Urgent Need for Democratic Renewal

– Peggy Morton –

On this International Women's Day, I think the most urgent problem facing women is the need for the renewal of the democracy, and for people's empowerment. The battles women are waging and leading bring to the fore what kind of equality women are fighting for. The modern demand for equality arises from our common quality of being human, on the basis of which we make our claims for equal political and social status, and as women for all that we need as the reproducers of life. That is that all members of the society have equal rights and responsibilities to participate in decision-making and to implement those decisions.

The existing "democratic institutions" divide society into those who rule and stand above the people, and those who are ruled. We fight not only against all forms of discrimination, but for the equality of membership of all in society as the decision-makers. Women are not fighting to be ruled "equally" much less to join or be accommodated by those who rule on behalf of the global financial oligarchy.

Consider the questions of war and peace. The demands for political power and for peace are the lasting legacy of the decision to establish International Women's Day by the Communist, socialist, and working women 113 years ago. Today, women are in the front ranks of the work to make Canada a zone for peace.

Following World War II, the demand of the people for a world united for peace gave rise to the Charter of the United Nations, and its principles of the right of every country and people to decide their own path, the sovereign equality of all countries, the rule of international law, and the peaceful resolution of disputes between nations.

The people's right to deliberate and decide on all matters of war and peace is of the greatest importance today in order to uphold these principles, in the face of Canada's integration into the U.S. war machine and economy. The U.S. imperialists now refer to Canada and others as "NATO territory" by which they mean subservient to its war aims and drive to maintain U.S. supremacy at any cost, in lock-step with the U.S./NATO proxy war with the aim of crushing Russia, and dead set against efforts to reach a peaceful solution. Women Cabinet Ministers openly shout the slogans of the Ukrainian Nazi collaborators, the Banderites, while Canada trains today's neo-Nazis in Ukraine. One can see that the aim of the Trudeau government's "feminist foreign policy" is to recruit women both to directly participate in the armed forces and the NATO organization, and to support its war aims.

It has never been more important to deliberate and discuss what is taking place, and to take our stand for those principles which represent the striving of the peoples of the world. Canada's membership in NATO and NORAD has never been approved by Canadians, yet even to raise one's voice that Canada should get out of NATO and NORAD is to be open to accusations of being a threat to national security. It must not pass!

How can the most destructive powers humanity has ever known be permitted to be under the control of one country or one man or even one woman for that matter. Make Canada a Zone for Peace! Canada Out of NATO and NORAD!

Women know that whatever accomplishments, whatever successes we women have collectively achieved are our own doing. They have not been given to us, because our rights belong to us, they cannot be given and taken away. This anti-social offensive is unsustainable, the workers, women and youth are saying with their words and deeds. The need for the people to exercise the decision-making power is palpable, it is in the air, it is everywhere.

In strengthening our sense of responsibility to each other, by taking up our social responsibility to society, we are guided not by what governments proclaim to be the agenda, but by the needs we define and the claims we make as humans, as women, as workers.

It is in these battles -- the fight for wages and working conditions acceptable to themselves and necessary to provide the services society needs, for an end to violence and discrimination, for reproductive rights, for Status for All, for Mother Earth and climate justice, for Indigenous hereditary and treaty rights, for peace -- that what is needed for human beings to flourish comes into focus. The times are calling for renewal of the political process, to make Canada a Zone for Peace, for a society in which the rights of all are recognized.

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

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