Women Envision Another Possible World
After many exchanges of drafts among women’s groups from some 60 countries. delegates of the World March of Women,a gathering that has been held since 2000, met in Kigali, Rwanda,on December 10, 2004, to adopt this document,.
which they call the Women’s Global Charter for Humanity.
The World March of Women will take this Charter from country to country starting on March 8, International Women’s Day.
World March of Women
What is the World March of Women? The World March of Women is a movement composed of women’s groups of diverse ethnic, cultural, religious, political and class backgrounds, and different ages and sexual orientation. Far from dividing us, this diversity unites us in greater, more far-reaching solidarity.
In 2000, as part of the World March of Women, we wrote a political platform containing 17 practical demands for the elimination of poverty throughout the world, wealth sharing, the eradication of violence against women and respect for women’s physical and moral integrity. We transmitted these demands to the leaders of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and United Nations. We received not even one concrete response. We also transmitted these demands to elected officials and leaders in our countries.
Ever since, we have ceaselessly continued to defend our demands. We are proposing alternatives to build another world. We are active in the world’s social movements and in our societies. We are furthering the thinking about women’s place in the world and the place we should be occupying.
With this Women’s Global Charter for Humanity and our upcoming actions, we reaffirm that another world is possible, a world filled with hope and life that is truly a fine place to live. We proclaim our love of the world, its diversity and its beauty.
We women have been marching a long time to denounce and demand an end to the oppression of women and to the domination, exploitation, egotism and unbridled quest for profit breeding injustice, war, conquest and violence.
Our feminist struggles and those of our foremothers on every continent have forged new freedoms for us, our daughters and sons, and all the young girls and boys who will walk the earth after us.
We are building a world where diversity is considered an asset and individuality a source of richness; where dialogue flourishes and where writing, song and dreams can flower. In this world, human beings are considered one of the most precious sources of wealth. Equality, freedom, solidarity, justice and peace are its driving force. We have the power to create this world.
We represent over half of humanity. We give life, we work, love, create, struggle and have fun. We currently accomplish most of the work essential to life and the continued survival of humankind. Yet our place in society continues to be undervalued.
The World March of Women, of which we are a part, views patriarchy as the system oppressing women and capitalism as the system that enables a minority to exploit the vast majority of women and men.
These systems reinforce one another. They are rooted in, and work hand in hand with, racism, sexism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, colonialism, imperialism, slavery and forced labor. They breed manifold forms of fundamentalism that prevent women and men from being free. They generate poverty and exclusion, violate the rights of human beings, particularly women’s rights, and imperil humanity and the planet.
We reject this world!
We propose to build another world where exploitation, oppression, intolerance and exclusion no longer exist, and where integrity, diversity and the rights and freedoms of all are respected.
This Charter is based on the values of equality, freedom, solidarity, justice and peace.
Equality Affirmation 1. All human beings and peoples are equal in all domains and all societies. They have equal access to wealth, land, decent employment, means of production, adequate housing, quality education, occupational training, justice, a healthy, nutritious and sufficient diet, physical and mental health services, old age security, a healthy environment, property, political and decision-making functions, energy, drinking water, clean air, means of transportation, technical knowledge and skills, information, means of communication, recreation, culture, rest, technology and the fruit of scientific progress.
Affirmation 2. No human condition or condition of life justifies discrimination.
Affirmation 3. No custom, tradition, religion, ideology, economic system or policy justifies the inferiorization of any person or authorizes actions that undermine human dignity and physical and psychological integrity.
Affirmation 4. Women are full-fledged human beings and citizens before being spouses, companions, wives, mothers and workers.
Affirmation 5. All unpaid, so-called feminine tasks related to supporting life and social maintenance (household labour, education, caring of children and intimates, etc.) are economic activities that create wealth and that should be valued and shared.
Affirmation 6. Trade among countries is equitable and does not harm peoples’ development.
Affirmation 7. Every person has access to a job with fair remuneration, in safe and sanitary conditions, and in which their dignity is respected.
Freedom Affirmation 1. All human beings live free of all forms of violence. No human being is the property of another. No person may be held in slavery, forced to marry, subjected to forced labor, trafficked, sexually exploited.
Affirmation 2. All individuals enjoy collective and individual freedoms that guarantee their dignity, in particular: freedom of thought, conscience, belief and religion; freedom of expression and opinion; to express one’s sexuality in a free and responsible manner and choose the person with whom to share one’s life; freedom to vote, be elected and participate in political life; freedom to associate, meet, unionize and demonstrate; freedom to choose one’s residence and civil status; freedom to choose one’s courses of study and to choose and exercise one’s profession; freedom to move and to be in charge of one’s person and goods; freedom to choose one’s language of communication while respecting minority languages and a society’s choices concerning the language spoken at home and in the workplace, and to be informed, learn, discuss and gain access to information technologies.
Affirmation 3. Freedoms are exercised with tolerance and mutual respect and within a democratic and participatory framework, democratically determined by the society. They involve responsibilities and obligations towards the community.
Affirmation 4. Women are free to make decisions about their body, fertility and sexuality. They have the choice about whether they will have children.
Affirmation 5. Democracy is rooted in freedom and equality.
SolidarityAffirmation 1. International solidarity among individuals and peoples is promoted free of any form of manipulation or influence.
Affirmation 2. All human beings are interdependent. They share the responsibility and the intention to live together and build a society that is generous, just and egalitarian, based on human rights; a society free of oppression, exclusion, discrimination, intolerance and violence.
Affirmation 3. Natural resources and the goods and services necessary for all persons to live are quality public goods and services to which every individual has equal and fair access.
Affirmation 4. Natural resources are administrated by the peoples living in the area, in a manner that is respectful of the environment and promotes its preservation and sustainability.
Affirmation 5. A society’s economy serves the women and men comprising that society. It is based on the production and exchange of socially useful wealth distributed among all people, the priority of satisfying the collective needs, eliminating poverty and ensuring the balance of collective and individual interests. It ensures food sovereignty. It opposes the exclusive quest for profit to the detriment of social usefulness, and the private accumulation of the means of production, wealth, capital, land and decision-making power by a few groups and individuals.
Affirmation 6. The contribution of every person to society is acknowledged and paves the way to social rights, regardless of the function held by that person.
Affirmation 7. Genetic modification is controlled. There are no patents on life or the human genome. Human cloning is prohibited.
Justice Affirmation 1. All human beings regardless of their country of origin, nationality and place of residence are considered to be full-fledged citizens, with fair and equal entitlement to human rights (social, economic, political, civil, cul-tural, sexual, reproductive and environmental rights) within an egalitarian, fair and genuinely democratic framework.
Affirmation 2. Social justice is based on the equitable redistribution of wealth to eliminate poverty, limit wealth acquisition and satisfy essential needs to improve the well-being of all people.
Affirmation 3. The physical and moral integrity of every person is protected. Torture and humiliating and degrading treatment are forbidden. Sexual violence, rape, female genital mutilation, violence against women, sex trafficking and trafficking of human beings in general are considered crimes against the person and crimes against humanity.
Affirmation 4. An accessible, egalitarian, effective and independent judiciary is put in place.
Affirmation 5. Every individual benefits from social protection guaranteeing her or him access to care, decent housing, education, information and security in old age. Every individual has sufficient income to live in dignity.
Affirmation 6. Health and social services are public, accessible, quality and free of charge; this includes all treatments, and services for all pandemic diseases, particularly HIV.
Peace Affirmation 1. All human beings live in a peaceful world. Peace is achieved principally as a result of: equality between women and men, social, economic, political, legal and cultural equality, rights protection, and eradication of poverty, ensuring that all people live in dignity and free of violence, and that everyone has employment, enough resources to feed, house, clothe and educate themselves, is protected in old age and has access to health care.
Affirmation 2. Tolerance, dialogue and respect for diversity are foundations of peace.
Affirmation 3. All forms of domination, exploitation and exclusion, of one person over another, one group over another, a minority over a majority, a majority over a minority, or one nation over another are excluded.
Affirmation 4. All human beings have the right to live in a world free of war and armed conflict, foreign occupation and military bases. No one has the right to decide on the life or death of individuals and peoples.
Affirmation 5. No custom, tradition, ideology, religion, political or economic system justifies the use of violence.
Affirmation 6. Armed and unarmed conflicts between countries, communities and peoples are resolved through negotiations, which bring about peaceful, just and fair solutions at the national, regional and international levels.
This Women’s Global Charter for Humanity calls on women and men and all oppressed peoples and groups of the planet to proclaim, individually and collectively, their power to transform the world and radically change social structures with a view to developing relationships based on equality, peace, freedom, solidarity and justice.
It calls on all social movements and all forces in society to take action so that the values promoted in this Charter can be effectively implemented and political decision-makers adopt the measures necessary for their implementation.
It is a call to action to change the world. The need is urgent!
No aspect of this Charter may be interpreted or utilized to express opinions or conduct activities that contravene the Charter’s spirit. The values defended in it form a whole. They are of equal importance, interdependent and indivisible, and the order they appear in the Charter is interchangeable.