EZLN Communique on International Women's Day

To the people of Mexico:
To the peoples and governments of the world:
To the national and international press:

Brothers and sisters:

Today, March 8, International Women's Day is celebrated. We, the Zapatista men and women, celebrate the day of the woman who struggles, of the woman with dignity. In the world in which we are forced to live and die, there is no place for dignity. The powerful want dignity to be kept in oblivion, in silence, in jail, and in the tomb. In the long chain of humiliations that the powerful construct to make itself powerful, the humiliation of women is repeated in all parts of society.

Doubly humiliated, as women and as workers, the Mexican indigenous women are also humiliated because of their color, their language, their culture, their past. A triple nightmare that forces the Zapatista women to take a weapon and add their "Enough is Enough!" to those of their male companeros. A triple nightmare that forces a triple rebellion.

Our companeras Zapatista soldiers, insurgents and militia members, and our companeras in the base communities of the EZLN have demonstrated that dignity has a special place among women.

But not only the women of the EZLN have given lessons on dignity. Thousands of women in Mexico and the world say and say again their "Enough is Enough"! to a system of domination that corners them as things to be used and thrown away, that names them according to their possessor, and which curtails in deeds what is recognized as rights.

The women Zapatistas, soldiers and non-military members, struggle for their own rights as women. They also confront the macho culture that the Zapatista men act out in various ways. The women Zapatistas are not free by the fact that they are Zapatistas; they still have a lot for which to struggle and gain. We understand that this struggle is not against men, but it is also for the rights of women. We understand that this struggle is not against the Ladinos nor the Mestizos, but it is also for the rights of the indigenous women.

Today we want to salute our sisters who have fallen in the two years of the military encirclement, to our dead.

Today we want to salute also all of the women who have helped us so that our voice is heard.

Today we want to salute all of the women who have seen in the Zapatistas a mirror of their own dignity and rebellion.

Today we want to salute all the women who struggle everywhere, so that nowhere is being a woman a shame, a nightmare or an adornment.

Today we want to salute all women who have dignity and who struggle.

Health, women in struggle!
Health, women with dignity!


From the mountains of the Mexican southeast
Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee
--General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

Mexico, March 1996 La Jornada, March 9, 1996 The EZLN celebrates the woman with dignity, the one who struggles

To the Mexico page