THE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S ALLIANCE
The International Women's Alliance (IWA) was an idea for action that came out of a workshop of the International League of Peoples' Struggles assembly in Hong Kong in 2008. The IWA founding meeting happened in 2010. It is an independent alliiance of organizations and individuals who address the particular problems of women as rooted in the exploiting and oppressive global system. It thus sees its struggles as part of a larger struggle connected to other liberation and democracy struggles with a view to fundamentally change the global system. Today there are 104 member organizations in all continents. IWA is open to people of any gender identity.
Members constantly discuss their experience where and how they live, share it and seek understanding and solidarity as they develop action plans. IWA encourages sharing, solidarity and political education. There is a coordinating body that collects and reports on information and issues statements on relevant concerns as they arise. There are regional branches that conduct meetings in person and online as well as international online activities and in person conferences. IWA has held three general assemblies so far. It is now preparing for its 10th anniversary event, which will take place online in August, 2020.
The North America meeting took reports and concerns from the Pacific Northwest of the US and the southwest of Canada, as well as the California, New York and Montreal areas. Participants exchanged views on the significance and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the general understanding that monopoly capitalism has been in a state of permanent crisis since 2008, speakers said that the pandemic has laid bare the drastic shortcomings of the health care system in the aftermath of three decades of neo-liberal cutbacks, downsizing and privatization. It has exposed the reality that greed, militarization and profit have been prioritized above the practice of social welfare. The pandemic has also made more glaringly obvious the biases of the powers that be, in that women and migrant low-paid workers shoulder the arduous burdens in providing health care in deplorable conditions. Also, the aged are generally under-appreciated and under-serviced. Workers and small business owners have lost their livelihoods. In isolation at home, women are more susceptible to violence in the home. People of colour and migrants contract the illness and die from it more often. Many at the IWA NA meeting reported that they were working to understand discrimination, unite with working African Americans in the rebellion against systemic racism and police brutality.
Interested individuals and groups are welcome to contact the IWA and sit in events to get to know it. There is a general invitation to partake in the 10th anniversary event on August 16, 2020. Before that, the Latin America and Caribbean meeting will transpire online in English and Spanish on July 12. A North America meeting, conducted in three languages, occurred on July 7.