Europe: European Feminist Initiative for 'NO' to the Constitution

ESF London European Assembly for Women Rights
WLUML recognises that there may be very diverse opinions about the content - and indeed need - for a European Constitution, recently agreed by EU members subject to ratification next year.
However, the network has joined women's groups and in particular the campaign of Catholics For a Free Choice to successfully demand the removal of provisions which emphasise the religious basis of society.
Nevertheless, the EU Constitution as it currently stands continues to emphasise and privilege dialogue with religious leaders and, as the statement from Women Towards a Different Europe below indicates, undermines principles of secularism. Extreme right and conservative groups continue to demand the recognition of separate family laws for religious minorities, especially Muslims. In the experience of women, this will profoundly undermine their rights within the family with a highly negative impact on their overall rights and contribution to society. It is therefore particularly important that pressure against these provisions continue.
ESF London European Assembly for Women Rights 15/10/04

Without guarantees of Fundamental rights, there is no future for Europe. The Constitution project sanctions the Patriarchal and Neo-liberal European construction.

It confirms the subordination of women who will even more be subjected to poverty, unemployment, imposed part-time work, precariousness, minimal or non-existent pensions, reinforcement of all professional inequalities.

Women demand right to work, reliable employments and fair salaries

The Constitution project advocates concurrency without limits and set the dismantlement of Public services that affects in priority Social protection and the transfer of responsibilities from the State and communities towards the domestic area.

We need a Europe which develops the whole ensemble of Public services, in particular services for people which in the majority are took upon by women.

Women demand that Sanitary and Social protection becomes a priority sector and that measures be undertaken in order that family life becomes reconciled with professional life

The Constitution project provides for a Common Defence plan in collaboration with NAATO which consequences will be the risk that Europe intervene or support wars over the whole World. It charges the Member states to contribute more to Military expenditures. We need a demilitarised Europe which endeavours to Social rearmament.

Women demand a European policy with equal representation prevention and which refuses war as a solution to International conflicts

The Constitution project prepares a fortress Europe hindering people circulation, penalizing, excluding and rejecting immigrants towards underground.

Women demand a Europe which guaranties free circulation of persons, which acknowledges full and entire citizenship to any person living in the European territory and which opens the right of sanctuary to women who are victims of sexist violence

The Constitution project advocates for the right to wedding and to start a family but leaves out - apart from domestic violence- acts of violence against women. The Constitution project marked by the refusal to harmonize rights to contraception, abortion, divorce over the most advanced legislations. It brings Social regression.

Women demand the free disposal of their body and the free choice of their sexual orientation. They demand that States acknowledge the violence of men against women as a society problem and that they assume its Social cost

The Constitution project advocates the recognition of the European religious inheritance by favouring the dialog with churches. It contributes to exclude the secularism principle from the European juridical framework.

Women demand that secularism becomes registered as a basis principle of the Constitution

Integration, in the final analysis of equality between men and women in the matter of values of the constitution project does not at all guaranties the exercise of this right since unanimity is required to adopt the necessary measures to fight any discrimination grounded on sex, race or ethnic origin, religion or sexual orientation.

In front of the Liberal globalisation, women's claiming is deep in the hearth of struggles.

It is because we want a Democratic Europe that shows solidarity that we refuse the present evolution. A YES would favour the expansion of populisms, fundamentalisms and the xenophobic extreme right which are all fundamentally sexist.

Before the end of 2005, the Constitution project adopted by Heads of States in June 2004 will be or not ratified by the ensemble of the 25 countries of EU.

We must mobilize in order to create a powerful European feminist movement for the refusal of this constitution and we must act to build another Europe, an anti-patriarchal Europe, a Europe of Social and Economic rights, a secularism Europe, peaceful and anti-racist, a Europe of equality between men and women.