quinta-feira, 15 de março de 2012


Activists and social movements denounce the aggravation of women’s vulnerability on the labor market and socially, caused by neoliberal austerity measures

On this International Women’s day (March 8th), multiple activists, groups and social movements have united to denounce the extent to which, in this dark period of austerity, neo-liberal “answers” are aggravating women’s social and labor market vulnerability.

Their document raises an alert as to the fact that the consequence of these measures is a rise in the number of unemployed people and the duration of their unemployment, in job insecurity, in the unequal pay of men and women, and in gender differentiation in terms of pensions and retirement, thereby heightening the scope and impacts of poverty.

In addition, this feminist protest argues that the decrease in public investments, including, for example, the confirmed budget cuts in the fields of education and sexual and reproductive health, the dismantling of support services and equipment for children and the elderly, as well as the commodification of access to housing, have and will continue to have repercussions on the lives of women, which must not be underestimated. Women’s increased vulnerability to gender-based violence, in addition to the attack on labor rights and hard-won maternity and paternity rights, are also key concerns.

As we see it, the situation is worsening as a result of the cultural relegation of women to the reproductive domain, of the affirmation of a current of thought that seeks to impose values based on the “return of women to the home,” of supposedly “family-oriented” and “aid-based” policies, and of the exclusion of women from critical public debates and the pursuit of alternative solutions.

Consequently, this feminist anti-austerity protest, which has now been publicly unveiled, is advocating for policy alternatives to austerity: social justice policies, policies that stimulate job creation, policies that are not discriminatory but rather emancipatory, and that will guarantee social and labor rights, as well as avenues for economic and social development. Another demand is the establishment of citizens’ audits of public debt and austerity plans, including an analysis of their effects on the lives of women.

This initiative was launched by the Portuguese Coordinating Body of the World March of Women and by the Portuguese feminist association, Union of Women for Alternatives and Responses (UMAR), in order to gather individual and group subscriptions from Portugal and the rest of Europe. 127 individual subscriptions from16 countries and 61 group subscriptions from 18 countries have already been collected to date (see attached lists). Adherence to this political document can be done by sending an e-mail with the following information to mmmulherespt@gmail.com: Individual subscriptions: full name, country and preferred method of contact; Group subscriptions: organization name, country and preferred method of contactmailto:mmmulherespt@gmail.com.

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