Revolution #74, December 24, 2006


From A World to Win News Service

The chain of violence against women goes back thousands of years and is long enough to cross every border and encircle the world”

November 27, 2006. A World to Win News Service. A very wide range of forces in a growing list of countries marked 24 November as International Stop Violence Against Women Day. The Women’s 8 March organization (Iran-Afghanistan) put out the following leaflet on that occasion:

Just as U.S. soldiers gang-raped a 14-year-old Iraqi girl named Abeer and then burned her alive, in Neka, a small village in northern Iran, the heart of Atefeh’s aunt burned too. Atefeh was only 15 when the Islamic murderers hanged her after raping her.

At a time when Islamic warlords in Afghanistan stoned Amina to death, the horror of the rain of stones made Hajieh’s heart tremble in Jolfa prison in Iran. In another Iranian prison, Khyrieh cried, “Don’t stone me, just hang me.”

At the same time as patriarchal young men in a Paris suburb set 18-year-old Sohane on fire, 16-year-old Marjan in Iran burned herself alive to avoid marrying a man as old as her grandfather. A little later Sumara in Pakistan died because she had been burned over most of her body. She died without saying that it was her husband who had done this.

At a time when Kolsum, a 7-year-old girl from Somali was circumcised, her cry was intertwined with the sorrowful cries of 9-year-old Maryam on her wedding night, when her doll was taken away from her and she became a bride.

Sindisou has AIDS. Men have raped her many times. When she was 3 years old, her grandfather raped her. At the same time, Fadima in Sweden was killed by her father and brother.

Marie Trintignant died after being beaten by her boyfriend, a famous French singer. A little later, Nadia, an Afghani poet, was murdered by her husband. Around the same time Lisa and Joyce in the U.S. were raped and then murdered by unknown men.

As Natalie was waiting for a client in an Amsterdam brothel window, a ship carrying a regiment of sex slaves was harbored in Hamburg.

At a time when hundreds of thousands of Iraqi women lost their lives during the years as the U.S. and its allies imposed sanctions, millions of women in Africa lost their lives due to war or the consequences of war, and their sisters were raped in the thousands by soldiers in Bosnia.

The international chain of violence has joined together millions of women. The violence that more than three billion women in all corners of the globe experience daily. In cities, in villages, at home or at work, in the streets… A chain that is welded at one end to the state and at the other to domestic violence.

The chain of violence against women goes back thousands of years and is long enough to cross every border and encircle the world.

If the struggle and resistance of the women all over the world has shaken the shackles of violence, the uncontrolled belligerence of capital and the new world order has increased their reach and intensity. Poverty, death, sickness, hunger, illiteracy, slavery and unemployment in the present world have ever more tightened the shackles of violence around our hands and legs.

But as this violence is increasingly globalized, the struggle and resistance of women is also taking on an increasingly international dimension. We hear the echoes of the struggle and each other’s resistance from far in the distance, and our hearts beat faster. We draw inspiration from each other’s struggles, and we feel proud and are encouraged by our victories. Any advance women make in any part of the world is our own.

As we women become more conscious, we understand that this violence is a tool in the hands of the patriarchal and class system in order to consolidate and establish our subjugation. We also understand that this violence is not controllable, unless women’s subordinate status is overthrown. Domination over women will not disappear peacefully, because standing guard over it is the power of the patriarchal and class system. The liberation of women depends on overthrowing the dominant reactionary system in the world.

Here we are in our millions, with the strong ties between us, ready to shatter the shackles of our historic oppression and slavery and lay the foundations on which a society without oppression and exploitation can be built. We must quicken our steps forward, because we are late. Time is knocking at our door.

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