Statement: March 8th, 2017 .. Not a Celebration, But a Renewal of Vows of Struggle and Solidarity

This year, International Women’s Day is concurrent with a dramatic deterioration of discourse of justice and gender equality, and the rise of conservative retrograde discourses that prioritize conflicts and wars at the expense of progress, equality, and development. In the midst of these events, the situation of women has relapsed to a point where the gains of their struggle are threatened with the return of morbid patriarchal discourses that promote discrimination and subservience. These discourses are adopted by official and unofficial parties which re-produce violence against women, exclude them from decision-making circles, and depreciate spaces they have gained. Consequently, said factors puts women in danger of impoverishment and displacement.

Similarly, women’s situation in Egypt is no exception. This year has witnessed a vicious attack on, female, women’s rights defenders; where they were banned from traveling, had their accounts frozen, in addition to closing down of NGO’s against violence and torture. Moreover, the parliament has deliberated upon proposed amendments to laws of custody and visits, personal status, as well as mother and child laws without having opened a broad social dialogue. Even more alarming, the independence and sustainability of the long feminist and human rights struggle are threatened by the new NGO law, of which background we are still not aware. The severe economic crisis did not spare women or men. However, the impact of the crisis was more sever on women, as they have only grown more prone to impoverishment and unorganized employment.

In spite of the challenges surrounding the current situation, we renew our vows of struggle and solidarity. Today we stress being a part of the broader international feminist struggle, in which we join crowds of women’s rights defenders around the world. we renew our commitment to principles of human rights, women’s rights, and rights of marginalized groups. we renew our commitment to providing support to every movement that calls for gender equality. We express our solidarity with Egyptian women’s rights defenders. And we continue defend right of organization in parties, syndicates, civil organizations, and human rights organizations.

We revive our young initiatives across the country and we call upon the youth of both sexes to become our partners in the struggle. We support their young action, and their attempts at organization. We call upon them to commemorate this day with us, and to become the popular base that maintains the demands for equality and works on establishing rights, as well as to remind everyone that women and marginalized groups have a voice. We are certain that today, and tomorrow belong to us, to everyone.

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