Affirmation of Right to Participate in Decision-Making

– Barbara Biley –

On the occasion of International Women's Day 2023 women all over the world have taken their place at the head of all the struggles being waged for a world in which human beings can flourish and be in command of the affairs of their nations. Internationally women are in the forefront of the fight to dismantle NATO, end the conflict in Ukraine through negotiations, and uphold the principles of equality of nations and the peaceful resolution of conflicts between nations.

I was part of the contingent of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) in the IWD rally and march in Toronto on March 4 in which Indigenous women, migrant women, education workers and students, organizations of Filipino and Latin American women, and workers from all sectors carried placards and banners with their demands: Status for All, Repeal the Anti-labour Laws and End Wage Discrimination, for Canada to be a Zone for Peace and Get Canada out of NATO. Our banner "Our Security Lies in the Fight for the Rights of All!" captured the spirit of the march.

A problem that we are facing is that our outmoded political system denies us the right to participate in decision-making so that we can collectively bring about the changes in the economy required so that the needs of the people are at the centre of planning, not narrow private interests. The cartel parties speak on behalf of the narrow private interests who have seized control of the federal and provincial governments. They tell the people, including women fighting for their rights, that we should count on them for solutions. We are told that we should accept a political system in which only a handful of people make decisions that affect everyone, a system that blocks us from solving any problems.

We know what needs to be done. On every front, Canadian women are standing up to the brutality of the anti-social offensive that is wrecking society and forcing everyone to fend for themselves. We do not accept that health care workers, education workers and others should work in untenable conditions. Nor do we accept that governments abdicate their responsibility to invest in the services that people need while attacking the workers who have given their all during the pandemic and continue to do so. We are putting forward human-centred solutions and fighting for them.

Militant women at the Toronto rally made it clear that we are taking our destiny into our own hands and consider it our right and duty to change the society into one that upholds the rights of all.

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

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