In the Dominican Republic, birthplace of the Mirabal sisters, a land well-known for its marvellous nature and the warmth of its people, we women from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela met, convened by ourselves, and motivated by the slogan: “Women of Latin America and the Caribbean Present in the Fight for Our Emancipation, together with Our Peoples, for Liberation.”
With enormous enthusiasm, we women of the popular sectors, workers, peasants, students, teachers, professionals, intellectuals, artists, unemployed, domestic workers, housewives, retired, self-employed, indigenous and black women, attended financed by ourselves on the basis of various activities carried out in each country to have the opportunity to travel to the Meeting and show that we grassroots women can accomplish great things without resorting to financing from governments, NGOs, or foreign foundations from the imperialist countries.
The first activity was to visit the museum of the Mirabal sisters and to pay homage to them, noting that their murders were part of the repression of the struggle of the Dominican people against the Trujillo dictatorship. In our meeting with Minue Tabares Mirabal, daughter of Minerva, the women confirmed their commitments to be a decisive part of the struggles for the liberation of their people.
Since the struggle for independence from colonialism, we women of Latin America and the Caribbean have actively participated in the historical development of our peoples. In all the activities that took place the examples of Micaela Bastidas, Juana Azurduy, Manuela Saenz, Maria Trinidad Sanchez and thousands of anonymous fighters whom we honor with this call are more relevant than ever.
In the 20th century we continue in the footsteps of revolutionary women such as Clara Zetkin, Rosa Luxemburg, the martyrs of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in the U.S., in whose honour March 8 was established as International Working Women’s Day. And later in the 20th century, we also pay tribute and follow the example of martyrs such as Olga Benario, Lolita Lebron, Azucena Villaflor, Rosita Paredes and many more, who gave their lives for the demands for the rights of the women and the peoples.
Our countries, which besides being linked by a common history, with similar social, economic and linguistic characteristics, by the anticolonial and anti-imperialist struggle and the struggle against the oppression of the local ruling sectors, unite in search of a future and perspective of profound changes that will lead us to the definitive independence and emancipation of women together with our peoples.
We women are the ones most affected by this unjust and repressive system. We are fighting against double exploitation and oppression, against gender violence, against ethnic-cultural and age discrimination; for sexual and reproductive education to know and decide about contraceptives to avoid abortion and legal abortion to avoid death; to put an end to the transnational trafficking networks that enslave women and girls and boys into prostitution and drug trafficking, networks that exist with the complicity of the capitalist and patriarchal states subordinated to imperialist designs; for the right to work, against all types of abuse in the workplace, for equal pay for equal work; for food security, for quality education and the eradication of illiteracy among women, for public and quality health care, against all forms of discrimination, against racism and xenophobia, for the recognition of the indigenous ethnic groups and peoples; for the right of women and workers of the countryside to the land and to guarantees for their productive activity; for social services for the sons and daughters of working women in special child care centres and nurseries; for the reduction of the retirement age for women; for the full recognition of women’s political participation; for access to education, culture, recreation and sport for young women, against the scourge of drugs and imperialist alienation, and for the freedom of organization.
In all the activities during the Meeting, in the workshops and plenary sessions, we women expressed our rejection of all forms of violence that we face in our respective countries. The exchange of experience has been the main basis to establish agreements and resolutions that encourage the struggle of the women for the winning of their emancipation and for the definitive independence of our countries.
We firmly reject the imperialist wars of intervention that are the cause of migration, the massive increase of refugees and the creation of an army of human beings who are homeless and jobless and which are the cause of suffering of thousands of women and their families.
At the end of this successful First Meeting of Women of Latin America and the Caribbean, we are committed to strengthening the ties of unity, friendship and solidarity of working women and those of the various popular sectors; to push forward together three dates on the continent that are historic for the women of the world:
1. March 8, International Working Women’s Day as a day of commitment of the women to win their liberation.
2. May 1, International Workers Day, which must confirm its character of struggle for the unity and organization of the workers against capitalist exploitation.
3. November 25, Day against the violence towards women, to regain the historical significance of the struggle and sacrifice of the Mirabal sisters.
In the present situation, we commit ourselves to:
1. Demand from the government of Mexico the immediate presentation alive of the 43 young student teachers of Ayotzinapa.
2. The withdrawal of the foreign troops – MINUSTAH – from Haiti, particularly those of Argentina, Brazil and Chile, and to support Haiti’s right to self-determination as an independent nation.
3. Condemn and reject the criminalization of the social struggle throughout the continent and particularly in Ecuador, which has established the government of Rafael Correa, and for solidarity with the men and women social fighters who are facing trials for making use of their legitimate right to resistance.
September 27, 2015
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