The Global Project: The Demands of the World March of Women in 2000 (and still valid!)
The World Women’s March 2000 heralds a year of women’s initiatives and demonstrations all over the planet. In Montreal a world platform has been drawn up, demanding and end to all forms of violence and insecurity from which women suffer. In Europe they were demonstrating so that the call was heard for equality, justice and solidarity and the refusal to accept violence, exclusion and discrimination.
The women of Europe have been marching to build a world of equality between women and men, a world no longer ruled by men, in which women will therefore no longer suffer from marginalising and violence.
The women of Europe have been marching to reaffirm the commitment to peace and democracy.
The women of Europe have been marching to build a world based on sharing of the collective wealth, equality, justice and solidarity.
This march was a step towards the development of women’s networks, which has act as forces of opposition and has made themselves heard in the power centres of Europe.
They were calling for real reversal in people thinking. They were no longer be satisfied with the pretence of simply offering women equal access.
1. FOR A EUROPE OF SOLIDARIY, DEMOCRACY AND OPENNESS
Women are targets of phenomena linked to economic globalisation: flexibility in employment, over exploitation, relocation, widening of inequalities, challenges, to the gains they have made. In Europe and in the rest of the world they bear the heaviest burdens of globalisation be cause they form the bulk of the low income, flexible labour force that is needed for competitiveness. They are most affected by economic crises and restructuring. In central and Eastern Europe 75 million people, mostly women have lost their job security through the transition to liberal economies. Their social rights are no longer assured since these come second to the needs of the market; public services have been dismantled and public investment is decreasing. This situation creates the condition for civil unrest and ethnic conflict. With women always the first victims.
THE WOMEN OF EUROPE CALL FOR A EUROPE OF SOLIDARITY, which devotes its efforts to reducing the growing gap between well off and poorer countries and between women and men.
THE WOMEN OF EUROPE CALL FOR the cancellation of all Third World debt and an end to structural adjustment plans.
THE WOMAN OF EUROPE JOIN in the international calls for citizens’ control over the World Trade Organisation; for a moratorium on all decisions which would extend the WTOs powers and bring about increasing deregulation in many areas; for a tax on financial transactions (Tobin tax) and for all measures to limit the power of multinational corporations and the controllers of capital.
A DEMOCRATIC EUROPE in which citizens rights are respected and enhanced. In every country, including western democracies, women are always regarded as second class citizens. The rights that they have gained are constantly challenged and governments that claim to be indignant about the condition of women in the south continue to support the often dictatorial regimes that oppress them.
- The Woman demand equal representation of women and men in political, economic and social life.
- The Woman demand that our governments withdraw all support from dictatorial regimes that oppress women.
- The Woman call for respect for secularity and we oppose fundamentalism and power exercised by religions over our lives. They called for non-recognition in Europe of religion inspired discriminatory laws with regard to people and for modification of bilateral agreements with countries that originated and authorise discriminatory laws.
- The Woman call for access to citizenship for people from other nations, for the right to vote and to be eligible to take office. The same rights on the same soil.
A EUROPE OF PEACE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
The laws of competition between nations and between producers are taking their toll everywhere – in the environment, devastated by pollution and over exploitation of natural resources and in the increasing arms race. The rights of nations and people are trampled underfoot.
- The Woman demand a healthy and adequate diet for everyone.
- The Woman demand that all recommendations of world conferences on the environment be put into practice without delay.
- The Woman call on Europe to commit itself to policies of redistribution of wealth and of opposition to unequal development and hunger.
- The Woman demand that arms sales and the ruinous and dangerous use of nuclear armament technology be banned, since they enrich wealthy countries and impoverish poor ones.
- The Woman call on Europe to enter into an active foreign policy aimed at preventing and ending conflicts and armed aggression.
AN OPEN EUROPE which, instead of turning itself into a fortress as it has done with the Schengen agreements, has plenty of room for immigrants and abolishes discrimination against them, especially women.
The Woman call for with regard, particularly, to the rights of foreign and immigrant women:
- Regulation of the status of undocumented people, rights of residence for all, autonomy for immigrant women regardless of their marital or family status and the right to free movement.
- The closure of detention centres and an end to arrests and deportations.
- Respect for the rights of asylum and refugee status for women who are victims of sexist discrimination, persecution and violence and such additional discrimination because they are lesbian.
- Rights of residence to be granted to women regardless of their status as wives, mothers, daughters, sisters or wives in a polygamous marriage.
- The right to divorce or separation without loss of residency rights.
A WIDER EUROPE not limited to the 15 countries of the European Union. This should include the eastern and Balkan states, which have a different history but which aspire to rebuild themselves together and to find ways toward sustainable development based on a healthy environment and a democratic culture. The women of all these countries are marching together.
2. AGAINST POVERTY AND INSECURITY FOR SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND OCCUPATIONAL EQUALITY
Women are especially affected by unemployment and job insecurity. They rarely have access to the most advantageous jobs and are paid lower salaries than men. Housework is still regarded as their responsibility worldwide.
IN A EUROPE OF SOCIAL JUSTICE
WE WANT rights, income and the quality of life are brought into line upwards.
WE WANT the right to a job and an income, to equality to a life in human dignity and we refuse to accept discrimination.
WE CALL FOR, in respect of equality for women and men:
- Equal pay for men and women.
- An end to obligatory part time work.
- A ban on night work for everyone except in sectors where it is necessary and in which case with special compensation.
WE CALL FOR, in respect of equality in Employment:
- Equal pay for women and men.
- An end to enforced part time work.
- A ban on night work for everyone unless it is absolutely necessary, in which case it should be with special compensation.
WE CALL FOR, in respect of the right to live in dignity:
- Increases in unemployment payments and other welfare benefits.
- The preservation of public welfare systems and for them to be available to all.
- Equality of access to health care and housing, with priority in public housing for the homeless, especially single women, with or without children.
- Free high quality public education for all.
- The creation of social facilities, especially childcare for young children, accessible to all who need it.
- Free transport, electricity, access to cultural and communication facilities, for the unemployed.
- A minimum individual income, to live decently, guaranteed for life.
A reduction in military expenditure would allow considerable sums to be re-directed toward meeting social needs.
WE DEMAND, in respect of discrimination:
- An end to repression of trade unions.
- Penalties for all forms of harassment in the workplace.
- The abolition of economic and social discrimination against foreign and immigrant women and with entitlement to residency permits which allow them to work freely and enjoy economic and social autonomy.
3. FOR WOMEN’S RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION WITH REGARD TO THEIR BODIES LIFESTYLES AND SEXUALITY
Governments should recognise women’s right to self determination with regard to their own bodies and lives and should guarantee all women access to contraception and abortion and freedom of sexual lifestyle.
WE CALL FOR, in respect of contraception and abortion:
- Adoption of policies that recognise lesbians within society and an end to forced acceptance of the heterosexual norm.
- Recognition that violence towards lesbians is a fundamental human right.
- The right of lesbians to enjoy rights equal to those of heterosexual women and freedom from anti-lesbian discrimination (application of article 19 of the treaty of Amsterdam).
4. FOR ERADICATION OF ALL FORMS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
Violence against women and girls should be recognised everywhere as a violation of fundamental human rights. Any custom, religion, cultural practice or political power cannot justify it. It is part and parcel of social gender relations and is not the „private affair“ of those who become its victims. To the contrary, It is genuinely, a social phenomenon, rooted in societies where there are still permissive attitudes towards it. It has noteworthy psychological, moral, physical and financial consequences, which should be taken into account by governments. It is aimed at destroying the human dignity and personal integrity of women and girls. It is exploited during armed conflicts to humiliate and destroy women, mark one’s territory, demoralise one’s adversary and carry out „ethnic cleansing“ policies. It cannot be tolerated.
In the past two decades, although the majority of European countries have been their legislation more and more, we must re-affirm that it is not enough to pass laws, even good one; one must also see that they are effectively applied.
WE DEMAND that independent bodies are be created in each country, including associations for he defence of women’s rights and victim’s organisations to monitor the application of the laws.
5. FOR A EUROPE ACTIVE IN THE STRUGGLE AGAINST VIOLENCE TOWARDS WOMEN AND GIRLS AROUND THE WORLD
- WE CALL on governments, that claim to honour human rights to condemn every political, religious, economic or cultural power which exercises control over the lives of women and girls, to denounce regimes that do not respect their fundamental rights and to put pressure on these governments to apply the international convention on human right.
- WE CALL on governments to recognise the jurisdiction of the International court of Justice and the implement its decisions, notably those in which rape and sexual aggression constitute war crimes.
- WE CALL on governments to participate actively in searching for and arresting the accused, so that they may be tried by the international courts.
- WE CALL on governments to implement effective action plans, programmes and projects and to provide the financial resources and other means necessary to put an end to violence against women. These action plans should contain the following elements: prevention; raising public awareness; repressive measures against, and punishment of aggressors; research and documentation of violence against women, care and protection of victims; combating pornography, criminal procurement and sexual aggression, including the rape of children; facilitating access to legal processes; education of the police force and judiciary.
- WE CALL for the creation of structures for receiving, housing and helping women and girls who have become the victims of violence, wherever these do not exist.
- WE CALL for all educational systems to be required to eliminate sexism and stereotyping of sex roles and of sexuality, which undermine equality, so as to promote mutual respect and dignity of everyone In addition teacher should receive training in this area.
FOR IMPROVEMENT OF LEGAL PROCEDURES
WE CALL FOR:
- Victims to have rights and access to legal processes at least equal to those of the accused, for assistance and for information throughout the legal process.
- Authorities to implement measures to protect the victims of violence and to create mechanisms to monitor their application.
- The banning of all references, throughout the legal processes concerning any sort of violence, to the victim’s history (especially psychiatric care, drug addiction, prostitution, multiple relationships and sexual activity in general).
- Witnesses for the victims’ defence of women’s rights to be admitted as plaintiffs on behalf of victims.
AGAINST RAPE. WE CALL FOR:
- Domestic (conjugal rights) violence to be written into laws and recognised in the practical application of the law, this to include psychological and economic violence, violence within marriage and the exclusion of mediation.
- Immigrant women to have the freedom to leave a violent spouse without losing their right of residency and nationality.
AGAINST VIOLENCE TOWARDS CHILDREN, WE CALL FOR:
- The availability of retrospective proceedings and claims for damages; any statutory limitations should begin from the date when the victim reaches majority and not from the date of the crime.
- Legislation to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace.
- Protection when identifying colleagues, clients, or patients who practice sexual harassment in the workplace
- The workplace to be free from hostility toward women and legislation to deal with offenders.
- Employers to be required to implement preventative and protective measures, including monitoring of progress by the authorities.
- Accountability for sexual and sexist harassment and abuse outside the workplace.
AGAINST FEMALE MUTILATION, WE DEMAND:
- That female genital mutilation as a violation of human rights is written into laws and effectively penalised.
- That governments undertake campaigns of prevention, awareness training and information on female genital mutilation and its consequences with adequate financial support.
AGAINST FORCED MARRIAGES, WE CALL FOR:
- Penalties for discrimination against lesbians and homophobia and facilities for lesbian associations to bring charges against offenders.
- Violence against lesbians to because of this lifestyle to be included among aggravating circumstances in exercising the law where it exists.
AGAINST PORNOGRAPHY, WE CALL FOR:
- A ban on the public advertising of pornographic performances.
AGAINST CRIMINAL PROCUREMENT AND PROSTITUTION, WE DEMAND:
- The ratification and effective application, by all countries, of the Convention on the Suppression of Trafficking in Human Beings and of Exploitation of the Prostitution of Persons dated 2 December 1949.
- That countries legislate for the possibility of prosecution of their own nationals who are guilty of sex tourism in another country.
- The implementation of the International Tourism Charter and Tourism Code, adopted on 26 September 1985 by the World Tourism Organisation
- The prosecution of those who organise for sex tourism.