AF3IRM CONDEMNS NEGLECT OF WOMEN’S SAFETY ON CAMPUSES, DEMANDS VAW-FREE CAMPUSES.

AF3IRM Orange County at Justice for Laya action, UC Irvine, 2011.
AF3IRM Orange County at Justice for Laya action, UC Irvine, 2011.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MAY 25, 2014

JOLLENE LEVID, AF3IRM NATIONAL CHAIRPERSON

[email protected]

323-356-4748

AF3IRM CONDEMNS NEGLECT OF WOMEN’S SAFETY ON CAMPUSES, DEMANDS VAW-FREE CAMPUSES.

 

NATIONAL: EVEN AS AF3IRM SENDS ITS DEEPEST CONDOLENCES TO THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT SANTA BARBARA MASSACRE VICTIMS, THEIR FAMILIES, FRIENDS, AND COMMUNITIES, WE AS AN ORGANIZATION OF TRANSNATIONAL WOMEN VIEW THE MURDEROUS RAMPAGE OF ELLIOT RODGERS AS BUT SYMPTOMATIC OF THE CONTINUING ACCEPTANCE AND TOLERANCE OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ENDEMIC IN THE COUNTRY’S CAMPUSES. WE VIEW THIS TOLERANCE OF VAW IN SCHOOLS, COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES AS A VIOLATION OF WOMEN’S HUMAN RIGHTS TO AN EDUCATION, SAFETY AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY.

RODGERS, SON OF AN ASSISTANT DIRECTOR IN THE FILM “HUNGER GAMES,” GUNNED DOWN AT LEAST SEVEN PEOPLE AND WOUNDED SCORES MORE ON MAY 24, 2014 – AN ACT OF MADNESS WHICH HAD BEEN FORETOLD BY HIS OWN INTERNET POSTINGS AND RANTS, WHICH WERE BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE LOCAL POLICE.

AS STUDENTS, ALUMNI, EMPLOYEES, AND ACTIVISTS WITHIN THE UC SYSTEM, AF3IRM CONDEMNS YET AGAIN, THE OUTRIGHT DISREGARD FOR WOMEN’S SAFETY, INTEGRITY, AND DIGNITY IN THE STATEWIDE COLLEGIATE SYSTEM. WE ARE SADLY NOT SURPRISED THAT POLICE REFUSED TO RESPOND TO ELLIOT RODGERS, WHO EVEN SENT A 140-PAGE TESTIMONY DETAILING HIS PLAN TO MASSACRE UC SANTA BARBRA WOMEN TO THEIR STATION. THE DISREGARD FOR WOMEN’S LIVES IS REFLECTIVE OF A BROKEN, WOMAN-HATING SYSTEM. THE MADNESS OF MISOGYNY ENGRAINED IN KILLER ELLIOT RODGERS WAS SUPPORTED BY THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM THE STUDENT VICTIMS ATTENDED.

THE UC SYSTEM IS SET UP TO DISREGARD WOMEN’S LIVES AND ENCOURAGE SEXUAL VIOLENCE. IT IS NO COINCIDENCE THAT TWO OF THE MOST DANGEROUS COLLEGES IN THE COUNTRY FOR WOMEN ARE UC CAMPUSES (UCLA, UC BERKELEY). IT IS NO COINCIDENCE THAT THE UC SYSTEM’S POLICIES TO ADDRESS RAPE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT FAVOR THE SUSPECTS – PROCESSING THEM IN THE SAME CASUAL MANNER AS THOSE WHO CHEAT ON EXAMS, LEAVING VICTIMS WAITING IN FEAR AND NEVER SEEING JUSTICE. JUST TWO MONTHS AGO, BRUTAL GANG RAPES OF A YOUNG COLLEGE STUDENT AT UC SANTA BARBARA WERE REPORTED WITH THE PERPETRATORS NEVER CAUGHT. THE REALITY IS THAT THE UC SYSTEM IS A MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR CORPORATION THAT HAS NEVER PRIORITIZED WOMEN, AND THOSE THAT COME FORWARD TO RESIST THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN TAUGHT IN ITS CONSERVATIVE CLASSROOMS ARE A THREAT TO THE PROFITS AND CREDIBILITY OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM.

WE NOTE THAT THE INTENSIFICATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ON CAMPUSES COINCIDES WITH THE SLOW-MOTION DEMISE, THROUGH THE DECADES, OF WOMEN’S STUDIES PROGRAMS AND WOMEN’S CENTERS; THE TRANSFORMATION OF PROGRAMS WHICH CENTERED ON ADDRESSING CONDITIONS OF OPPRESSION OF WOMEN INTO GENERIC “GENDER” STUDIES WHICH CREATE THE IMPRESSION, INTENTIONALLY OR UNINTENTIONALLY, THAT THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IS BUT AN INSIGNIFICANT PART OF VIOLENCE AGAINST ALL, IRRESPECTIVE OF CLASS, RACE, SEXUALITY, ABILITY, AND SEX.

THE TRUTH IS THIS OFTEN-REPEATED THOUGHT: THAT THE SINGULAR MOST WIDESPREAD PANDEMIC OF VIOLENCE AND VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS ON A DAILY BASIS IS DIRECTED TOWARDS THOSE WHO ARE WOMEN AND WOMEN-IDENTIFIED.

WE IN AF3IRM REMAIN COMMITTED TO MASS RESISTANCE WITHIN AND AGAINST THE UC SYSTEM. OUR CHAPTERS, WHOSE PRESENCE ARE FELT AT UC BERKELEY, UC LOS ANGELES, UC IRVINE, UC SAN DIEGO, UC SANTA CRUZ, UC DAVIS, AND WILL NOW TOUCH UC SANTA BARBARA, — WILL CONTINUE OUR DECADES OF ACTIVISM ACROSS THE STATE. OUR MEMBERSHIP OF TRANSNATIONAL WOMEN OF COLOR HAVE HAD HISTORIES OF STRUGGLE IN THE ETHNIC STUDIES, BROWN POWER, PILIPINO STUDIES, COUNTLESS ANTI-WAR, DIVESTMENT, IMMIGRANT RIGHTS AND LABOR MOVEMENTS ON THE CAMPUS. OUR LAST VICTORY WAS THE REMOVAL OF SEXUAL BATTERER UC STUDENT REGENT JESSE CHANG FROM POWER IN AF3IRM’S JUSTICE FOR LAYA CAMPAIGN. WE HAVE ALWAYS BROUGHT THE WOMEN’S VOICE TO STUDENT AND UC WORKER STRUGGLES AND ARE RENEWING OUR COMMITMENT AND RESISTANCE TO THE PATRIARCHAL SYSTEM. AND WE ARE RELENTLESS IN OUR DEMANDS.

AF3IRM KNOWS THAT THE NRA ISN’T THE ONLY PARTY RESPONSIBLE FOR PUTTING A GUN IN ELLIOT RODGERS HANDS – WE ALSO CONDEMN THE INACTION OF THE SANTA BARBARA POLICE AND THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM THAT ENCOURAGES VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN. ALL ARE CULPABLE. ALL MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE. WE STAND WITH THE VICTIMS, THEIR FAMILIES, AND THEIR COMMUNITIES IN CALLING FOR GENUINE JUSTICE FOR THE VICTIMS – 1) FOR ACCOUNTABILITY OF THE NRA, SANTA BARBARA POLICE, AND UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SYSTEMS THAT PUT THE GUN IN RODGER’S HANDS 2) FOR TRUE ANTI-VIOLENCE CAMPUS POLICIES THAT ACTUALLY ADDRESS RAPE AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN A TIMELY, VICTIM-CENTERED MANNER AND 3) WOMEN’S STUDIES CURRICULA TO BE FULLY FUNDED AND MADE A REQUIREMENT FOR ALL UC SYSTEM STUDENTS.

WE CALL ON ALL WOMEN STUDENTS, WORKERS, AND FACULTY, AS WELL AS ON THOSE WHO ABHOR THE CONTINUING VIOLENCE AGAINST THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES TO GET ORGANIZED, RISE AND PUT AN END TO WOMEN’S CONTINUING VICTIMIZATION, TO AFFIRM THE RIGHT OF WOMEN TO AN EDUCATION IN VIOLENCE-FREE CAMPUSES, TO LIBERATE WOMEN FROM THE PERNICIOUS THREAT OF MURDER AND PHYSICAL BATTERY IF THEY REFUSE TO ACCEPT THE MASCULINIST CONSTRUCT OF THEIR RIGHT TO COMFORT FROM AND SEXUAL ACCESS TO THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES. NOBODY HAS A RIGHT TO EXPECT SEXUAL ACCESS TO WOMEN’S BODIES. WOMEN DO NOT OWE PEOPLE SEX, SIMPLY BECAUSE MEN BELIEVE THEY DESERVE IT.

RISE UP AND END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN – FROM THE VERY THOUGHT OF IT TO THE REALITY OF IT.

END SYSTEMIC AND INSTITUTIONALIZED TOLERANCE FOR VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN!

DEMAND THAT THE POLICE TAKE SERIOUSLY AND FULLY ANY THREAT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN.

DEMAND THAT CAMPUSES BE VAW-FREE ZONES.

A WOMAN’S PLACE IS AT THE HEAD OF THE STRUGGLE FOR THE LIBERATION OF HUMANITY.

Remembering a history carved in Palestinian land and blood, AF3IRM Women echo their cries on Al Nakba

AF3IRM Statement on Al Nakba 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Barbra Ramos, National Communications Director, [email protected]
Zeena Aljawad, AF3IRM Orange County, [email protected]

As an anti-imperialist, transnational feminist organization, AF3IRM marks Al Nakba, the day after the creation of Israel in 1948 which forced the expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinians from their homeland by Israeli occupation. Today, on May 15th, AF3IRM renews its stance against the long-standing occupation of Palestine and recognizes the Palestinian’s history of enduring injustice and oppression:

  • the forced creation of Israel in 1948 continued and extended a history of colonization for Palestine that included imperialist Britain;
  • Al Nakba (The Catastrophe) in 1948 was not the beginning nor the end of the expulsion and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their native homeland. At least 700,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their homes between 1947-49 and almost 500 Palestinian towns were destroyed in that same period;
  • the creation of Israel has allowed the use of state-sanctioned violence and harassment against Palestinians in the sixty-six years since Al Nakba. International human rights laws and standards have been ignored and violated, with Palestinians constantly facing racism and discrimination. Today, there are even 35 laws that specifically target Palestinians within Israel.

AF3IRM continues to call for the end of occupation and demands freedom for Palestine! The creation of Israel uprooted and evicted families from their homeland and to this day they have been denied their right to return. Generations of Palestinians have suffered, with many now born in exile and around 1.5 million refugees living in camps.  Palestinian women are particularly impacted by the occupation, from within the occupied territories, to the refugee camps, and in the diaspora.  The reproductive rights of Palestinian women are under attack – numerous Palestinians are unable to access hospitals and have been forced to give birth at checkpoints, resulting in deaths of both mother and child, miscarriages, and medical problems. From 2000 to 2005, Israeli checkpoints forced 67 Palestinian mothers to give birth, which contributed to the deaths of 36 infants. Women are pushed to be the main caretakers in families and effectively become single mothers due to Israel’s mass incarceration of Palestinian men. Women also face sexual violence –  Israeli guards have raped Palestinian women detainees in Shabak, where there are over 7,000 detainees, as a tool or war and occupation.

The constant policing and control tactics around the illegal settlements and unjust borders have terrorized Palestinians in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza day after day. The occupation has disrupted their lives and livelihoods. People are denied access to basic resources and services – including running water, electricity, and health services. The people endure blockades, checkpoints, strict permit and ID regulations, and indefinite detention, inflicted even upon the children, as well as the confiscation and destruction of land and homes. Their farms, which mostly harvest olive trees and serve as a primary economic source for many, have been demolished to make room for illegal settlements and for Israeli military operations. In the West Bank alone, more than 7,500 olive trees were destroyed in 2012.

AF3IRM denounces the use of U.S. taxpayer funds to uphold this oppression! It is reprehensible that while the Palestinian people are forced to suffer and are denied their basic rights, Israel continually receives funds and assistance from other countries. The United States government continues to be complicit in supporting Israel’s acts of genocide and displacement, with over $3 billion dollars provided for military assistance each year and millions more paid to “resettle” non-Palestinians into the occupied lands. The largest amount in foreign military assistance by the United States year after year is given to Israel. We say “NO MORE!” to the use of taxpayer money to fund F-16s, Ospreys, bombs, bullets, and missile defense systems for Israel. The women of AF3IRM also echo the calls for divestment! We salute the students and organizers who have pushed more universities and colleges to divest from companies that profit from occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people by Israel.

Al Nakba is not just about what happened over sixty years ago – Al Nakba and its legacy continues. It is an ongoing reality for all Palestinians, who are still under siege and subjugated to harassment, arrest, and detention. The occupation has not ended, illegal settlements continue to be built, and Palestinians cannot return to their homelands. There is no justice and there is no peace for our sisters and brothers in Palestine.

AF3IRM stands in solidarity with the people of Palestine and their fight for liberation!

WOMEN SAY NO TO WAR AND OCCUPATION!
RETURN THE OCCUPIED LANDS OF PALESTINE!
VIVA VIVA PALESTINA!
LONG LIVE INTIFADA!

Debunking the Myths and Stereotypes of Sex Trafficking and Its Link to Labor

SSOWANY14

NEW YORK:  With approximately 17,000 women and girls sex-trafficked into the United States annually and tens of thousands more  trafficked for labor purposes, the second session of  AF3IRM’s Summer School of Women’s Activism will build the foundation of understanding the trade of women as commodities.

The second session will be facilitated by Fredi Kain, Joan Ariete and Nicole Ty, young women who have witnessed the impact of the commodification of women’s bodies in the sex and labor markets.

From porn to the sex trafficking of women, the facilitators debunk myths and stereotype of the sex trade as “legitimate” business and discuss both sex and labor trafficking from a five continents feminist perspective.  Ms. Kain, Ms. Ariete and Ms. Ty will provide a foundation for understanding sex and labor trafficking in the United States and overseas, the impact that it has on generations of women and how sex trafficking and labor trafficking are inextricably linked to each other.

The facilitators discuss the issue of “choice” versus agency, the problem of harm reduction, the mental health toll and how women’s bodies are created and used as a source of profit.  Sex trafficking is not just an international problem, it is prevalent in New York City.  As a “legitimized” business, the sex trade is subject to market principles where competition is invariably linked to race, class, gender, age, citizenship status and sexuality.  In ethnic neighborhoods, commercializing of very young women is almost par for the course.

The class will highlight the risk factors that make individuals, particularly women, susceptible to trafficking, the institutions that allow trafficking to exist and finding ways to become involved to eliminate trafficking in our own backyards.  The type of work where individuals are often trafficked: domestic work, nail salons, teaching, sweatshop labor, food service and migrant labor.  It is these women who are often left vulnerable to sexual violence and exploitation.

Ms. Ty notes, “The creation of a temporary labor force and use of economic, psychological violence and citizenship status exacerbate exploitation particularly against women.”

As long as the business of exploiting cheap labor and the creation of sex as a “legitimate” business to support that idea that women’s bodies are for sale, women will always be treated as second class citizens.– #

Registration: http://ssowa2014.eventbrite.com

Contact:  [email protected]

AF3IRM Statement on Nigeria’s Missing Girls

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 3, 2014

CONDEMN THE KIDNAP, TRAFFIC, TORTURE AND MURDER OF WOMEN AND GIRLS IN NIGERIA AND THE GLOBE OVER

AF3IRM condemns in the strongest words possible the kidnapping of over 300 Nigerian girls, their subsequent transit into Chad and Cameroon, and their sale at $12 each into forced marriage with strangers.

AF3IRM extends its sympathy to the family, relatives and town mates of the missing girls who have endured this horror for almost three weeks and speaks out in solidarity with those calling for the girls’ safe return.  “As an immigrant mother and with the transnational mothers who led AF3IRM chapter marches on May 1st, we will be relentless in our call for the rescue of the kidnapped and trafficked girls of Nigeria as if they are our own daughters. We hear your wails and we cry with you,” stated AF3IRM National Programme Coordinator Katrina Socco. “We see your steadfastness and we too will not be moved until justice is won.”

As an anti-imperialist, transnational feminist organization, AF3IRM opposes the globalized system of  human trafficking that treats the bodies of girls and women as mere products to abuse, rape, and exploit. AF3IRM decries the use of women and girls as pawns and bargaining chipsin the continuing power struggle over control of the resources of oil-rich Nigeria. The women of AF3IRM denounce the sickeningly normalized and rampant exploitation of and violence committed against girls and women in areas of conflict and and instability. The state of Borno, wherein Chibok is located and from where the girls were taken, has been under a state of emergency for the last eleven months because of recurring and seemingly unstoppable acts of violence.

AF3IRM condemns the government’s purposeful inaction that has failed to protect and return the Chibok girls as part of the continuum allowing unchecked violence against women as a pandemic human rights violation.

It is a straight line from the kidnapped girls of Nigeria to the trafficked girls and women on the streets in Brooklyn and Queens, NY, in New Jersey, along Oakland’s International Blvd, on Figueroa in Los Angeles, on El Cajon in San Diego, and on Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki, Honolulu; to the thousand missing and murdered women of Canada, most of them First Nations women; to the murdered women of Juarez; to the missing women along U.S. borders; and to the murder of women’s rights defenders in many countries of the world. The continued violence against women in the world are not isolated events – these are the direct results of the patriarchal and imperialist normalization of the subjugation and devaluation of the lives of girls and women. The bodies of girls and women are not to be used for control, intimidation, and profit!

AF3IRM condemns the commodification of women’s bodies and the governments that enable the kidnappers to sell women and girls into slavery via forced marriages. Some of the Nigerian girls have been sold for $12 each into such marriages. Fifty-three have managed to escape but the kidnappers have said that three have died while 18 have fallen sick. Such preying upon the weak and vulnerable is not sanctioned by any religious thought or belief. Furthermore, we condemn those who would characterize this sexual exploitation of the poor as “work.” The kidnapping and selling of these girls is nothing but commerce – the same lust for profit which has made a large part of Africa and the world a dismal habitation for majority of humanity.

AF3IRM calls for justice for the kidnapped girls. AF3IRM calls for justice for the trafficked girls and women here in the U.S. and abroad, for the missing women along borders.  AF3IRM calls for justice against femicide – for Canada’s missing and murdered women, for the murdered women of Juarez. AF3IRM calls for justice for every girl and woman who endures violence and exploitation and whose stories go unheard.

AF3IRM calls for an end to Capital’s assault of women’s bodies and urges all women to shake off the chains of gender, class and race oppression, to get organized, and to demand true women’s liberation and the freedom of all humanity.

##

Contact: Barbra Ramos, National Communications Director
[email protected]
323-813-4272

IMG_4765
1622005_10152433087331115_2036761819109054541_nFrom the May 3rd rally at Union Square, New York (credit: Kristina Joyas). 

AF3IRM has begun to participate in #BringBackOurGirls rallies and marches in different cities to join the call for the return of these Nigerian girls.  Follow us on Facebook to stay up-to-date with these events (http://www.facebook.com/af3irm).

 

AF3IRM’s International Workers’ Day Statement 2014

MD2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 30, 2014
Contact: Barbra Ramos, National Communications Director
[email protected]
323-813-4272

NATIONAL– The women of AF3IRM take to the streets in six cities for May Day 2014, for International Workers’ Day, in solidarity with women workers here in the United States and abroad. In New York, Los Angeles, Oakland, Long Beach, Santa Ana, and San Diego, we call on all women to rise up, and join the workers of the world to demand justice and dignity. As labor organizer Dolores Huerta said, “Walk the street with us into history. Get off the sidewalk.” As anti-imperialist, transnational feminists, we march and we walk these streets with our allies for workers’ rights! We are inspired by our comrades here and abroad who have chosen to make history and to fight against corrupt corporations and capitalist exploitation. We speak out in solidarity with the women workers in China who fought for just compensation and legal contracts with the manufacturers of Adidas and Nike products and who now face government intimidation; with those fighting to increase the minimum wage to a living wage; and with the countless number of workers and unions, from sectors such as health care, education, farmwork, manufacturing, and transportation, who striked and are striking not only here in the North America, but in Bangladesh, the Philippines, Colombia, India, Cambodia, Peru, and other countries worldwide. Women workers voices ring out loud as they make their demands heard.

We hear them and we speak out for all of our rights as women workers. This year, we march, with our boots on the ground loudly echoing the chants for justice–and we call special attention to the continuing feminization of poverty. Now more than ever immigrant women and women of color, face lower wages, less or no benefits, and unjust discrimination! Women have higher poverty rates than men, with a third of women living in poverty or on the brink. Women make up more than two-thirds of the low-income and minimum-wage workforce and they make less on average than their male counterparts for these same jobs. Asian and Pacific-Islander women make up 3% of the population and 4% of low-wage workers. How can our families survive if women are made to work harder and our work is less valued?

Indeed, despite the privileged calls for women to “lean in,” it is hard to deny that women, especially transnational women and women of color, are struggling. We will not lean in–WE WILL MARCH FORWARD! We transnational women march these streets because we look around – into our own lives, our families, and our communities and we know the reality of this injustice and inequality. Even as transnational women and women of color seek jobs and act as breadwinners for their families, they are paid less than their male and white female counterparts, with black women earning 64 cents and Latinas 55 cents to every dollar a white man makes. The share of women of color at or below minimum wage more than doubled from 2007 to 2012. Even the poverty rates for women of color compared to white women was more than double.

The feminization of poverty extends beyond monetary compensation–it is about the stealing away of choices, opportunities, and the ability to make decisions for ourselves and our families. Institutional powers have purposefully limited access or resources from transnational women including health care, reproductive and preventative care, child care, paid leave, and penalized women of color who try desperately to make a living wage. We remember the case of Shanesha Taylor, who is homeless and whose children were taken away because she had to leave them in the
car while at a job interview because she could not get child care. We recognize the many women who cannot afford a sick day or who have to take on multiple jobs. Many transnational and women of color have to work – and the choice to not work is a luxury and a privilege many transnational and women of color cannot afford. The service and minimum wage jobs that many take on are the least likely to offer benefits and have less job security. We cannot ignore that immigrant women are 70% more likely to lack health insurance compared to those born in the U.S. and without that help, they are unable to access adequate and affordable health care. The ability to adequately care for themselves and their families, while also working to support them, remains elusive and unattainable. Even with the new policies in place, transnational women need a swifter path to gain access to health care – the long wait currently in place can mean life or death for a hardworking woman and her family.

This is not just about the gender wage gap–the feminization of poverty is about the very lives of women. The feminization of poverty attempts to rob women of respect and dignity, by stealing away their livelihood and the right and their capacity to live and raise their families with the resources we need to thrive. It devalues not only paid work, but also the unpaid work women do at home as caretakers and bearers of culture for our families.

We demand that lawmakers and employers value the rights and lives of these women workers, from the home, the office, the factory, and the fields! Even with such low compensation and discrepancy compared to men, our labor supports capitalism’s demands and keeps economies of the global south afloat. Oftentimes women workers are the caretakers of families both in the U.S. and their home country and send the little money they save back through remittances. Entire countries are economically dependent and sustained by the labor of women workers abroad and in the U.S. We demand that governments and corporations protect and support the lives of those who struggle everyday for their families and to simply survive. The women of AF3IRM know this struggle–we see it in our communities, in our families, and in our homes. And now with the one-sided agreements the United States is currently making with other countries, we can already foresee these attacks on women continuing overseas and repeating injustices already made.

We speak out against the current deals that the United States government works on that only seek to bully and exploit our homelands, as it looks to protect its investments and to sideline its enemies. From the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the military pact to bring U.S. forces and bases back to the Philippines, we know that these deals only benefit the wealthy and the powerful. The U.S. is only using the Philippines as a strategic military stronghold, as it has done in the past, and these trade agreements put developing countries at a severe disadvantage.

The U.S. manipulates these agreements so that they can use other countries and their workers for their own power, gain, and profit. TPP and TTIP are just another mutation of NAFTA, parading the guise of “free trade” to exploit the lands and people of other countries. The capitalist and imperialist powers continually disrupt the flow of resources and wealth to steer them into their own pockets and away from the workers who need it most. These corrupt agreements cause irreparable harm to to the environment as they subvert local laws and regulations and also ultimately cut
access to and put restrictions on resources and goods, including generic medicines and agriculture that people need.

Capital constantly re-defines work to maximize profit. The last ten years have seen a disquieting trend toward the integration of work done by women for family and community into capital’s globalized system of exploitation. Women of color are moved from country to country to shore up facets of capitalism which are collapsing under their own contradiction. We know that these “free trade” agreements also only work to inflict more burden and harm upon women workers. We have seen it with the maquiladoras in Mexico and the export processing zones in the Philippines, Brazil, Indonesia, Guatemala, Honduras, and countless other countries. Corporations would once again have more power to abuse women workers as they circumvent labor laws, destroy their land, and eliminate the possibility for more viable and sustainable means of living. The uneven policies and unequal distribution of wealth also pushes women to migrate and leave their homes for other jobs and opportunities, separating them from their families. These women come to places like the United States – only to face the struggle against the feminization of poverty and a broke immigration system. And the return of the bases to the Philippines will only mark another chapter in the sexual exploitation of and violence against local women around the bases. These practices are unacceptable. The continued abuse and oppression of women needs to end!

We march into the streets and stand in opposition to these free trade and military agreements!
We call on all to value women’s work from the home to the office to factory to the field!
We demand justice, not charity for the women workers being exploited every day!
We demand the end to the feminization of poverty!

March with AF3IRM on May Day and every day as we make history and fight for women’s rights!
Women Workers Unite Across Borders! Esta Lucha Tambien es de Las Mujeres!
From the 2nd shift to the 3rd unpaid shift, Value Women’s Work! Valoramos el trabajo de las Mujeres y el trabajo de la casa!

Transnational women’s liberation is the liberation of all humanity!

a transnational feminist organization