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World March of Women

World March of Women in Istanbul

Tuesday 13 July 2010, by Nadia De Mond

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WMW in Istanbul

During the two days before the European Social Forum opened in Istanbul at the beginning of July, the World March of Women held its own but linked initiative. International Viewpoint received this short report.

We had a two day mobilization, with a first gathering to welcome a caravan coming from the Balkan countires, near Taksim Square. We made some speeches there and had a good press coverage. We then improvised a walk with 300 women to the port where our Kurdish and Turkish friends had organized a boat trip to the Maiden’s Tower, a symbol for the local feminist movement.

On the 30th, more than 500 women, half Turkish and Kurdish, the other half coming from 22 countries, participated in the European feminist gathering in Macka university, composed of pelary meetings and workshop. This meeting was followed in the evening by a colourful and noisy demonstration in the center of Istanbul with more than 1000 women, many of them Kurdish. The whole mobilization was a big success, in spite of the difficulties in involving the local (Istanbul) autonomous feminist movement, and the divisions in the left. Most Turkish and Kurdish participants/organizers were feministsactive in mixed social movements.

For the WMW this is another succesful step in its ongoing process as an international feminist anticapitalist movement.

More information about the third international action on the site

Declaration of the European Feminist Gathering of the World March of Women

The European Regional Action of the WMW took place in Istanbul, Turkey from June 29th to June 30th.

30 June 2010, Istanbul

Today, on 30 June 2010, over 500 women from 22 countries and territories gathered in Istanbul, Turkey for the European convergence of the 3rd International action of the World March of Women. By coming to Istanbul we express our solidarity with Turkish and Kurdish women in their struggle for women’s rights and people’s self-determination. We articulated our idea of an open, democratic and secular Europe where all women can enjoy and benefit from their rights as full citizens.

Our gathering is a result of the previous work that has been done in different countries, among them the construction of a balkan network as well as national meetings in different countries to prepare for this event.

We are meeting in a moment when governments and international institutions are using the economic and financial crisis to attack women’s right and the achievements of social movements of the last 50 years. We oppose and denounce these measures and we struggle against the worsening of working conditions and pension previsions. We struggle against privatisation of and budget cuts for public services and ask to reduce military budgets instead. We stand up against the rise of the far right, fundamentalisms and militarism as well as the criminalisation of social movements and the use of violence against women to suppress these movements. We oppose the sexual harrassment against especially kurdish women and children as state policy as well as all kind of state based violence against women activists. We all stand with the women from the oppressed nations, that agreed to continue their struggle against nationalist, sexist and class exploitation.

Together as an international feminist movement of grass roots women we will continue this struggle by organising and taking part in upcoming mobilisations such as:

- our international action for peace and demilitarisation in the Democratic Republic of Congo in October 2010;

- the observation of the trial against 151 Kurdish politicians, mayors, women’s rights defendors and trade union members in Diarbakyr in October 2010;

- the Euromarches against precarity and unemployment in Brussels in October 2010;

- the countersummit to the NATO summit in Portugal in November 2010;

- the demonstration of the European Trade Union Confederation in September 2010;

- the construction of a European forum on food sovereignty in Austria in 2011.

We call on social movements to connect to the many struggles of the people that are taking place locally and unite them at a continental level, as we are doing it in the World March of Women. Now is the moment to join these struggles in order to overcome capitalism, patriarchy and racism.

Change the world to change women’s lives. Change women’s lives to change the world.

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WMW in Istanbul