DECLARATION OF THE 6th INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF THE WORLD MARCH OF WOMEN

Lima, July 9, 2006. We, women of the World March, representing 31 countries from across the world in Lima, Peru, at our 6th International Meeting, denounce the globalization of militarization and the imposition of “free trade” agreements because of their devastating effects on women and men, on peoples, and the planet as a whole.

We are struggling to eradicate poverty and violence and to build a world based on freedom, equality, justice, solidarity and peace. We are uniting our forces to resist neoliberalism, impunity and all forms of foreign aggression and intervention and to restore our food sovereignty. We are doing so with other social movements, who like us, are resisting and taking action in every corner of the globe. We believe it is possible to construct this world.

We denounce the unbridled consumption of resources by the United States and their allies in Europe and elsewhere. To satisfy this consumption, they are conducting wars throughout the world and imposing economic treaties that deprive peoples of their food sovereignty, decision-making power, and peace.

They do it in the name of the war against terrorism. They use the international financial institutions (IMF, WB, and WTO), the trade agreements inappropriately termed “free trade,” and the establishment of free-trade areas. They do it with the help of transnational companies that reap enormous profits from these wars.

These policies exhaust natural resources that belong to the peoples who farm them, enhance them and use them to feed and care for themselves. They are accompanied by multiple forms of violence—especially against women. Women are raped, assaulted, prostituted and used as sex slaves; they suffer extensive physical trauma (mutilation, injuries, the expansion of HIV/AIDS) and psychological harm. They deprive peoples of their food sovereignty. We denounce femicide and the use of women’s bodies as an arena of war.

These policies increase the traffic in human beings, especially women and girls, whose bodies are viewed as merchandise and a source of profit by organized crime organizations. Today, the profits generated by sex trafficking and prostitution constitute the third highest source of revenue in the world, surpassed only by the traffic in arms and drugs.

They decimate civilian populations, force displacements of large numbers of people, and deprive peasants of access to land and water, thus preventing them from growing the food they need to survive. For many years now this has meant that arms are circulating on a massive scale, throughout the world, as in the case of the Great Lakes Region of Africa. In addition, we have seen the institution of military bases, as was the case in the Philippines and elsewhere in the world; and the imposition of military, economic and political blockades, as happened with Cuba. Territories are occupied and foreign forces invade countries whose governments are deprived of their sovereignty. We denounce in particular the U.S. military interventions and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Israeli government’s aggression and occupation of Palestine and occupation of other Arab countries; and agreements that impose a military presence. We demand the withdrawal of all occupation forces in these countries, the dismantling of all military bases, and the destruction of weapons and the end of political and economic blockades.

The privatization of natural resources, of air, water, biodiversity and intellectual property causes the impoverishment of Peoples. We also denounce the erosion of the social responsibility of States, of the sovereignty and of legitimacy of governments of compliant countries and of those where corruption and impunity have free reign. When a government submits to the will of another country or financial institution, and when profit comes before the well-being of women and men and of Peoples, rights are undermined.

For women, this translates into setbacks in all spheres of life, public and private. Sexism, religious fundamentalism, conservatism, xenophobia, and racism intensify. The social and reproductive rights women have won over the last years, for instance access to legal and safe abortions, are being called into question everywhere. Increasingly, women are unable to obtain decent, fairly paid jobs, while continuing to do the large part of unpaid household tasks. Discrimination is increasing against lesbians, migrant women, indigenous women, and women living with disabilities of all forms, and all marginalized women. Women’s poverty is intensifying, including in the “rich” countries.

Wars and neoliberalism attack Peoples’ sovereignty. They are the fruit of the patriarchal and capitalist model that we denounce and reject. We appeal to our allies to join us in this struggle. Together, we will change women’s life and the world!