In this wednesday (19), the last day of the international seminar “Resistance and Movement Building: Confronting Neoliberalism from the Feminist Economics and the Commons” which began on June 17, feminists from various countries discussed a strategic build of the feminism. The activity, organized by the World March of Women (WMW), brought together militants from the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
In this reflection, guided by Miriam Nobre of the WMW of Brazil and Cindy Wiesner of Grassroot International (USA), women thought about the specificities of the current historical period and the challenges for the political construction of an internationalist agenda for feminism. The discussion was divided into three different moments: first, Tica Moreno, a militant of the March in Brazil and Carmen Diaz of the MMM of Mexico, shared reflections on feminist economics. Then, Nalu Faria and Clarisse Paradis, from the WMW in Brazil, spoke about democracy and state. Finally, there was a moment of group discussion, which was collectivized with all women in the end.
Tica affirmed that feminist economics is a political and theoretical point of view, a tool to construct the imagery of the new society that we want to construct, as much as it is the basis of the practices that are being undertaken by the women in this construction. In this sense, feminism criticizes the reductionist idea of economics as what can be monetarized. Economics is everything that involves jobs, processes and relationships that sustain life.
The hegemonic model, that proposes an artificial separation between productive and reproductive work, makes it hierarchical, exploring and making invisible the so-called reproductive sphere, of which women continue to be the main responsible. By placing life and sustainability at the center of debate and political action, feminist economics puts us in another position, not hierarchical, but of interdependence between people and ecodependence toward nature.
Carmen organized the elements that had already appeared during the seminar and related to the debate of feminist economics. She spoke about the international crisis, the attack on democracies and the false solutions that are being presented in this scenario by companies and groups of the right. Although the current political moment has characteristics that are indeed new, many contradictions that are apparent today for the whole of society are, in fact, intrinsic characteristics of heteropatriarcal and racist capitalism. Today we talk about “platformization” of the work and destruction of the labor bond. We have talked a lot about the precariousness of work and the lives of women and men.
“Extractivism, megaprojects, cuts in education and health services, privatization of the common and state and climate change are all concrete manifestations of the predatory logic that organizes neoliberalism,” she said. From different territories, women have been denouncing that this organization is incompatible with life.
Nalu reaffirmed that we must, as militants, reflect on the role and the formation of the State. At this point, we must consider the abnormality of the conjuncture. Pretend a supposed democratic normality puts us facing false dilemmas and, above all, false solutions. “There is no way to be in the spaces of power without a process of building popular power, organization and permanent mobilization,” she reminds us.
She goes on to say that capitalism has constructed itself with a discourse of freedom that distorts reality, which does not mean that freedom and democracy are not a struggle of those who want to overcome this economic and political system. “We are the best people we can talk about freedom and democracy, because we want to build conditions for them to happen. We want to gather strength for a stronger and more transformative change, “says Nalu.
For Clarisse, “the idea of the common comes as an instrument of oppose with the process of commodification and emptying of politics.” The commons relate to nature, to our feminist communication, to the counter-hegemonic struggle, to our self-organized and popular spaces. They are, therefore, one of the key keys to our organization, which must “fulfill its role in the face of the attacks of capitalism.”
Cindy from the US MMM reflected on the syntheses and convergences in the construction of the feminist economics as an alternative and strategy of popular movement to transform the structures of power and the bases that sustain life.