This year, March 8 may be one of the strongest reactions of the women's movement against “one-man” policies of governments. 30 countries responded to the general strike call that was initiated by anti-Trump women's movement in the US. In Turkey, a women's demonstration was held in Istanbul and the “Feminist Night March” will be held on March 8.
Thousands of women
gathered together on the occasion of the International Working
Women's Day in Istanbul. Saying “No for the sake of our life,
freedom, labor and body”, women carried colorful posters that
express their demands.
According to Evrensel newspaper, women danced and singed, and stated: “No to exploitation of labor, abuse, rape, femicide, violence against women, ignoring of women, violation of women's freedom, oppression and war!”, “On March 8, women are uprising in each language; they say 'no' in each language!”
Message from Yüksekdağ and Tuncel
According to bianet news portal, messages of HDP co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ and DBP co-chair Sebahat Tuncel, who are currently jailed pending trial, were read during the demonstration.
Yüksekdağ mentioned the upcoming referendum: “Women are the most natural organizers of the no campaign; throughout the history, they built their own history by saying 'no'. We became free, as we said no to the husbands, partners, states; in short, we said no to all patriarchal institutions. We know resisting and refusing very well and we will create a new alternative. We will shout at all sovereigns: no!”
DBP co-chair Sebahat Tuncel also emphasized the women's organization in her message: “In a time when femicide and violence against women became systematic, we need solidarity of women more than ever. Organizing women's resistance is the only thing that we can for fighting nationalism, sexism, racism, destruction of our cities and fascism.”
HDP Ağrı MP Dirayet Taşdemir and HDP Istanbul MP Filiz Kerestecioğlu urged women to say “no to the one-man”, to resist and to grow stronger together.
On March 8, not only in Turkey but all around the world, women are planning to react strongly against patriarchal domination policies and rising “one-man” order in the world.
The initiative, which organized the most crowded women's march (Washington on January 21) in the US history after Trump was inaugurated, urged all women to go on a strike on March 8. Women organizations in 30 countries responded to this call titled “A Day Without Women”. In the call, it is stated: “We are resisting not only against Trump and his misogynistic policies, but also against the conditions that produced Trump, namely the decades long economic inequality, racial and sexual violence, and imperial wars abroad."
In Turkey, many women's organizations started to organize demonstrations focusing on referendum, as March 8 is approaching. Upon the call of "Women are strong together" initiative, women hit the streets in İstanbul, Bursa, Eskişehir, Bodrum, Çanakkale, Mersin, Manisa and İzmir on February 25 and held demonstrations, supporting the “no campaign”.
“No to masculine intention”
Ruken Atlı, the lawyer of “Istanbul March 8 Platform”, explained why she will make a call concerning the referendum on March 8: “From a legal point of view, we are talking about a system that will bypass the parliament. This is a one-man regime that also has a masculine intention. We refuse the patriarchy and one-man regime. This will be a regime that will cause more damage to women. Given the fact that women workers have been fired by the trustees and state of emergency decrees, we see that this is a process that has the purpose of confining women to household. However, we, women are everywhere. In order to prevent this, we say no. I think that women will give the necessary answer in the referendum.”
“Being on streets”
March 8 Feminist Women's March will be held in Istiklal Street in Istanbul. Cemre Baytok, one of the organizers of the march, talked about the march that will start at 19.30 and answered the question whether the march will say anything about the referendum: “For 15 years, the march has been related to the current agenda. This is inevitable. This march is beyond the organizers; there is a great diversity. There will be women who come to say no, who come since there is an international mobility and who come for emphasizing the women are on the streets. In my opinion, the night march shouldn't have a single purpose, like opposing AKP or answering to the referendum. However, given that the referendum is approaching and women all around the world will hit to the streets against one-man regimes, this march will reflect this emotion. In a time when the oppression against women is increased, being on the streets itself will be a strong answer to the current state of affairs.” Baytok also said that they will also be on the streets to stand in solidarity with women's strike in the world.