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World Social Forum 2009

in WORLD, 15/07/2009

Women's Assembly Declaration

In the year in which the WSF joins with the population of the Pan-Amazon,
we, women from different parts of the world gathered in Belém, reaffirm the
contribution of indigenous women and women from all forest peoples as
political subjects that enriches feminism in the framework of the cultural
diversity of our societies and strengthens the feminist struggle against the
patriarchal capitalist global system.

The world is currently experiencing various crises that demonstrate that
this system is not viable. Financial, food, climate and energetic crises are
not isolated phenomena, but represent a crisis of the model itself, driven
by the super exploitation of work and the environment, and financial
speculation of the economy.

We are not interested in palliative answers based on market logic in
response to these crises; this can only lead to perpetuation of the same
system. We need to advance in the construction of alternatives. We are
against the use of agro-fuels and carbon credit markets as ‘solutions’ to
the climate and energy crises. We, feminist women, demand a change in the
production and consumption model.

In relation to the food crisis, we affirm that transgenic foodstuffs do not
represent a solution. Our alternatives are food sovereignty and the
development of agro-ecological production.

With respect to the financial and economic crisis, we are against the
withdrawal of millions from public funds to rescue banks and businesses. We,
feminist women, demand employment protection and the right to a decent

We cannot accept that attempts to maintain this system are made at the
expense of women. The mass layoffs, cuts in public spending in social
fields, and reaffirmation of this production model increase the work
involved in reproduction and sustainability of life, and thus directly
affect our lives as women.

To impose its domain worldwide, the system resorts to militarization and
arms; genocidal confrontations are fabricated that reduce women to spoils of
war and use sexual violence as a weapon of war in armed conflict. Entire
populations are forcibly displaced, forcing them to live as political
refugees. Violence against women, feminicide and other crimes against
humanity are committed on a daily basis in armed conflicts, while
perpetrators enjoy total impunity.

We, feminist women, propose radical and profound changes in relations among
human beings and with the environment, the end of lesbophobia, of
hetero-normative and racist patriarchy.

We demand the end of control over our bodies and sexuality. We claim the
right to make free decisions in relation to our lives and the territories we
inhabit. We are against the reproduction of society through the
super-exploitation of women.

We express our solidarity with women in regions of armed conflict and war.
We add our voices to those of our sisters in Haiti and reject the violence
perpetrated by the military occupation forces. We support the Colombian,
Congolese and countless other women who resist – on a daily basis – the
violence of military and militia groups in conflict in their countries. We
stand together with Iraqi women facing the violence of the US military

At this current time, we express our particular solidarity with Palestinian
women in the Gaza Strip under military attack from Israel, and we join the
struggles for the end of war in the Middle East.

In peace, as in war, we support the victims of patriarchal and racist
violence against black and youth women.

Equally, we express our support and solidarity to all sisters in their
resistance struggles against hydroelectric dams, timber and mining companies
and mega-projects in the Amazon and around the world, as well as those who
are persecuted as a result of their legitimate opposition to this
exploitation. We unite with those struggling for the right to water.

We stand with all women criminalized for the practice of abortion and defend
this right. We strengthen our commitment and join together in actions to
resist fundamentalist and conservative attacks, in order to guarantee that
all those women who need to, are entitled to safe and legal abortion.

We support the struggle for accessibility for disabled women and for the
right of migrant women to freely “come and go”.

On behalf of all these women, and of ourselves, we continue committed to the
construction of the feminist movement as a counter-hegemonic political force
and an instrument for women to achieve the transformation of their lives and
our societies, by supporting and strengthening the self-organisation of
women, dialogue, and networking between social movements’ struggles.

On 8th March and during the Global Week of Action 2010, as women around the
world we will unite in our confrontation of the capitalist and patriarchal
system that oppresses and exploits us. In the streets and in our homes, in
forests and the countryside, in our struggles and the in the spaces of our
daily lives, we will maintain our rebellion and mobilisation.

Belém do Para, Brazil, 1st February 2009

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