International Women's Day 2023

Women Lead in the Fight for Rights and Empowerment

– Anna Di Carlo –

International Women's Day march in Montreal, March 8, 2023.

Anna Di Carlo is the National Leader of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada.

On the occasion of International Women's Day 2023, through their rallies, demonstrations, meetings and interviews, women across the country have spoken out about the matters which concern them. They raised their demands for a society that is fit for humans and showed that we achieve successes when we fight together. We rejoice in these achievements of women who are taking centre stage, standing in the van of the fight for the rights of all. Congratulations to everyone for their contributions, their courage, their persistence and successes.

We also see before us every day that the difficulties people in general face, and we women in particular, are great and getting greater. Against this backdrop, there is an all-out campaign to marginalize the people, to sow disunity in our ranks in any way the people in positions of influence and authority can find. One aspect of this is to create doubts in our minds about one another's integrity, political correctness and loyalty.

Many examples can be given, such as the automatic attribution of identity decided by others to anyone who speaks, or calling those who question government mandates "right-wing" and the like. So too are people faced with accusations of being reactionary if they are not sufficiently attuned to what is culturally appropriate while governments make crimes against the people legal. We end up with a dismally low level of political response to the anti-social offensive and political assault on the rights of all and with a climate of apparent indifference to what is taking place nationally and internationally.

All of it is disinformation to disengage us from participating together to work out what's what, how matters pose themselves, what is pertinent and what is not and what response favours our interests. An example of how official confusion-making and fearmongering are created is the campaign which seems to be engineered by what are called the intelligence agencies regarding what they call "foreign interference" by China into Canada's electoral and political process. This is done at a time all across the country people are very dissatisfied with how the electoral system brings people called representatives to office who do not in fact represent them. Majority governments are created with a minority of voters who cast ballots for them and with at least a quarter or a third of voters abstaining for lack of candidates who represent their views, claims and wishes. A significant point is why intelligence agencies operate through the media to "leak" stories? Who is pulling what strings that governance has gone so far off the rails and in the name of press freedom, democracy and human rights, Canadians are held hostage to all these practices which sow anarchy and violence?

Not only will declaring China a "hostile state" not sort out any problem of the Canadian, U.S. or European economies but the more the U.S. arms Taiwan and Canada contributes by sending warships to the Taiwan Strait, it will not serve to sort out problems without resorting to the use of violence. This month we are commemorating the 20th anniversary of the U.S. war against Iraq and the 12th anniversary of the U.S.-led destruction of Libya in which Canada played an infamous role. At that time the U.S. raised hysteria against those professing Islam or who were of Arab descent or wore burqas or hijabs and Canada appeased the U.S. and followed suit. 

To this day Canada denies responsibility for islamaphobic attacks carried out officially by the state against Canadians, as well as by deranged or politically motivated reactionary individuals and groups. So too today, it denies any responsibility for the hostile climate it is creating against Canadian citizens and residents of Chinese origin. We have spoken to many across the country who favour friendly diplomatic relations between China and Canada and oppose the use of force in sorting out differences between countries. They oppose the state-criminalization of nationality, such as the refusal to permit any cultural performance or exchange if it is of Russian origin, or now the persecution of people of Chinese origin. Women are in the forefront of opposition to Canadians being marginalized, defamed and slandered and even criminalized for taking stands according to their conscience.

They oppose attempts to disorient them, silence them, intimidate them so that they cannot speak freely and work collectively to provide serious problems with solutions which favour them and the polity as a whole. This is a major concern which women have spoken up about on the occasion of International Women's Day.

More than ever, the situation demands that we create forums where we can come together to exchange experiences, to raise our concerns in an atmosphere where we can speak freely without fear or recriminations for expressing what's on our minds and without taking sides pro-this or con-that, without fear of whether or not we are saying the "right thing." How can we stop being undermined by prejudices and notions that obstruct our thinking and obstruct looking at facts and drawing warranted conclusions if we cannot speak freely? When the intention is to sort things out in a manner that favours us, speaking freely will realize that intention. When the intention is to impose beliefs and foregone conclusions, the result is not the unity of the people, but their division and disaffection.

We are pleased to see that such forums are being created across the country where a principle of participation is that what is said there stays there and the aim of discussion and exchanges is to strengthen the interventions of women to find solutions, assist one another to organize, understand better what is at stake and how women can assist one another to achieve success.

This year for International Women's Day, the Trudeau government set the theme "Every Woman Counts." It is used to negate what women themselves are bringing into being when they speak in their own name and make the claims which they must on society. How does the Trudeau government intend to count every woman and declare that it speaks in their name? Women are not numbers on a sheet of paper which contains the speaking points of fraudulent politicians. Far from listening to the women fighting on the front lines in every sphere of life in Canada and internationally and recognizing their collective strength, the government and its agencies spout nonsense such as the cruel message Status of Women delivers to the youth when it says "Your dream is within reach." Whose dream would that be? The efforts of what the government calls the best and the brightest which will be given positions in the armed forces and governments to enforce the values which Canadians have not adopted?

Life itself reveals the fate reserved at the hands of the governments for the missing Indigenous girls or for young people forced to fend for themselves, in competition with everyone else. They are told that if they make the right choices and behave well, "they can make it." If they do not "make it," then they can live with the guilt that they did not try hard enough and can only blame themselves for the absence of a bright future.

According to the ruling elite, the Canadian government is in the forefront of fighting for women's rights. The proof is supposed to be the fact that women are in key cabinet positions starting with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly, and Defence Minister Anita Anand. We are to presume they illustrate what the government considers a successful woman. These women are carrying out Canada's neo-liberal anti-social offensive which violates the rights of all. In the name of human rights and a so-called rules-based system, they promote nation-wrecking and are unabashed in pushing the integration of the Canadian economy into U.S. war production and calling Canadian territory "NATO territory" in lock-step with U.S. warmongers striving for world hegemony.

The women of this country want a system where the rulers do not stand above the people and block the people from taking the decisions which affect their lives.

On this occasion we celebrate together our successes. We define for ourselves what constitutes a success based on the fact that we realize a plan we ourselves adopt and implement. We fight against all forms of discrimination and injustice, and for the rights of all.

In 2023, let us come together to create forms which assist one another in our organizing efforts, to share experiences in organizing and work out together how to resolve the crises in which society is mired in a manner which favours the working people, not the beneficiaries of the decaying system of power and privilege.

This article was published in
Volume 53 Number 3 - March 2023

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