The 4th International World March of Women will launch on March 8 and conclude October 17, 2015. There will be a day of action around the world at midday on April 24.
The March is a global social movement that aims to eliminate the causes of poverty and violence against women. This year’s theme is “Freedom for our bodies, our land and our territories”.
This global feminist movement brings together diverse groups, including women’s groups, unions, anti-poverty groups, Indigenous activists, international solidarity groups and many others. Since the first March in 2000, activists have organized local, national and global marches, hundreds of workshops and actions and lobbying of governments and international organizations.
The 4th International World March of Women 2015 will launch on March 8, International Women’s Day, and conclude October 17, 2015, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. There will be a day of action around the world at midday on April 24 (anniversary of the Bangladesh factory fire), dubbed 24 hours of international feminist action, with a focus on precarious work.
For this 4th March, the Quebec coordinating body has been organizing for months as part of the international campaign. Events are planed for March 8th and April 24th across the province. A caravan will tour 17 regions of Quebec in the fall, culminating in a gathering and a march on October 17 in Trois-Rivières. There will also be a cross-Europe caravan and hundreds of other events around the world.
There is no coordinating structure for pan-Canadian actions, though some unions are starting to organise around the WMW. See notices of the Vancouver IWD event here, Halifax here and Toronto here. The BC Federation of Labour is also using the March theme for the Vancouver International Women’s Day march.
History of the March:
This year’s World March of Women is the 4th international mobilization. It builds on solidarity networks begun in Quebec with the Women’s March Against Poverty (the Bread and Roses March) in 1995, organized by the FFQ.
- Women’s March Against Poverty, Quebec 1995.
- Proposal to have WMW made to delegates at Beijing Conference.
- Coordinating Committee of the March established 1997 composed of Quebec women.
- Montreal meeting of reps from 65 countries in 1998 to plan and develop 17 international demands.
- International Liaison Committee formed in 1998 to oversee preparations of world actions, based in Quebec.
- 1st WMW officially launched at news conference in Montreal with satellite links to NYC and Geneva on March 8, 2000 (International Women’s Day) – it ended October 17, 2000 (International Day for the Eradication of Poverty); 6,000 groups from 163 countries participated.
- In 2001, an international structure was set up to allow for equal representation from women from all continents.
- In 2005, activists from the WMW organized a year of mobilizations around the Women’s Global Charter for Humanity. In 2010, an estimated 80,000 people in 76 countries marched under the slogan “women on the march until we are free”.
- In 2006, after housing the International Secretariat, Quebec facilitated the transfer of the headquarters to Brazil. In 2014, after years of inspiring leadership, the Secretariat moved to Mozambique.
- Marches are now mobilized every five years. In 2010, the main theme focussed on war and militarisation. International actions were held in countries where women’s lives are heavily affected by conflict: Democratie Republic of the Congo, Columbia, Turkey.
- The March is also extremely active in the World Social Forum and has lasting ties with Via Campesina and Friends of the Earth.
Resources for organizers in Canada:
Three key documents have been translated to date: