In a context of patriarchy and neoliberal economics, the banking and finance system is in collapse. Attempts at recovery to improve its functioning only worsen the situation. The stock markets of the world are in free-fall; the crisis is growing and cannot be hidden. The consequence of the non-redistribution of wealth is massive impoverishment of populations, and of women in particular. This system favours the development of war as a tool to acquire the resources of the South and to develop the arms industry. In the midst of these military conflicts, women suffer unacceptable and inhuman violence.
The colossal gains of the speculators and stockholders have been privatised while the enormous losses of the system have been nationalised, i.e. paid for by all us, men and women, through our States.
We, women of the world, are the first to be affected by run-away unemployment, by the loss of food autonomy, by the commercialisation of common goods. This financial crisis is closely linked to all the other crises: climate change, and the food, energy, and work crises.
The countries of the South are pillaged for their riches; their food habits modified to benefit the agro-food transnational corporations. They have been suffocated by the weight of debt and by the lack of transparency in the use of loans from international organisations.
In the face of the bankruptcy of the only model of globalised economic organisation, we activists of the World March of Women, gathered in Vigo, Galícia, from 14th – 21st October 2008, re-affirm our anti-liberal position and demand the transformation of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the European Central Bank and the World Trade Organisation, as well as the Development Banks. We vigorously denounce all free trade agreements, especially the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) – such as the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) – and the General Agreement of Trade in Services (GATS). We demand the end to fiscal paradises that hide drug money and corruption; we demand control of all movement of capital.
It is clear that we need another economic system; we need to develop the creation of economic solidarity structures, autonomous production cooperatives, as well as a Bank of the South to support development that is ecological, egalitarian, and sustainable.
We want transparency regarding the use and administration of public funds. We want the resources of the people to be allocated to meet their essential needs first and foremost.
Our States are responsible; they owe us accounts. It is their duty and obligation to regulate the economic system and protect citizens from financial sharks. The costs of the crisis should be assumed by the stockholders and by those who have grown rich from the speculation.
Other rules for the distribution and use of money should be defined in a democratic and participatory manner, together with the populations, social movements, and feminist organisations. The definition of budgets should take into account the preservation of common goods and the development of public services. All of us, all men and women of the world, have the right to a healthy diet, decent housing, health care, education, a decent job, transportation, and culture.
Together we can build a world where our values of justice, peace, equality, solidarity, and freedom are given priority.