The World March of Women is a global feminist action network supported by close to 6000 women’s groups in 163 countries and territories throughout the world. Its primary objective is to fight poverty and violence against women.
In December 2004, following a long process of consultation, discussion and debate with women’s groups in 60 countries, the Women’s March adopted a Women’s Global Charter for Humanity. This Charter describes the world that we, as women, want to build. It is based on five key values: equality, liberty, solidarity, justice and peace.
Between March 8th and October 17th 2005, the Charter travelled around the world, and women organized actions to raise awareness of its content, challenge decision-makers in their countries, organize debates and support their daily campaigns. During this World Relay, a solidarity patchwork quilt was constructed with a cloth square from each country. Furthermore, on October 17, 2005, women the world over followed the sun around the earth in an action called 24 hours of feminist solidarity. At noon, in all time zones on the planet, women took to the streets to show their support for the Women’s Global Charter for Humanity and the values therein and to publicly express their solidarity!
To read the Women’s Global Charter for Humanity and to learn more about the World March and the actions that took place in 2005, visit this web site: www.worldmarchofwomen.org.
« The Charter is very important because it is our world view and we have built that view with the women of the world. » (Michèle, Québec)
« All the values are important. In our organization, Kilos Kabaro, there are groups who work on the environment, others on sexual trafficking and still others on food security, access to housing, lesbian rights. So each value is important since we all work on issues of equal importance. » (Jing, Philippines)
« This is an irreplaceable value for humanity to carry on. » (Ruth, Cameroun)
« The Charter contains important values if we want to build a peaceful world. In our opinion, as long as we don’t understand that men and women are equal beings; as long as we don’t understand that women must have freedom to take initiative and express themselves, to live and be considered persons; as long as we don’t understand that tolerance is the key to everything and that solidarity allows us to go forward, we will not have peace. » (Awa, Burkina Faso)
“Greetings and love to my African sisters and friends. Before the WMW we could only share our sorrows, but now we may also share our dreams for the other world we want to build. Women for so long have tried subordination, submission, all kinds of phobias, and imitating male violence. Now it’s time to try persistence in solidarity. We will win sooner or later.” (Solidarity blog on the World March’s Web site, Iran)
“A special message of solidarity with African women, whose land today is the rallying point for women from all over the planet. Today we all speak with your voices and declare that we reject this world and are determined to change it.” (Solidarity blog, World March’s web site, Spain)
“Our message in these 24 hours of feminist solidarity is one of compassion and hope. Because, however long the night, the sun will return, the world will change and so will women’s lives.” (Solidarity blog, World March’s web site, Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Nancy Burrows is the Liason Officer at the International Secretariat of the World March of Women. Brigitte Verdière is the Communications Officer at the International Secretariat of the World March of Women.