Left on the Move Left on the Move Left on the Move

Editorial – The women’s struggle is changing the world!

We have completed a decade of crisis and the lack of an economic and political solution to the recession triggered in 2008 has created a growing instability around the world. Nationally, governments have been committed to adopting measures that remove labour and social security rights from the majority of the population. Internationally, the United States commercial hegemony no longer exists, since China and Russia entered the dispute in an increasingly incisive way, competing for the position so far held by the USA.

The difficulty in intervening at the present time is no smaller on the part of the left and, in recent years, the movements that were most representative of the popular causes occurred in a spontaneous, complex and often contradictory way. Nonetheless the difficulty in consolidating an alternatives that wins the arm wrestling against the right wingers, who increasingly uses the image of “anti-establishment”, the mobilizations are not few. Street actions has been one of the main factors for the demoralization of governments and it’s been a fertile field of action in a scenario of polarization and radicalization of agendas to the right and to the left.

A point in common among the last years struggles, although it is expressed unequally in different countries, has been the feminization of the profile of activists – women have been the front line in the most diverse movements. Ladies, young people, children – the debates on the conditions of being a woman in today’s society have invaded schools, homes and, very expressively, the streets. These are manifestations that in part recapture agendas from previous waves of feminism, but which have carried a stronger radicality in actions, in demands and in their increasingly antiregimous, or even, anti-capitalist character.

This process did not arrive with equal contents and forms around the world; even so, we can say that the struggle of women is on in ascension – especially in Latin America – and that, today, there is no way to think and do politics without considering this female army and the importance that its actions have represented. There is no way to understand the current instabilities of the Trump government by ignoring the demonstration in 2017 held by millions of women in the United States on the first day of the President-elect’s mandate. Just as there is no possibility of analyzing the government of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil ignoring the demonstrations by #NotHim and the current corruption scandal of this government over stooges candidacies of women by the president’s party – a scandal which has created difficulties for the government to be more offensive in the debate on the reform of social security.

More than reacting to setbacks, women have proposed to think of a new way of living that does not only concern other women, but that embraces the whole of society in another dynamic of functioning in which women are not oppressed and inequality is not a ‘sine qua non’ condition for living. This can be noted in the election of socialist feminists such as Sâmia Bomfim and Fernanda Melchionna in Brazil and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the United States. Voices that echo the hopeness of a new left in a space that is so distorted compared to reality such is the parliament.

Specifically in Brazil, the feminist movement was “reopened” recently, in this decade of 2010’s. Important milestones were the editions of the “Slut Walk”, between 2011 and 2015, and Luciana Genro’s election campaign for PSOL in 2014 – when for the first time in Brazil a presidential candidate defended feminist agendas in the mainstream national media. Both the marches and the presidential campaign served as a prelude to much larger movements to come.

Still in Brazil, the “March of the Black Women”, the demonstrations for the right to the morning-after pill and against Eduardo Cunha in 2015, along with the school occupations in 2016, expanded the feminist movement and raised it to another level, by posing questions about women as priority. The women’s strike in 8M and the General Strike in April 28th agitated the first semester of 2017 uniting, in practice, the feminist struggles to the workers’ struggle. In the second half of the year, the case of Argentina’s Lucía Pérez, a victim of feminicide, was the trigger for argentinean, brazilian and world women to declare war on the rape culture through the slogan “Not one Less”.

The following year, 2018, Marielle Franco and Anderson Gomes were murdered in Rio de Janeiro. She, a black, lesbian, favela and left-wing woman, represented the struggles of 99% of the population in Rio de Janeiro and her murder meant an attempt to contain the people she represented as well. That is why it is our duty to ensure that her legacy is also carried on every March 8th! In addition, on March 14, it will be 1 year since the death of Marielle and Anderson, so in order to show that the many seeds that Marielle planted live, and to pressure the authorities so that this case has a solution, we have created a platform for people from around the world to support this cause: https://14m.justiceformarielle.com/

Also in 2018, more contradictions began to compose the Brazilian political scenario. If at the beginning of the year Jair Messias Bolsonaro’s candidacy seemed like a bad joke, at the end of the year he was elected president. As a result, the hypothesis that we are living in a new historical period in Brazil was intensified and the alignment of the Brazilian politics with a series of countries in which bizarre figures from the far right gained visibility and also won electoral elections – see the United States with Trump – became clear. Nonetheless, Brazil also aligned itself in the matter of resistance and massive mobilizations, also headed by women, which was already demonstrated before the election under #NotHim. Rosana Pinheiro-Machado managed to synthesize this moment well through the title of an article published in The Intercept Brazil: “The extreme right has won. Feminists, anti-racists and LGBTs too”. That is, if on the one hand Bolsonaro was elected, on the other there is the conquest of a willingness to fight on the part of a broad group of women – which means that this movement has more responsibilities and challenges in this period.

Thus, understanding that feminism goes beyond borders, we, from the International Commission of the Socialist Left Movement (MES), thought about organizing a material that would help to disseminate information about the most dynamic movement in the anti-capitalist struggles during the last period: that of women. The texts of this collection were written by feminist militants from different countries of the world and constitute reports on the situation of women’s struggle in their countries and their perspectives of mobilization for the 8M of 2019.

We hope that this collection will feed our international relations and allow us to advance into the organization of women over the borders. So, the construction of an Feminist International, convened by Cinzia Aruzza, fills us with enthusiasm for making it clear that the articulation and organisation of women is a desire of feminists from all over the world!

Certainly, many of the readers are daughters of June 2013 and #NotHim marches in Brazil, such as the Arab Spring in the Middle East, the American Occupy Wall Street, the #NiUnaMenos argentinean, the Indignados and the Feminist Strike in Spain, the French Yellow Vests, among many other processes. From us, we remain vows, disposition, strength and energy for the construction of a feminist movement that will continue as a terrain for the formation of even more activists and for mobilizations that will shake until they completely destroy the structures of capitalist society.

Thais Bueno and Clara Baeder

Translation of the Editorial – Genaro Moraes


Download the PDF here: 8M Collection – 2019 (English)

A new page to support and build new alternatives in Latin America and the world, defending the power of the workers and people against the 1% of the rich and privileged, and a society without exploitation.

Writing office

  • Pedro Fuentes
  • Bernardo Corrêa
  • Charles Rosa
  • Clara Baeder