MANIFESTO – CADTM – MARCH 8 “FOR A FEMINIST NON-PAYMENT OF THE DEBT”
We are feminist, internationalist and anti-capitalist CADTM activists from different parts of the world. On the occasion of the 8and of March, International Day of Struggle for Women’s Rights, we want to focus on feminist demands and struggles against debt, which is a tool of domination and FINANCIAL COLONIZATION of our homes, our bodies and our territories. We are therefore launching this manifesto open to all those who want to sign it, support it and distribute it.
Debt oppresses people both in the South and in the North (whether by Structural adjustment
Economic policies imposed by the IMF in exchange for new loans or rescheduling of old loans.
Structural adjustment policies were applied in the early 1980s to qualify countries for new loans or debt rescheduling by the IMF and World Bank. The type of adjustment requested aims to ensure that the country can once again service its external debt. Structural adjustment generally combines the following elements: devaluation of the national currency (to lower the prices of exported goods and attract hard currencies), increase in interest rates (to attract international capital), reduction of public expenditure ( ‘rationalization’ of public service personnel, reduction of budgets for education and the health sector, etc.), massive privatizations, reduction of public subsidies to certain companies or products, wage freeze (to avoid inflation as a consequence of deflation).These SAPs not only substantially contributed to rising debt levels in the affected countries, they simultaneously led to higher prices (due to a high VAT rate and free market prices) and a dramatic drop in incomes for local populations (as a result of rising unemployment and the dismantling of public services, among other factors). tors).
IMF: http://www.worldbank.org/ policies or austerity measures imposed by international financial institutions) and has particularly devastating consequences for women* (as well as for the most vulnerable groups of the population) as women workers, small producers and peasants, users of targeted services and “affected” people care
The concept of “care work” refers to a set of material and psychological practices intended to provide a concrete response to the needs of others and of a community (including ecosystems). We prefer the concept of care to that of “domestic” or “reproduction” work because it integrates the emotional and psychological dimensions (mental load, affection, support), and it is not limited to the “private” and free aspects by including also paid activities necessary for the reproduction of human life.
The current health and economic crisis has only worsened living conditions around the world, not only deepening the precariousness, inequalities, poverty and level of indebtedness of the working classes, but also making it difficult to imagine new Horizons. Under the pretext of the urgency to deal with the health crisis, the global context is characterized by unprecedented levels of public debt, which will serve as a blackmail tool in the years to come to impose more austerity and privatizations populations, with even more disastrous consequences for women* .
Who bears the “costs” of social reproduction and care work in this context? Women*
In order to prioritize the reimbursement of ILLEGITIMATE PUBLIC DEBTSglobal cuts in public spending:
- deprive us of our right to health, education, housing, etc.
- forces us to resort to private debt, such as micro-credits to women at abusive rates to meet the basic needs of our families (food, medicine, rent, etc.);
- chain us to violent homes, male violence and directly attack our emancipation.
- perpetuate invisibility and devaluation
Fall in the exchange rate of one currency relative to another.
care work and social reproduction (for which women are largely responsible).
- condemn us to accept increasingly precarious and badly paid jobs.
- deepen the current model of extractivist production and development. Based on the reprimarisation of the economy, in order to obtain foreign currencies, which leads to the loss of territories, to more inequalities and marginalization, and to the increased presence of transnational corporations (TNCs) protected by agreements of free trade. It is mainly women who lead the fight against these companies, for the defense of our territories, our cultures and our ways of life.
This is how the “debt system” works, how financial colonization imposes itself on our homes. This is how public and private debt are linked and serve to perpetuate capitalism and patriarchy.
BUT, without this free or underpaid work of women*, the system collapses! In fact, this capitalist and patriarchal system has a long-standing social debt to women. Who depends on whom? The system needs us to keep working. If women stop, the world stops… Reversing these logics, we ask the question: WHO OWS TO WHOM?
- CANCEL PUBLIC DEBTS countries of the South to all creditors: bilateral, multilateral and private.
- FIGHT AGAINST PRIVATE DEBT and propose ALTERNATIVES TO MICROCREDIT like the solidarity economies which are already experimented in certain regions of the world and which can feed our reflections. In the short term, we need an improvement in the conditions of indebtedness with MIFIs (Microcredit Institutions), such as a zero rateinterest
Amount paid as remuneration for an investment or received by a lender. Interest is calculated on the amount of capital invested or borrowed, the duration of the operation and the rate that has been set.
and limited by the adoption of national laws.
- To fight against this financial system dominated by a minority of speculators who seek to increase their profit
The positive gain generated by the activity of a company. Net profit is profit after tax. Distributable profit is the part of net profit that can be distributed to shareholders.
by setting up a system of borrowing for the common good.
- Set up a FEMINIST DEBT AUDIT (which should include the feminist dimension, i.e. take into account the unrecognized contribution of women to the economy and propose solutions such as the socialization of care, i.e. the involvement of all social and economic actors in these activities on which we all depend), including in this dimension the audit and investigation of the various forms of abuse committed by microfinance organizations, where women represent more than 80% of borrowers.
- Establish GENDER-NON-SEXIST EDUCATIONN and raise awareness on discrimination and violence against women* as well as on sexual and reproductive rights (such as the right to abortion) and women’s rights in general in all spheres of life.
- ENDING THE SEXUAL DISTRIBUTION OF REPRODUCTIVE LABOR.
Our current challenge as feminists is to radicalize the processes of struggle that we are already constructing from a perspective of plurality of subjects and resistance to the current model. We must dismantle this way of life based on injustice and exploitation and move towards new ways of connecting with each other, focusing on the sustainability of human life on earth.