With the aim of building networks and alliances to continue consolidating an autonomous, critical and grassroots feminism as a space of struggle in our neighborhoods and towns, this November 25th feminists from around the world will once again take the streets to be visible together against gender violence. From different networks of Social Solidarity Economy, we want to claim and share our experiences from diversity, as well as denounce the spaces that still perpetuate the cis-heteropatriarchal and racist system.
We understand that gender violence has many forms. There are the most obvious ones, such as femicides, rapes, aggressions, humiliations. But there are also more subtle ones: denial of capabilities, contempt and poor remuneration of the so-called female work, domestic slavery, male monopolization of speech and decisions in public spaces and/or assemblies or meetings, discrimination of older and younger women, appropriation of the benefits of female work, LGTBIQ-phobic aggressions, etc.
Thanks to the mobilization and the advance of Feminism, the situation is changing and there is a strong deconstruction of the collective imaginary, although institutional and sexist violence is still powerful. Moreover, the COVID19 pandemic has undoubtedly aggravated this structural situation of inequalities and precariousness.
The day of November 25 is dedicated to the fight against all these types of violence; henceforth, we claim the importance of facing it throughout the year and include Feminism as a cross-cutting theme in all our Social Solidarity Economy practices.
Without feminism there is no Social Solidarity Economy
- An overview: Women are still being murdered
According to the figures we have at European level, one in five women is a victim of physical or sexual violence and every day seven women die at the hands of their partners. As a consequence of the health crisis, and in particular the lockdown that has been put in place in many European countries, according to the World Health Organisation, Europe member states have recorded a 60% increase in emergency calls from women victims of domestic violence compared to 2019. An estimated 87,000 women were victims of femicides committed by partners or family members, according to 2017 global statistics.
At the European level, the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating gender-based violence was adopted in 2011 and entered into force in August 2014. It establishes a comprehensive framework to prevent violence, protect victims and prosecute perpetrators. As of 2018, the Convention has been signed by all EU Member States, but has only been ratified by 21. It is the first binding European text in this field.
However, from the European SSE networks we denounce that these measures are insufficient, that they represent a hegemonic white Feminism and that they overlook other types of violence. Furthermore, although in general most EU countries have laws addressing gender-based violence, there is a lack of common definition and common standards to address the issue, which greatly contributes to perpetuating the problem. Many countries include machista victims as “domestic violence” so the numbers of murders shown are lower than they really are.
- Feminist Social Solidarity Economy
Feminist Social Solidarity Economy is based on putting the sustainability of life at the center and understands cis-heteropatriarchy as a constitutive system of the world. In order to change the economic system, it is essential to put on gender glasses so that we can identify the role played by reproductive and care tasks in the capitalist economic model.
The traditional economy has generated a strong separation between public space, where productive tasks are performed, and private space, where reproductive tasks are carried out. The former has been occupied by men and the latter by women. This relegation of women to the private sphere, and particularly racialized women, has prevented them from being present in decision-making spaces, in leisure and free time spaces, while nevertheless carrying out the most important task for the maintenance of the neoliberal system: sustaining life.
Feminist Economics has highlighted all these oppressions and the SSE has been articulated with this vision. The figures shown by SSE organizations in Europe are better than those of mainstream economics: there are generally more women than men working in the sector, and the wage gap is not as large as in the corporate sector but there is still much to be done to ensure that all human beings are treated equally in all areas of life.
However, although the figures are better within the SSE sector, patriarchal roles continue to be reproduced.
As feminists we denounce that:
– Women continue to have less weight in decision-making processes. The vast majority of directive positions in organizations are still held by men.
– Women’s salaries are lower than those of men, and even more so if they are not only women but also young women.
– Masculinized spaces are reproduced in assemblies and meetings. Men occupy the majority of the interventions.
– There is a greater presence/exclusivity of men in positions related to finance and accounting.
– Racialized and migrant women are not present in SSE organizations in more than a symbolic way. The colonial dynamics of the system continue to be reproduced.
– There is no representation of women living in vulnerable conditions in work spaces and decision-making processes. Nor are there non-binary identities.
– Inclusive language is often not used correctly.
– There is a devaluation of SSE jobs, especially for women.
– Women have a double working day due to the care tasks they assume
– We wonder if the positions that are created in the SSE field are sufficient and above all, how they are maintained beyond the productive spaces.
As feminists in the SSE we demand:
-Include Feminism and decoloniality as a transversal part of the SSE and not as something residual, punctual.
– Recognize the value of SSE jobs and positions occupied mainly by women.
– Recognize and promote SSE values and equal governance as a solution.
– Inclusion of equality issues in all areas of education, from primary schools to universities and prestigious schools.
– Recognize the underpaid and invisible work of women in rural areas, the food system, education and care.
-Develop a Social Solidarity Economy with an intersectional vision that is applied in all areas of our work, projects and activities.
-Include the care economy and informal economies as part of the SSE.
- How to create and foster an environment of mutual support in the SSE workspace
The epistemological change called for by the solidarity economy must value the experience and knowledge of Feminism. Attention must be paid to the recognition of feminist epistemologies (include their perspective in initial/professional training, in the collective narrative; think globalization from below in solidarity with the feminist movement: which means that the way of advocating for solidarity economy must include the feminist-decolonial perspective).
We propose to promote care assemblies in our network, to share experiences, to take care of each other and promote sorority, to use more and better inclusive language, to design or support the implementation of social balance tools on gender, as well as to promote decolonial feminism through our tools.
We have to reflect on how the capitalist financial system has taken over our lives, bodies and territories, but without a doubt, we have to do so taking into account how this intersects with our gender, our age, ethnicity, sexual orientation etc, as our experiences will be different.
Together we are unstoppable.
Link to different march in European cities:
Lisbon (PT): https://www.facebook.com/events/920038588619387/
Other links of interest to papers in the network:
A manifest for migrants