[The year 2014 in India has seen an intensification of the class struggle, mass resistance and democratic activism, armed resistance and revolutionary struggle in growing areas throughout India. And the news has often focused on the state repression, mass arrests and police killings, and the increased incidence and prominence of attacks on women. In two articles here, the police acknowledge the ever-growing role of women in Maoist leadership, as women are now a majority of combat fighters in the revolutionary party and armed units. The first article appeared soon after International Women’s Day (March 8), and the second appeared this week. It should be said that while the police talk of noticing this trend now, women have long played a significant role in the Maoist organization. — Frontlines ed.] …………….
Women Maoist commanders play big role in encounters
Written by Vijaita Singh, IndianExpress | New Delhi | March 17, 2014
Women commanders have come to constitute almost half of the armed cadre of Maoists and are playing a major role in encounters, like they had done in the Sukma encounter in Chhattisgarh on March 11, security forces believe.
A Maoist poster pays homage to their women cadre on International Women’s Day
It is difficult to get a headcount but a rough number of women killed in encounters last year was available after security forces stumbled upon Maoist posters and pamphlets to pay them homage on International Women’s Day. One poster in Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra paid homage to 17 women commanders killed in encounters over the year.
In the past one year, there has been a significant increase in women joining the armed wing of Maoists. Maoists do not leave behind their dead and take away the bodies. The posters enabled security forces to get a headcount.
Posters recovered from Gadchiroli identified some of the women as Indra, Dhanni, Geeta, Anita, Swarupa, Santila, Pramila, Seema, Reshma, Vasanti, Champa and Mamta. It said, “mahila bina kranti nahin, kranti bina shoshan mukt samaj nahin (no revolution without women and without revolution there can’t be an exploitation-free society).
In the March 11 encounter in Sukma in Chhattisgarh where 15 security personnel were killed, women Maoist commanders played a role, according to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) which lost 11 men. The state police personnel lost four men. In a presentation to the MHA, the CRPF had said Maoists were divided into three groups, and one group comprised mainly of women commanders in black uniform who fired from behind. After a drop in male recruits and desertion, Maoists have started recruiting women on a large scale.
“Female Naxals Get Combat Role”
The Asian Age, October 14, 2014 – Rabindra Nath Choudhury | Raipur
The CPI (Maoist) leadership has of late effected a radical structural change in the outfit by drafting more and more women cadre in combat roles besides ensuring their fast rise in the rebel hierarchy, intelligence sources said on Monday.
The sea change in the organisational structure has been brought on strategic point of view to transform it from a male-dominated outfit to women-centric one, a senior police officer quoting intelligence reports told this newspaper here. “In 2008, Maoists’ top hierarchy comprised barely 25 per cent women. The women representation in Maoist top hierarchy has now grown by leap and bounds to a staggering 60 per cent. This clearly indicates that the CPI (Maoist) is heading towards a women-dominated radical force in coming days”, the police officer said requesting anonymity. Continue reading →
[Who is AF3IRM? This, from their website (http://www.af3irm.org/), is how they describe themselves, and their history: “The Association of Filipinas, Feminists Fighting Imperialism, Re-feudalization, and Marginalization (AF3IRM), is a national organization of women engaged in transnational feminist, anti-imperialist activism. AF3IRM is committed to militant movement-building from the United States and effects change through grassroots organizing, trans-ethnic alliance building education, advocacy and direct action……..
HISTORY–AF3IRM is the launching of a new organization, based on a comprehensive analysis of class, race, gender, and sexuality focused on conducting militant movement-building from the United States with a transnational, feminist perspective. For the past 20 years, Gabriela Network (GABNet) has engaged in its work from a national democratic perspective, emphasizing support and solidarity for the Philippine movement. Now, after assessing our work, we have moved toward a comprehensive theory-building and practice based on the concrete conditions of our own home territory, the United States, in assessment of and full knowledge of the essence and specific characteristics of our oppression and exploitation as women first; as imported labor or children of such of Philippine ancestry second; and as women of a distinct ethnic minority.” Here, below, is their IWD statement for 2012. — Frontlines ed.]
THE WAR AGAINST WOMEN IS A WAR AGAINST ALL; EMANCIPATE WOMEN, LIBERATE HUMANITY!
Call it what it is; and then end it. The so-called “culture war” being waged by the right wing in the US is a war against women and by extension, a war on the children of US society. The numbers do not lie.
1.5 million single mothers are in a state of absolute poverty;
1.9 million more single mothers are on the brink of absolute poverty;
1.5 million two-parent families depend on women’s income;
13.9 million families rely on both parents’ income to survive.
Despite the critical nature of women’s earnings to the family’s survival, only 32% of jobs created by the so-called economic recovery program hired women. This has been compounded by a continuing gender wage gap, whereby white women make 77 cents, African-American women 64 cents and Latinas only 53 cents to every dollar a white male makes. In anti-union states like Wisconsin, women overall make only 75 cents even as Wisconsin removes access to its local courts for equal pay grievances. Continue reading →
Women's demonstration in Bahrain. Image from London News Pictures
Since February 14th 2011, Bahrain has been experiencing a massive popular uprising in which large numbers of women from different socio-economic, political and religious backgrounds have taken to the streets to demand greater rights, freedom and democracy. They were met with a brutal crackdown from the Interior Ministry and Bahrain Defense Force, which left seven demonstrators dead and scores injured. In light of international media frenzy, diplomatic condemnations, and rising public anger, the government withdrew its armed personnel to allow the public a free space in which to express their discontent and demands. It is here that aspirations for the future of Bahrain are being formulated into a plan, and it is here that tens of thousands of Bahraini women with demands for a more democratic and more just future are staking their claim.
To mark International Women’s Day, we look at the reflections of one woman from ‘the Pearl’.
I meet our subject in Bahrain’s financial district in downtown Manama. A Bahraini twenty-something, suited and heeled with short brown hair and softly lined eyes, she walks to our meeting from her banking job in one of the high-rises a few minutes away. In her own experience, the recent wave for social and political change in the Middle East sparked her involvement in Bahrain’s February 14 uprising. Continue reading →