Break the chain of violence against women in such a way that no force could ever be able to restore it

Reclaim not only the night, but the control of our bodies from patriarchy!

"Reclaim the night" is a march to protest sexual violence, unsafety of the streets and…especially at night, and in general all forms of male violence against women. We are marching to say that we have the right to live without fear of rape. To say that women must be safe at all times; not only at home, workplace or any other place, but also in the darkest and most secluded alleys, no matter what they dress or do or how they behave.

If we go back to the history of "Reclaim the Night" march, we see that it was not a symbolic march. It was a wave of angry protest and a purposeful struggle in 1970s, arose from the overall struggles of women against oppression and discrimination, and aimed at ending gender-based violence of any type. They were protesting angrily against the murder of women who were out alone at night and prostitute women, high rate of rape, patriarchal advice from the police that women should dress and behave appropriately and stay in at night to avoid sexual harassment, the emergence and growth of pornography and sex trade and ...

But why despite all the struggles that peaked in the 60s and 70s, women in the so-called modern Britain are still discriminated against. Even though some laws are reformed with women’s struggles, why the extent of sexual violence, rape and humiliation of women have become so widespread?

In London alone, there are about 15,000 sexual violence and rape cases each year, of which just 13-15% are reported. About 50,000 cases of domestic violence, of which only about 20% are reported. In the UK, every 2 to 3 women are killed by their current or former partner. We still have restrictions to control our bodies and fertility, still are sold as slave in sex trade in various forms. Anti-woman propaganda and Pornography and the images they promote in society are still humiliating and dehumanizing us in horrific way. These are not only increasing, but also are normalized under different labels such as "freedom of expression". The widespread and ruthless standards and norms of beauty is making our bodies a sexual object, sexualized and evaluated on that base. These statistics and scale of violence are catastrophic. We are still under patriarchal domination for thousands of years, and that is exactly the whole point: the control of our bodies and activities.

When women appear in public opinion as such, and social relations in the real sense (not just law) ultimately show a demeaned and inferior image of them, as if they exist only to give men pleasure; obviously men would learn it as a right to dominate or rape women whenever they feel this ownership is at risk. Obviously women would be blamed for behaving or appearing in a way that could mean they have no problem with rape! She must have done something that made him violent! She has been in a place she should not, and has endangered herself! It does not seem as her basic right of freedom to go anywhere at any time, express her sexual or emotional feelings freely... or have fun, even if gets drunk in the middle of the night. Unless it is believed that women are in fact in subordinate position and a sexual object, so if they behave outside the defined norms, they are giving consent to be raped! Or if they challenge men's domination, or enter into a sphere that "belongs to men" and out of their leagues; they should be put back to their place by being violated or beaten…

When we talk about male oppression, we actually are talking about patriarchy in its entire sense that is systematically organizing and shaping the thoughts of society, including men. We all live within a social-cultural and political system that has its own fundamentallawsand only on that basis construct and define the position, role or freedom of individuals, the main culture and ethics of society.

The fundamental laws in Britain are based on capitalism, in which there are oppressive class, racial, national, and also gender distinctions. These are real and we all know about it. The life and death and the logic behind these rules is to serve the profit accumulation for this system. Profit accumulation cannot be achieved unless some are oppressed and exploited. We are talking about a system (a network of specific political social and economic relations) that is planning all the relations of society and shaping thoughts, rather than individuals. Some individuals affiliated with the British government or other institutions of the system may condemn violence against women. We do not hear in the media or from the political institutions or organizations of this country, that rape or violence is ok. Even if some of them condemn violence or even seek to change the law; but since the totality of this system and its fundamental institutions can only function wherein anything -any thought or act-that could become a commodity and profitable, is promoted and strengthened, and on this basis has defined ‘’freedom’’; it reproduces violence and oppression in thousands of ways. The ultimate policies of government, media propaganda, cultural and entertainment programs and writings, shape the public opinion in a way that in the end result in traditional and subordinate role and position of women. None of these are strongly challenged in real meaning by any government-affiliated organizations or the entire imperialist capitalist system in Britain with an aim to transform social relations towards emancipating women. This is not in the nature of the capitalist system. The continuation of male domination and the ownership of women's bodies, is at the heart of its nature and corresponds to its ideology and relations.

Therefore, when we talk about male violence, we must be able to see the systematic organizer of this violence, the capitalist state and its culture; and from that standpoint challenge the root causes of this oppression. We must be able to move beyond the existing framework and all the related ideologies and arguments that have been imposed on us to raise our demands. The strategy of women's struggles is the abolition of all forms of oppression and existing property relations against women, the corresponding ideology that enslave women; not just some improvement or reform in some aspects of it and stay in the same framework that benefits from women's subordination.

We need to discuss, learn and teach, raise and promote our correct knowledge; about violence and oppression against women and its roots in order to organize a united front of militant and conscious women against patriarchy in all forms, to reclaim the control of our bodies from the grasp of patriarchal ownership.

8 march women’s organisation (Iran- Afghanistan)-UK

November 2017