The Committee against Violence on Women (CAVOW), India, expresses its deep solidarity for the International Women’s Conference being held at Montreal, Canada from August 13 to 16, 2010. We express our regrets that we could not attend it but assure you that we are with you in spirit and in struggle.
Women all over the world are suffering the brunt of the economic and environmental crisis due to imperialist globalization. There is large scale displacement in the name of development and women are being deprived of land, forest resources and right to livelihood. As hunger and poverty take a toll on the lives of the toiling people, it is women and children who suffer the most due to the gender biases that exist in most parts of the world. As men and women raise their voices to resist this aggression, they face the onslaught of state repression or become victims of militarization and war. Sexual assault is often used to crush a community or a struggling people and women are the soft targets for these heinous crimes.
In India, the picture is no different, with the women of the areas affected by development aggression resisting the armed personnel, vigilante groups and political goons who create havoc by looting their resources, murder, torture and rape. In Chhatisgadh, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa, hundreds of women are being imprisoned in false cases, tortured and raped in custody. In areas like the Northeast (Nagaland, Manipur etc), women are in the forefront of struggles as “Mothers”, Women and student organizations fighting repression on their communities. Kashmir is on the boil with women having no other alternative but join the stone pelting mobs on the streets as 55 people including women and girls have been shot dead by the firing of the military on the agitating unarmed mobs. Dalit and minority (Muslims and Christian) women have been also facing the brunt of Hindutva communal violence in India.
In these circumstances, we feel that women should come together also in international alliances to protest against the violence being unleashed against them and to fight the root causes for this like imperialism and patriarchy that lead to the structural violence against women. We express our support for whatever initiative that the international conference in Montreal takes in this direction.
Shoma Sen for CAVOW