8 March 2024: International Day of Women´s Struggle for Justice and Equality

We wish all women in Europe and around the world a united, empowering, and self-determined International Women’s Day!

Our thoughts are especially with those women who do not want their sons and daughters to go to war or who have themselves lost their lives in war.

We think of those women who are suffering and despairing as a result of the Hamas terrorist attack on the Israeli side in October 2023, and who are being killed today in the hail of bombs over Gaza as a result of the Israeli response, hoping for aid and even more for a ceasefire. We think of the women who fear for their family members held hostage by Hamas. And once again we plead for a ceasefire – now!

We also think of the women whose right to make decision about themselves and their bodies has been taken from them, who have to fear that women’s rights are being dismantled in the name of traditional family concepts.

We are thinking of the many refugee and migrant women who fear being deported or, in the language of the right, “re-migrated” as a result of the shift to the right in EU countries.

We are thinking of the many women and their children who are suffering from hunger, disease and unimaginable poverty, who are deprived of their natural resources in the face of climate change.

We are thinking of the women who suffer violence at the hands of men. The number of gender-based violence and femicides is rising rapidly across Europe, especially after the pandemic. Since 2019, the number of femicides has increased significantly in Greece, Slovenia, Germany and Italy, while the number of femicides in Austria has even doubled since 2014. Eurostat data show that around 6,600 intentional femicides were registered in Europe between 2011 and 2021. However, the number of unreported cases is much higher, as many EU countries do not collect data due to under-reporting by police authorities.

Negligence by the authorities has deadly consequences. There is an urgent need for a common European system to report and collect data on violence against women, to strengthen the system of protection for victims, to enforce the law consistently and to investigate the penalties applied to perpetrators. But it is also the obligation of each EU Member State to develop and implement national policies and strategies to effectively prevent and sustainably end gender-based violence and femicides.

At the same time, we recognise the success of women in France in gaining a constitutional right to abortion. This is something we want to build on. We stand for a world of solidarity with socially and politically secure women’s rights. We hope that the strength of women, as demonstrated in Poland against more restrictive abortion laws, across Europe against the reduction of social standards, against the dismantling of democracy and against the shift to the right, will develop enough impetus to get things moving again.

Women have been demanding their rights on this day since the early 1900s. Much remains to be done, but there is also reason to celebrate.

In this spirit, we wish you a militant International Women’s Day and encourage you to take to the streets and join thousands of women in rallies and demonstrations across Europe!

Below you will find a brief overview of the largest demonstrations taking place in some of the European capitals

And finally, let us leave you with an encouraging video-message from Albania. Mirela Ruko, a feminist activist and member of the newly formed left-wing party Lëvizja BASHKË, envisages a future beyond the limits of the present, where Albanian girls and women unleash their potential and lead the charge for change, bringing an end to the era of inequality!

















Cover image: Amparo Garcia via Getty Images