National Alliance of Philippine Women in Canada (NAPWC)
May 1, 2017
Alongside thousands of working women across the world, we celebrate International Workers’ Day by continuing to advance working class women’s struggles for freedom and liberation. We do so at this critical moment and beyond, as women continue to absorb the shocks of neoliberal globalization’s assaults on our economic, reproductive, social and environmental conditions. We recall the history behind International Workers’ Day, when protests ignited by women workers erupted time and again due to poor working conditions, low wages and subjugation. We celebrate the legacy and leadership of women in leading social struggles by building our own leadership and resistance. Alongside working-class and racialized women calling for change around the world, we say that now is the moment for us to wage and sustain the struggle for all.
Women continue to take to the streets in mass protest, in direct response to the resurgence of right-wing nationalism and the heightening of capitalism’s global crises. Our struggles are connected, as women’s conditions around the world continue to be fettered by neoliberalism, in its attempts to claw back our hard-won gains. Capitalist profiteering has put a price on the planet and its people, through the economic shackles of debt and the violence of war. Cuts to social services and bans on abortion are wresting autonomy from our bodies and our reproductive rights. The face of patriarchy acts in the guise of state policies that promote cutbacks and violence in the name of the economy. Nevertheless, we continue to march for liberation, to end violence against women, to uphold reproductive rights, for environmental justice and full social provisioning.
For Filipino women in Canada, the current Liberal government continues to prioritize privatization over people’s lives. Despite their reformist posturing, they continue to uphold exploitative policies such as the Caregiver Program, that privatizes the cost of childcare while locking Filipino women into domestic servitude. As such, we continue to be marginalized into low-wage service sector jobs that leave us deskilled, while driving down the cost of labour for workers overall. We must sweep aside the fickle face of pretty boy politics, demand an end to modern day slavery and create genuine solutions to childcare and healthcare that will truly benefit us all.
Along with the funneling of transnational workers into the cheap labour of western economies, we confront heightened forms of racism, classism and misogyny, with fascist tendencies fueling the fires of white nationalism. Economic restructuring pushes us outside of our lands and uproots us from our homes, and forces us into economic marginalization as sources of cheap and temporary labour. The implementation of the ‘Muslim ban’ and the rise in anti-immigrant policies around the world are preying on the insecurities of workers who have been deluded by the promises of prosperity. Such exclusionary tactics only serve to entrench and justify the status quo of neoliberal globalization, which seeks to divide us while preserving its material interests. We remain steadfast in advancing our entitlements as transnational workers who uphold the world economy.
At this very moment when women’s rights are under attack, we call on all women to continue waging the struggle for women’s liberation and class liberation. Though our oppression is great, therein lies the strength of our collective resistance. We call on women to bring politics back into celebrating international workers’ day by confronting the politics of today. As women have a legacy of leading social struggles, we call on all women to stand up in this moment of attack and usher in the new wave of change.
End the exploitation, march for genuine women’s liberation!
End violence against women!
Women’s liberation is not negotiable!
Expose and oppose neoliberal policies!
Long live international workers’ solidarity!
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