council, incorporating a stronger presence of feminist groups;
- the use of genuine will and means to effect real parity, as much in the composition of the International Council as in the transversal organisation of debates;
- the consideration of the role of women in the allocation of solidarity funds;
- the establishment of an effective international network in solidarity with Tunisian women who are fighting for their basic rights.

Made in Tunis, 30th March 2013

Contact for the Women’s Dynamic WSF 2013 : ahlem.dynafemmes at

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