The theme of the Amsterdam Women’s March 2022 is ‘Time is up!’.
Do we really have to say that time is up…again?
Unfortunately, we do. Because inequality, discrimination, violence, and injustice are still part of the fabric of our societies – here in the Netherlands and worldwide.
Recent headlines in the Netherlands speak volumes. The Dutch House of Representatives finally debated and voted to abolish the legally required five-day reflection period for women seeking an abortion. Women in the Netherlands have lived since the 1980s – nearly 40 years – with this waiting period. Time is up!
In January, more than 20 women came forward to speak about sexual intimidation and abuse by men in positions of power at the prominent television talent programme, The Voice of Holland. In February, the director of football at Amsterdam’s football club Ajax resigned his position after revelations that he sexually harassed women co-workers. These headlines represent the tip of the iceberg. Time is up!
ABN-AMRO recently released research documenting that women entrepreneurs have a harder time borrowing money to finance businesses than men do. (One of Mama Cash’s earliest programmes, the Guarantee Fund – het Garantiefonds – supported women to access capital in the 1980s and early 1990s when banks were often reluctant to lend money to women without the co-signature of a male family member). Do we really need to say it again? Yes, time is up!
We know that injustice and inequality remain persistent worldwide, affecting the lives of women, girls, and trans and intersex people everywhere. Gender-based violence continues at alarming rates worldwide, while the rise of authoritarian leaders and governments in many countries and growing anti-rights movements particularly attack women, girls, and trans and intersex people, and especially target feminist activists and women human rights defenders. Racism continues to express the enduring, violent legacy of colonialism in around the world. Stigma and prejudice devalue and invisibilise the lives of women and girls with disabilities. Climate change is a planetary crisis that disproportionally affects women and girls. We are not on track to mitigate the damage of climate change by limiting the average increase in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. Time is not just running out for the planet, time is up!
Given these dire realities, where does Mama Cash see hope? We draw our inspiration from the work of tireless feminist activists and movements around the world that every day fight for change, for justice, for liberation. We know that feminist activism works. It works to advance social justice and the rights of women, girls, and trans and intersex people. Courageous feminist activists working together are securing rights and shifting social norms on a wide range of issues, including gender-based violence, economic rights, reproductive rights, and political rights and representation. Mama Cash stands with these activists and funds their fierce, courageous work.
Yes, of course, time is up. Time is up on waiting for gender justice, for racial justice, for economic justice, for environmental justice. Women, girls, trans people, intersex people, Black women, women of colour, lesbians, queer and non-binary people, sex workers, Indigenous women, disabled women all say: time is up!
Time is up, but urgent work still needs to be done, and so the time is also NOW. Join us on 5 March at the Dam in Amsterdam to add your voice!