Letter of solidarity with the struggle of women in the world

28 February 2011


In this year, 2011, the World Social Forum joins with the peoples of Africa for the third time, following Mali in 2006 and Kenya in 2007. We, women from different parts of the world who have gathered in Dakar, recognizing that uniting our strengths will eventually bring change, confirm our solidarity and our admiration for the struggles of Senegalese women, African women, and women of the world. Their struggles, alongside the struggles of all men and women, strengthen resistance everywhere against the globalized capitalistic and patriarchal system.

Today, we are still experiencing the same world crises - economic, food, ecological and social - and we are concerned to observe that these crises are persisting and deepening. Here, we reiterate our analysis that these are not isolated crises, but that they represent a crisis of the model characterized by the overexploitation of labour and the environment, and by financial speculation on the economy. This is the reason why we as women continue to call for change of this model of society, this economic model, this production and consumption model, which generates increased poverty for our peoples, in particular for women.

We as women, who are attuned to respect and defence of the principles of justice, peace and solidarity, need to make progress in building alternatives in the face of these crises; however, we have no interest Interest An amount paid in remuneration of an investment or received by a lender. Interest is calculated on the amount of the capital invested or borrowed, the duration of the operation and the rate that has been set. in palliative responses based on market logic.

We cannot accept that attempts to maintain the current system in place are made at the expense of women.

In this regard, we say no to intolerance, to the persecution of sexual diversity and to cultural practices that undermine the health, body and soul of women.

We condemn all kinds of violence against women, in particular, femicide, the trafficking of women, forced prostitution, physical violence, sexual harassment, genital mutilation, early marriage, forced marriage, rape, rape used as a systematic weapon of war, and impunity for those who commit these acts of horror against women.

We also say no to a society that scorns the rights of women by not allowing them access to resources, land, credit, and employment in dignified conditions, where women’s jobs are rendered precarious in order for capital to grow.

We condemn the monopolization and colonization of the land of rural farmers, both men and women, whatever form it takes, by States or multinational corporations, and we condemn transgenic crops, which harm biodiversity and life.

We say no to the arms and nuclear race, which are carried out at the expense of state investment in social, health and educational programmes.

We condemn a society that excludes women from access to knowledge and education, and where women are marginalized and discriminated against in decision-making.

We say no to armed conflicts, wars and occupations. We say YES to a just peace for oppressed peoples.

In the face of all of this, we propose to strengthen our struggle so our countries will achieve economic, political and cultural sovereignty with respect to international financial institutions. We want the cancellation of odious and illegitimate debts, and a citizen’s audit that would allow people to be compensated: women do not owe anything - they are the primary creditors of this odious debt Odious Debt According to the doctrine, for a debt to be odious it must meet two conditions:
1) It must have been contracted against the interests of the Nation, or against the interests of the People, or against the interests of the State.
2) Creditors cannot prove they they were unaware of how the borrowed money would be used.

We must underline that according to the doctrine of odious debt, the nature of the borrowing regime or government does not signify, since what matters is what the debt is used for. If a democratic government gets into debt against the interests of its population, the contracted debt can be called odious if it also meets the second condition. Consequently, contrary to a misleading version of the doctrine, odious debt is not only about dictatorial regimes.

(See Éric Toussaint, The Doctrine of Odious Debt : from Alexander Sack to the CADTM).

The father of the odious debt doctrine, Alexander Nahum Sack, clearly says that odious debts can be contracted by any regular government. Sack considers that a debt that is regularly incurred by a regular government can be branded as odious if the two above-mentioned conditions are met.
He adds, “once these two points are established, the burden of proof that the funds were used for the general or special needs of the State and were not of an odious character, would be upon the creditors.”

Sack defines a regular government as follows: “By a regular government is to be understood the supreme power that effectively exists within the limits of a given territory. Whether that government be monarchical (absolute or limited) or republican; whether it functions by “the grace of God” or “the will of the people”; whether it express “the will of the people” or not, of all the people or only of some; whether it be legally established or not, etc., none of that is relevant to the problem we are concerned with.”

So clearly for Sack, all regular governments, whether despotic or democratic, in one guise or another, can incur odious debts.
. We also demand the effective implementation of the Tobin tax Tobin Tax A tax on exchange transactions (all transactions involving conversion of currency), originally proposed in 1972 by the US economist, James Tobin, as a means of stabilizing the international financial system. The idea was taken up by the association[ATTAC and other movements for an alternative globalization, including the CADTM. Their aim is to reduce financial speculation (which was of the order of 1,500 billion dollars a day in 2002) and redistribute the money raised by this tax to those who need it most. International speculators who spend their time changing dollars for yens, then for euros, then dollars again, etc., as they calculate which currency will appreciate and which depreciate, will have to pay a small tax, somewhere between 0.1% and 1%, on each transaction. According to ATTAC, this could raise 100 billion dollars on a global scale. Considered unrealistic by the ruling classes to justify their refusal to adopt it, the meticulous analyses of globalized finance carried out by ATTAC and others has, on the contrary, demonstrated how simple and appropriate such a tax would be.

ATTAC : https://www.attac.org/
.

We demand food sovereignty for peoples and the consumption of local products, the use of our traditional seeds, and women’s access to land and productive resources.

We want a world where men and women have the same rights, the same opportunities to access knowledge, primary and higher education, literacy and decision-making positions, and the same rights to work and fair salaries.

We want a world where States invest in the health of women and our children; in particular, maternal health.

We demand the ratification and effective implementation of all international agreements, in particular, International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions 156 and 183.

We want the democratization of communications and access to information.

We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian women for a democratic, independent and sovereign Palestinian State, with Jerusalem as its capital, and the return of refugees in compliance with United Nations Resolution 194.

We stand in solidarity with the women of Casamance for a return to peace.

We support the struggle of the Tunisian and Egyptian peoples for democracy,
with the women of the Democratic Republic of Congo for an end to the conflict, and
with the Kurdish women, for a society that is democratic, ecological and free, with equal status between women and men, and where there is the right to use their mother tongue in education.

We stand in solidarity with the right to self-determination for the Sarahoui women, in line with the United Nations Resolution, and to find a peaceful solution according to the Maghreb Social Forum.

We are with all women victims of natural disaster, such as Haiti, Brazil, Pakistan and Australia.

We stand in solidarity with the millions of women and children refugees and displaced persons.

We call for the return to their land and freedom of movement.

We propose the creation of alert and information networks on and for women in conflict or occupied areas. We propose 30 March as the day of international solidarity with the Palestinian people and call for a boycott of products from the Israeli occupier. We call for the creation in 2012 of an international forum for solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people.

We recognize all the struggles of all the women in the world and see their demands as ours: what happens to one of us happens to all of us. This is why we must fight all together.

Adopted on 11th February 2011, in Dakar, Senegal, during the World Social Forum

Signatory organizations:

World March of Women

La Via Campesina

Fédération Démocratique Internationale des Femmes (FDIM, Women International Democratic Federation)

Marcosur Feminist Articulation

Latin American Continental Students Organization (OCLAE)

CADTM

WIDE

Brazilian Women’s Union (UBM)

Centro Brasileiro de Solidariedade aos Povos e Luta pela Paz (CEBRAPAZ, Brazilian Centre of Solidarity with
Peoples and Struggle for Peace)

CTB

Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT, Unified Workers’ Central) (Brazil)

Attac Argentina

Attac Pais Valencia

CEAS – Sahara (Coordinadora Estatal de Asociaciones Solidarias con el Sahara)

Colectivo Granada – España

GenerAttac

Groupement Dang Dang – Senegal

Groupement Défense Bargny - Senegal

Le Monde selon les Femmes – Belgique

Red Vasca de Apoyo a la Unión Nacional de Organizaciones Saharauis

ENDA - Europe




CADTM

COMMITTEE FOR THE ABOLITION OF ILLEGITIMATE DEBT

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00324 60 97 96 80
info@cadtm.org

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