The most powerful demonstration of the feminist movement is coming. This year, 80 national organizations have signed a joint manifesto and called for 8M – International Women’s Day of Struggle – with the slogan “Mulheres na luta pela vida!: Fora Bolsonaro, Vacina Para Toda População e Auxílio Emergencial Já!” (Women Fight for Life! Bolsonaro Out, Vaccines for the Whole Population and Emergency Aid Now!).
The full list of signatories (in Portuguese) can be found here:
The original Portuguese-language manifesto (PDF) can be found here:
The full text appears below:
Manifesto: Women Fight for Life! Bolsonaro Out, Vaccines for the Whole Population and Emergency Aid Now!
This 8 March 2021, we women from all over Brazil, of all races, ethnicities, ages, identities, sexual orientations, territories, from all the many nationalities that live here, ‘quilombolas’, indigenous people, those in the countryside, on the waters, in the forests and the cities, will mobilize on the International Women’s Day of Struggle to shout with our feminist indignation and fury: Bolsonaro Out! Vaccines for the Whole Population! Emergency Aid Now! For an End to Violence against Women!
Our lives are threatened by a project of death, one that is led by Bolsonaro and counts on the complicity and support of fundamentalists, the conservative sectors of the legal and parliamentary systems, and the mainstream media that is at the service of national and international capital.
Class, race, and gender inequality have only developed further during the pandemic. The humanitarian tragedy has gone far beyond just the virus and the deaths: there has also been an increase in poverty and a rise in the homeless population. This is also felt by women with the increase in their working hours and economic dependence.
Domestic, political, institutional, and obstetric violence continue to kill us. We witness the death of women inside their homes every day, and we hold the shameful position of being ranked the fifth highest country in the world for femicide. And yet, the Maria da Penha Law is being annulled by arguments that accuse the victims of domestic violence of Parental Alienation.
We lead the world in the murders of transsexual and transgender women, and there is a rise in hate crimes against the LGBTQIA+ population, as well as an increase in police violence and incarceration of the black population. Under the genocidal policy of this government, indigenous peoples and ‘quilombolas’ continue to be exterminated, with expulsion from their territories, the murder of their leaders, and increases in hunger and misery.
The health crisis has put the importance of State action and public services at the heart of the debate. These were made more precarious by the Constitutional Amendment (EC) 95, which froze investment in social, health, and education policies for 20 years. The dismantling of the health system is part of the Bolsonaro government’s ultra-neoliberal offensive, which aims to privatize and sell off public companies in the name of international financial capital. Administrative Reform is part of this strategy.
During the pandemic, the importance of the Unified Health System (SUS) to guaranteeing the lives of the Brazilian people became even more apparent. It is we women who are in the front line of the fight against COVID. At the same time, we continue to carry the responsibility for the care and the health of all people, including inside the home, on our backs.
We demand urgent and immediate vaccination for the entire population, in a free and universal fashion, along with the breaking of vaccine patents and the guarantee of investment in the SUS in areas of science, research, and technology. We do not accept that the vaccine should be used for electioneering purposes or for the benefit of the pharmaceutical industry.
The ultra-neoliberal economic policy of Bolsonaro and Paulo Guedes puts profit above life: banks and businesses profit while women, the poor, blacks, and those on the periphery are dying even more! By not prioritizing the resources needed to confront COVID, and disregarding the importance and the urgent need for vaccines, the actions of the government have contributed to the spread of the virus.
Emergency aid was a breakthrough, the result of a lot of popular pressure, but it left out family farmers and rural laborers, fisherwomen and men, artists, and others. Even so, this aid was fundamental for the survival of around 55 million people across the country. In a country with 14 million unemployed people, 65% of whom are women, with food price inflation and the deepening of misery which has put Brazil back on the UN’s Hunger Map, we demand that this aid be maintained at its R$600.00 [$US105] value and that emergency aid coverage be expanded until the end of the pandemic.
Like his allies from the international far-right and religious fundamentalist organizations, Bolsonaro took advantage of the pandemic to dismantle public policies for women, impose a reactionary and conservative vision of the family, and attack the sexual and reproductive rights of women by issuing a decree that makes it difficult to access abortion even in cases already guaranteed by law. We denounce the action of Minister Damares in trying to criminally obstruct the right to legal abortion, even in situations of sexual violence against children and adolescents. Maternity must be a decision or it will not be! Sexual education for prevention, contraceptives to not get pregnant, and legal abortion to not die! Legalization now!
The forceful cry of millions of women throughout Brazil continues to be heard: we need to remove Bolsonaro and his genocidal government from power, in order to build alternatives for life, to recover democracy, to put care and decent and dignified life at the center of politics! There is no democracy with racism, and democracy is not real for all of us until we can make autonomous decisions over our bodies, our territories, and our lives!
Basta de machismo, racismo, LGBTfobia e todas as formas de violência!
For an end to machismo, racism, LGBTphobia, and all forms of violence!
Justiça à Marielle!
Justice for Marielle!
Pela derrubada dos vetos ao PL 735 – Por apoio à produção de alimentos saudáveis, fomento e crédito emergencial para a Agricultura Familiar
Remove the vetoes on PL 735 – Support healthy food production, promotion, and emergency credit for Family Farming
Em defesa do SUS! Pela quebra imediata da patente! Vacinação para toda a população pelo SUS!
Defend the SUS! For the immediate breaking of the patent! Vaccination for the whole population through the SUS!
Pela legalização do aborto!
For the legalization of abortion!
Pela revogação da Lei da Alienação Parental já!
For the repeal of the Parental Alienation Law!
Pela revogação da EC 95!
For the repeal of EC 95!
Auxílio emergencial até o fim da pandemia!
Emergency aid until the end of the pandemic!
Fora Bolsonaro e todo o seu governo! Impeachment JÁ!
Bolsonaro and his entire government must go! Impeachment NOW!
Quilombolas: Residents of ‘Quilombos’, settlements founded by the descendants of African slaves.
Maria da Penha Law: Law that targets gender-based violence first implemented in 2006. The law is named after a woman who was left paralyzed by her husband after repeated attempts to kill her.
EC 95: Constitutional Amendment (EC) 95 was introduced in 2016 and implemented the federal budgetary ‘Teto dos Gastos’ (Spending Ceiling).
Administrative Reform: Public sector reform bill that aims to gut public sector spending and attack the rights of public sector workers.
Minister Damares: The current Minister of Human Rights, Family and Women. She is a deeply conservative evangelical pastor.
Marielle: Marielle Franco, a left-wing Rio de Janeiro councillor who was shot and killed on March 14, 2018.
PL 735: A Bill to extend emergency aid to agricultural families that was vetoed by Bolsonaro.
This article is an English translation of “Mais de 80 organizações convocam 8 de Março e lançam o manifesto ‘Mulheres pela vida’”, Esquerda Online (EOL), 23/02/2021.
Translation: Bobby Sparks