Note from BW of Brazil: It may be the day of the year in which we celebrate women, but their struggle to be appreciated for everything they do, their importance to society and their families is something we should be thinking about 365 days a year! And in today’s political situation in Brazil, there’s even more reason for women to assert their presence. An article posted earlier today as well as the piece below go into the reasons why. So to all the mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, sisters and aunts out there! Happy International Woman’s Day!!
For a March 8th of Black, Poor and Periphery Women
By Rosângela Martins *
We militant black feminists, have our flags wielded, our banners, our batuques, so that our voices can echo through the streets of the cities. March 8th is a date of extreme importance for the women’s movement, and this year in particular corresponds to a call for international standstill or general strike for women.
Obviously, we cannot lose sight of the fact that in Brazil, we experienced a political coup with the clear intention of promoting a deliberate withdrawal of hard-won rights. The saddest thing is to see how much that reflects on the lives of black women. Reason that leads us to pause.
Black mothers, who mourn the loss of their children because of police violence, a veritable genocide of black youth, are in struggle.
It is notable that the black woman will be the main target to be reached with the promised reform of social security. In the field of education, a sector composed of a majority of women, the enormous impact will lead to the disqualification of the already suffering public education that has long been scrapped. But can it be that we can pause?
Imagine a day totally paralyzed by women.
A day when the housewife, aware that her right to retirement is threatened, for all the years in which she maintained the dynamics of a house, and without remuneration, stopped preparing the food, washing the clothes of the people that live there, take their children to school …
A day when the teachers decided to leave the classroom to teach in the streets, invoking their rights for the valorization of the category, for the non-reduction of their salaries, against the reform of education that eliminates matters of great importance for the formation of all of us …
One day when our young women, our daughters, who want more than a high school diploma, who wish to reach the university, face challenging professions from egalitarian opportunities, also pause…
A day when the outsourced workers, mostly black, who clean the schools, prepare the snacks, are in telemarketing, subjected to employers who most violate their rights paying less and demanding more and more…
A day when domestic workers, who took years to have their labor rights recognized, and now, in the face of pension reform, see retirement as something unattainable, crossing their arms …
We may not reach the whole of the Brazilian feminine mass already on this 8th, but the mobilizing power of the struggle of women throughout the world is evident. Our sisters, who break with silence, abusive and violent relationships, rebuild life, rebuild their history, their self-esteem, their struggle, and scream so they are no longer a number of victims of feminicide, are in struggle.
Black mothers, who mourn the loss of their children due to police violence, a true genocide of black youth, and those who face a “via crucis” so that their son, partner, father, brother, survive despite a selective penal system that has imprisoned blacks in a massive way, are in struggle.
We are these women. For all of them and for all of us, we pause.
Together, we are many. Together, we will win!
* Rosângela Martins is a lawyer, black feminist and national coordinator of the Uneafro-Brasil movement
Source: Negro Belchior