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International Women’s Day in Mexico

Sunday 8 March 2020, by Heather Dashner Monk

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Women in Mexico have been carrying out activities around March 8, International Women’s Day, for several decades; and some years ago, we revived the tradition of holding marches in various parts of the country on this day. With the new worldwide rise of the feminist women’s movement, a response to the worsening conditions of oppression and exploitation resulting from patriarchal, neoliberal capitalism, and in Mexico in particular, also to the growing violence against women simply because they are women, this year united activities are being planned in many cities around the country.

In Mexico City, an alliance has been forged called the Feminist Assembly, Together and Organized (bringing together the Autonomous and Independent Feminist Assembly, Metropolitan Feminist Assembly-March 8 Coordinating Committee, and independents). Made up of feminist collectives, trade unionists, popular organizations, political groups, and independent women, it is calling for a united march and activities in what has been dubbed the Lavender Zócalo, in the city’s central plaza, for Sunday, 8 March, and to join in a national day of action throughout the country.

The political demands of the alliance reflect a class-based feminism, including the fight against violence against women and feminicide; against the creation of the National Guard; for universities and schools free of violence; against precarious labour, outsourcing, and simulated contracts and against layoffs by the new Fourth Transformation administration; for union democracy and autonomy; for the recognition of unpaid reproductive work; for the right to choose, freely elected maternity, and the right to legal, safe, free abortion on demand nationwide; for the effective separation of church and state; against ecocidal violence, land-grabbing, and mega-projects; for justice for the murdered women and men defenders of the land; in solidarity with international, anti-patriarchal, anti-capitalist, and anti-imperialist struggles; and for full rights and respect for sexual/gender diversity and against hate crimes.

But, in addition, a feminist collective from Veracruz has called for a national strike on 9 March against feminicidal violence, in line with the international call that has been increasingly echoed worldwide since 2017, with 35 countries participating today. The growing violence in Mexico, and particularly feminicide, has strengthened the response to this call this year. Despite the fact that some parts of the right wing hypocritically and opportunistically want to support this demand, we think that all women who decide to stop activities on Monday 9th, and, if possible, carry out an active strike, should be welcomed. In no way should we stay home and not go out, but rather go out and demand the life without violence to which all Mexican women have a right.

The feminist struggle in Mexico today is one of the country’s most important independent movements, if not the most important. There can be no socialism without the liberation of women, and there will be no such liberation if there is no political movement to demand and support it. Let’s build it.


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