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Goals of the World March of Women

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The World March of Women is an international feminist action movement connecting grass-roots groups and organizations working to eliminate the causes at the root of poverty and violence against women.

We struggle against all forms of inequality and discrimination directed at women. Our values and actions are directed at making political, economic and social change. They centre on the globalization of solidarity; equality between women and men, among women themselves and between peoples; the respect and recognition of diversity among women; the multiplicity of our strategies; the appreciation of women’s leadership; and the strength of alliances among women and with other progressive social movements.

Born of the desire to unite women of the world around a common project, the March rapidly established itself as formidable international movement after organizing the World March of Women in the Year 2000 when it gave  the women's movement the opportunity to take its place and give voice to our demands in spheres rarely frequented by us.

“ In 2000 our marching feet and voices reverberated in a way seldom seen by the women's movement, quoted the March. How did we accomplish this? By using the simple, but tried and true recipe of providing women with the opportunity to talk together, tell our stories and find the common thread that unites us in action. Each of us participated in this process during the past few years. With the World March of Women we have broadened our networks of influence with each other but also in relation to the decision-makers closest to us and those distant from our scrutiny in institutions like the UN, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The main reason for marching was to increase the influence of the analysis underpinning our desire to redefine the political, social and economic rules that govern us. Feminism is a way of thinking, a social movement, an alternative and another perspective from which to understand the world. Feminism is more than simply observing inequality and obtaining access to positions of power. We are driven by the need to dismantle systems that perpetuate fear and hatred of "the other" and justify violence; we denounce all systems that generate exclusion and reinforce domination.”

The objectives of the World March of Women are:

Objective # 1
Strengthen and maintain a vast solidarity movement of all women and grass-roots groups so that the March constitutes a gesture of affirmation by women of the world.

Objective # 2
Promote equality and justice between women and men, among women themselves and between all peoples.

Objective # 3
Continue building and reinforcing a vast process of popular education so that all women can analyze for themselves the causes of their oppression and discrimination, and the possible alternatives.

Objective # 4
Highlight the common demands and alternatives issuing from women’s movements worldwide, on the local, national, regional and international levels, relating to the issues of poverty and violence against women.

Objective # 5 A
Exert political pressure on governments and multilateral political institutions (e.g., the UN) so that they institute the changes necessary for improving the status of women and women’s quality of life worldwide, including a disarmament and peaceful conflict resolution policy, and an end to all forms of impunity and corruption, the use of rape as a weapon of war, occupations, foreign military presence and the imposition of political/economic blockades.

Objective # 5 B
Challenge and denounce the international financial, economic and military institutions (IMF, NATO, WTO, WB, transnational corporations, cooperation agencies that impose conditions on women’s struggles, etc.) that are responsible for impoverishing and marginalizing women and intensifying the violence committed against us; and formulate proposals for alternative institutions.

Objective # 6
Convince the general public, other social sectors and social movements to support and institute the changes necessary for improving the status and conditions of women and women’s quality of life the world over.

Objective # 7
Develop and implement feminist actions and proposals that denounce the economic and financial institutions that promote the exploitation and degradation of our resources, climate change and the loss of our biodiversity. Struggle for the self-management of our environmental resources based on a development model that respects the basic needs of present and future generations.

Objectives modified during the 6th international meeting held july 2–9, 2006, in Lima.

Values underlying the action

    Value # 1
    The leadership of the organization is in the hands of women.

    Value # 2
    All regions in the world are responsible for organizing the actions.

    Value # 3
    Active participating groups must subscribe to the purpose and values, objectives and overall plan of action of the March, but are independent in organizing actions in their respective countries.

    Value # 4
    We recognize, respect and value the diversity (of women’s realities, countries, political approaches and action strategies) of women's movements.

    Value # 5
    The World March of Women organizes mass actions; popular education activities; resistance; and national, regional and worldwide mobilizations. We advocate non-violence while recognizing the right to self-defence.

    Values modified during the 6th international meeting held july 2–9, 2006, in Lima.

    Where Does the Idea for a Women's World March Come From?

    The idea to hold a World March of Women in the year 2000 was born out of the experience of the Women's March Against Poverty, which took place in Québec in 1995. This march, initiated by the Fédération des femmes du Québec, was hugely successful. Three contingents of 850 women marched for ten days to win nine demands related to economic justice. Fifteen thousand people greeted them at the end of their ten-day walk. The entire women's movement mobilized for the march as did many other segments of the population.

    The presence during the 1995 March of twenty women from countries of the South reminded us of the importance of global solidarity-building. The Beijing Conference proved that women everywhere are struggling for equality, development and peace more than ever before. It was at this conference that we made our first proposal to organize an international women's march.

    Building up a network. It began in 1997. In october 1998, roughly 140 representatives from 65 countries met in Montréal, on the invitation of the Coordinating Committee of the March, composed of women from Québec. The two themes of the March were adopted: elimination of poverty in the world and elimination of violence against women. They were articulated in 17 international demands. Women decided that the March would begin on March 8, 2000, and end on October 17, 2000, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.  In 1998 also, an International Liaison Committee (ILC) was formed, composed of 44 women. They would oversee preparations of the world actions. They met once again in 1999.

    The World March of Women was given its official international launch during a news conference held in Montréal, on March 8, 2000 with satellite links to women in New York City and Geneva.

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    Last modified 2006-09-20 03:53 PM
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