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Women Throughout the World Take Action Against Femicide



From November 25 to December 10, women young and old, in cities all over the world, came together in powerful, determined, and inspiring actions calling for an end to femicide—the murder with impunity of women based on their gender—and all of the violence endured by women in a world of male domination.

On the first day of protests, dozens of women in Santiago, Chile, came together in a “flash mob” outside the Supreme Court building. They did a performance piece called “Un violador en tu camino” (“A rapist in your path”)—written and choreographed by a Chilean feminist collective—that targets the patriarchy at the root of the violence against women, and the victim shaming that goes with it. They sang “Y la culpa no era mía, ni dónde estaba, ni cómo vestía” (“And the fault wasn’t mine, neither where I was, nor how I dressed”). The lyrics target the police, the courts, and the state; the women dance blindfolded, with some moves depicting the positions of torture used on women by police in Chile. Days later,10,000 women performed “Un violador...” in front of the National Stadium in Santiago—where thousands were tortured and murdered, and women were raped and sexually assaulted following the 1973 U.S.-backed military coup, led by General Augusto Pinochet.

Videos of these actions went viral in no time, and the performances spread as a major form of protest in cities across South and Central America, to Europe and around the world—including Colombia, Argentina, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Spain, London, Paris, Stockholm, Russia, Turkey, India, Sudan, Uganda, and Australia. In many of the protests, women bore the image of a hand painted over their mouths, symbolizing the violence of male domination and the silencing of the half of humanity forced to live in such a world. In Istanbul, Turkey, hundreds of women who performed it in Spanish and Turkish were attacked by police with tear gas and arrests to stop them.

Marches and protests took place in Mexico City and several other Mexican states. Revolutionaries and communists were part of the protests in Mexico, and brought out that the capitalist system has no solution and “The only way out is revolution.”

November 25 (#N25) coincided with the day the UN has declared the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. December 10 was designated by the UN as Human Rights Day. Just a glance at the statistics on a global scale on violence against women should be a wake-up call: Over half of all women in the world married or with a partner are not free to make their own decisions about sexual relations, contraceptive use and health care; one in three women and girls on the planet will be physically or sexually abused in their lifetime, most frequently by an intimate partner; 200 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation; and 71 percent of all human trafficking victims worldwide are women and girls, and three out of four of these women and girls are sexually exploited.

At a time when femicide and all the other forms of violence against women are increasing... when fascist forces reasserting male supremacy grow in strength, and have taken power in the U.S. and many other countries... these determined and creative outpourings of tens of thousands of women boldly standing up and demanding an end to patriarchal violence, domination, and degradation are a very positive development.

The whole question of the position and role of women in society is more and more acutely posing itself in today’s extreme circumstances.... It is not conceivable that all this will find any resolution other than in the most radical terms....The question yet to be determined is: will it be a radical reactionary or a radical revolutionary resolution, will it mean the reinforcing of the chains of enslavement or the shattering of the most decisive links in those chains and the opening up of the possibility of realizing the complete elimination of all forms of such enslavement?

—Bob Avakian, cited in A Declaration: For Women’s Liberation and the Emancipation of All Humanity, a special issue of Revolution




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