The COVID 19 pandemic shows once again the patriarchal pandemic: We women defend ourselves!
The battle for life and freedom continues, and it is intensifying day by day, especially in the lives and bodies of women around the world.
Capitalist modernity is trying to strengthen itself at every step, trying to impose its course on the lives of all people, sweeping the planet with it, and trying to erase from our minds any possibility of another world and way of life. As we briefly showed in our recent brochure, women have been the focus of attacks in the patriarchys’ attempts to destroy all hope of a free and democratic life for everyone. With the role of women in society, in the structuring of communities and their link to the land, the patriarchy in all of history and now the capitalist states have needed to impose all their patriarchal violence against us in order to impose their meaningless system. But we women, despite the fact that they have tried to make us believe otherwise, have never remained passive. The role of women in resisting and defending community and freedom has been essential for women today to maintain hope.
This role of resistance and self-defense of society is urgently needed in the face of a new global attack against women and peoples. A role that has never stopped and is therefore once again under more fierce attack, as for example the invasion and war carried out in the territory of the women’s revolution in North and East Syria shows. States are afraid of what will come if society organize itself, and therefor try to secure their power by attacking the center of society, namely women.
The patriarchal offensive of capitalist modernity
We are in a dramatic scenario, but not only because of the recent Corona virus pandemic. Women’s lives around the world have been marked for too many years by violence, forced displacement, precariousness, and even murder – the number of femicides is rising.
Around the world, it is the patriarchal state that forcibly imposes its power to continue to sell and exploit our lives, our bodies, our land and the entire planet. In a world increasingly disconnected from the earth, based on a financial capitalist economy in which crises are not only cyclical but also increasingly acute. The pandemic of the CoronaVirus and the management carried out to cope with it cannot be understood outside the previous context.
The situation in Rojava is marked by the imperialist eagerness of the Turkish state and its allied states (from the powers like the United States and Russia to all the members of NATO), which with the help jihadist mercenaries are once again dedicated to occupying, plundering, raping and murdering the peoples of the North and East of Syria. We can see the brutality against women, as with the case of Hevrin Xelif or Amara Renas who were brutally murdered and their bodies desecrated. Right now in the Turkish occupied areas of Afrin and Serekaniye kidnapping and abuse of women is being used as a weapon of war by Turkey and its jihadist mercenaries. This clearly shows the aim of Turkey and its fundamentalist groups to destroy the life and freedom of women. By enforcing their system of domination they are creating a demographic change, destroying nature, forcing assimilation, occupying land and wrecking the progress that have been made in the women’s liberation.
In the rest of the world, the crisis and violence against women is also constant. Hundreds of thousands of women are killed every year. All around the world women suffer through sexual assault, genital mutilation, sexual slavery and endless burdens of invisible work. Especially with the increase of fascism around the world, from Bolsonaro in Brazil to Salvini in Italy, women’s rights are being decreased. We are living since the beginning of the century a clear offensive against women to maintain the capitalist state power after the world crisis.
Women faced with this situation have not given up hope and are continuing resisting and organizing themselves all over the world. We saw it on March 8, with millions of women around the world marching for women’s freedom. But we also see it every day: with the Latin American women who are organizing themselves to defend their lands and their communities, the women in India who are organizing to defend themselves from male violence, and the women in southern Europe who are organizing themselves to defend their homes from profit-oriented financial enterprises.
Corona virus as a pretext for the increase of violence
In this context of an increase of violence against women in all corners around the world, the pandemic of the Corona virus has provided the states of capitalist modernity with another opportunity to further extend and consolidate their rule and to disguise a new attack on our lives as something necessary.
In the current situation with the COVID 19 pandemic, the capitalist states show once again that they have no interest, or ever had, in the well-being of people or of the planet. On the basis of a patriarchal mentality, they are carrying out a pandemic management which consists in securing their power by intimidation at the expense of everyone.
We see that the corona virus is a pandemic to be taken seriously, but we also have to see that the handling and management can be done in different ways. Right now people are either being forced to work, exposing them to the virus, or they are being fired. Also other people are alone at home without any material and emotional support. Instead of putting profits and privet interests in the center, we should put the care of the people in the center, through solidarity between people and peoples.
In the current situation the present policies are creating more fear in the population, make us distrust each other and break the bonds between us more likely. They encourage us to denounce each other instead of helping each other out in these complicated times. They are trying to make us the guilty parties and therefore the enemy, which justifies maintaining measures to militarise and control the population to remain in power once the virus is under control. Be it through the European Union’s extension of border management to further seal itself off from hundreds of thousands of refugees who continue to flee from war and poverty, and to continue to promote racism and mistrust among the people. Or to militarize the roads inside of the country and use the armies to stop innocent bypassers. There is no doubt that the army is not on the streets to stop the virus, but to establish mechanisms of control of the society in order to prevent their resistance.
Not a word about stopping the devastation of the planet. Not a word about stopping the war. Not a word about tackling collectively the issue of care, from health care to family care. Not a word about establishing grass-root democracy in the societies so as not to be at the mercy of a market without ecological or social boundaries. The state wants to be our “protecting man” through control and militarization of the society, and we as women know the lie of this history very well.
All these actions show once again the basis of a system that is hostile towards women and life: women will once again be those who, despite being displaced by war, have to look after their families who now live in refugee camps under horrible conditions. They will be the ones who, having worked for 48 consecutive hours in supermarkets or hospitals, will be confronted with male violence in their homes, which will increase with their isolation and precariousness. They will be the first to lose their jobs and their homes and will therefor be exposed to more situations of domestic violence.
Resist as always, move forward as never before
We as women, ours is a story of resistance. And now it will be no different. The crisis of the Corona virus pandemic shows us once again that patriarchal states will never be able to provide an adequate response to the problems we face as a society. We have to build a different society that allows us to break with the dominant male mentality that leads us day after day, and even more so in the most critical situations like this, to disaster. For that, we women must take a step forward so as not to go backwards.
We cannot let the male states impose their martial law, destroy the links between us and use the pandemic to cover everything with normality and inevitability. We as women we must take a decisive role to defend ourselves and to don’t allow that this pandemic is used to further destroy society, to inflict even more violence on us or to continue a pattern that leads to the annihilation of the planet.
As we have seen clearly these last weeks not only the Corona virus pandemic has a worldwide impact, but the pandemic of capitalist modernity with its patriarchal mentality and violence as well. That is why we as women of the world must strengthen our ties to make ourselves stand strong in the face of this patriarchal and capitalist offensive. To become strong in order to not to accept the maintenance of these exceptional measures and above all, to become strong in order to consolidate a force of women that will turn the whole world system upside down.
Because the Corona virus shows us once again that there is no other sustainable alternative than a society that puts people and nations at the center of decision-making through democratic processes, that is based on the liberation of women and that interacts with the planet in an ecological way. An alternative that defends life, like the one being built in the liberated territories of North and East Syria. Today, more than ever, the women’s revolution is seen as the solution to the world crisis in which we find ourselves. The solidarity which we are building up today is the beginning for our struggles for freedom, which we have to do together.
That is why we send strength and energy to all women and all people around the world in the face of the Corona virus pandemic, and call on women everywhere to organize to confront the patriarchal pandemic of states with global struggle and resistance!