8 March 2010 International Women

World Federation of Trade Unions 2010 International Women’s Day Statement

The Secretariat WFTU
5 March 2010

The WFTU honours this year’s March 8th , a special historic anniversary. 100 years are completed since Klara Tsetkin suggested to celebrate every year this day as the anniversary of the sacrifice of women Textile strikers held on March 8, 1857 in New York.

We do the report of the 100 years of struggles for the equality of women, for social equality and continuation of our action against the capitalist attacks in the achievements and rights of women worldwide.

The women’s issue is a complex of economic, political and cultural inequalities and discriminations that occur in all social relations and derives from the class relations of exploitation. The experience and life itself showed that the liberation of women from the class exploitation and the double oppression, its real equality with men can only be done by eliminating the exploitation of man by man.

In the modern capitalist world, she is more widely used to various forms of work as a cheaper labour force than her men colleagues. The work of women and children has been the most cruel exploitation of the capital. From the U.S. and generally the most advanced capitalist societies until Africa, Asia etc the full range of female inequality and of capitalist barbarism against them is unfolded, depending on the level of the development of capitalism in the area and the position of the State in the imperialist system.

According to the ILO’s GET (Global Employment Trends for Women for 2009) 3 billion employed people across the world, over a 40 per cent were women and the global unemployment rate for women reached 7,4% compared to 7% for men. The biggest difference in unemployment rates between men and women were felt by women in Latin America and the Caribbean. Women’s nominal wages are 17 percent lower than men’s. Women perform 66 percent of the world’s work, produce 50 percent of the food, but earn 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of the property. In Arab states, only 28 percent of women participate in the workforce. While exact data are hard to come by, estimates of the number of trafficked persons range from 500,000 to two million per year, and a few organizations have estimated that up to four million persons are trafficked every year. Although women, men, girls and boys can become victims of trafficking, the majority of victims are female. Women are concentrated in insecure jobs in the informal sector with low income and few rights; they tend to have few skills and only basic education. They are the first to be fired.

The WFTU supports the struggle of women, workers, unemployed, farmers, youth, migrants, against the policies of the capital, monopolies and multinationals. We struggle with women against unemployment, layoffs, flexible employment and black labour.

For us the year 2010 is the year of trade union education and formation, a key element for the women’s emancipation. We help working women with ideals and knowledge aiming to make them know their power and lead their struggles. With the knowledge, organization and solidarity we encourage women to gain confidence and support their opinions.

On the occasion of 2010 Women’s Day, the WFTU expresses full solidarity with the working women of Haiti and Chile who are hardly hit by the earthquake and with the working women in Greece who are those who suffer more by the hardest anti-labour policies applied by the Greek Government and the EU policies.