On Tuesday (18), the international seminar “Resistance and Movement Construction: Confronting Neoliberalism from Feminist Economies and The Commons”, organized by the World March of Women, continues. This morning the debate on “Resistances in territories: accumulations, lessons and challenges” was attended by Alessia Dro, a member of the Kurdistan Women’s Liberation Movement, Sophie Ayoo Ogutu, who is a militant of the WMW in Kenya and acts on the articulation of popular feminist organizations in her country, and Osawa Binesh Albert, who is a board member of the United States Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN). The discussion was mediated by Chung-Wha Hong, director of Grassroot International.
Alessia presented reflections on the resistance of the Kurdish women and proposed a collective questioning about what is politics for women. Women are organized into feminist communes and collectively decide who will participate in mixed communes. They resist both state and corporations power. “We need to see history not from the hegemonic civilization of states, but from the democratic civilization of the people,” she says. On these principles, Kurdish women resist militarization, authoritarianism and religious intervention.
Feminism in communitie
Sophie spoke about the experience of women’s self-organization in communities in Kenya as a result of resistance to various oppressions. As a British colony, the Kenyan people were greatly explored, especially women. She reports that women walk a lot in the forests for water, firewood and food and that on the way they are sexually abused by the colonizers. When rape results in pregnancy, after birth the men decide if the children are killed, and in these cases the women are banned from the communities.
“What if we gathered and lived together?” Was one of the questions that drove the alliance between women in order to survive and transform their lives and the world. Today “Umoja Uaso Village” (word that means “together”) is the name of this first community, where all economy, politics and life are organized collectively by women. After this successful experience, other self-organized women’s communities have been built in the country. Sophie affirmed the importance of articulating these experiences to the feminist struggle of resistance to capitalism, which concretizes the feminist economy at the local level and becomes more potent in the construction of the World March of Women.
Capitalism destroys nature and life
Binesh told about the resistance of indigenous women in the United States. She spoke about the cosmology of her people, which is conflicting with the Western view. For them, protecting land and water is a very serious and important thing because they see a relationship of dependence between people and nature and, therefore, responsibility towards care – unlike the capitalist system, which calculates, trivializes, and destroys common goods. ”
She also comments that the Trump government has escalated violence and contradictions, but that the idea of development nonetheless fulfilled this role. “Development attacks women and Mother Earth,” she criticizes. Long ago, more than 500 Native American nations struggle against corporate control in the territories.
Resistance is life
The strength of these experiences of building resistance and popular and feminist self-organization inspire this morning’s debates, which contribute to the construction of the political imaginary of the world where we want to live, of the challenges and contradictions that we find in the way of its construction. The collective discussion affirmed the centrality of engage on fights that at the same time resist the violence and exploration of racist and patriarchal capitalism, but at the same time builds societies based on equality, justice and solidarity. The Kurdish expression “Berxwedan Jiyane” (“resistance is life”) sums up this political vision that guides the internationalist feminism of the World March of Women.
This afternoon, the discussions continues, with the theme “Feminism in movement”.