Student organizations all over Europe want to take this opportunity to raise awareness upon the dire worldwide situation of women's rights today. For this reason, we have curated a list of demands to better our education about feminism and gender equality, in order to create an inclusive learning environment for all.

As international student organizations, we are calling for a European mobilization of young people and students for 8 March. In this day and age women all over the globe are still facing numerous adversities that should have been eradicated long ago. Sexism, inequality, and lack of opportunities are the biggest issues women are being affected by in the 21st century. This is why we want to shed light upon the adversities occurring all over the world, in Europe, and in our local communities.

Right now, in Afghanistan generations of citizens, in particular, women and girls are paying the price for years of war and conflict; this is causing a violation of their human rights. The lack of access to education is criminal, now UNICEF estimates that 3.7 million children do not have access to education, 60% of them being girls and young women. This dire discrimination is affecting women and their right to an education. Schools should be sacred spaces, especially during conflict, and we must not let anyone take that away from us. Since forever, women have been on the front lines when it comes to worldwide crises.

Today, in Ukraine, women are still on the front line, victims of imperialism and Russian expansionism. Their rights are being threatened because of war. We stand with women who are directly victims of the liberal capitalist system and who are suffering the full force of the horrors of war. Putin and the OTAN must stand down, peace between People!

Whether in Afghanistan or Ukraine, women's rights are currently under attack. However, these situations exist all over the world and tend to get worse in times of war. We express our solidarity with women around the world who are victims of the violence of the patriarchal and imperialist system, and call out the need for an international fight for women's rights.

Once again, women have been on the front line throughout the health crisis that has lasted for over two years. Women make up more than 75% of nurses in many countries, and if our hospitals and health systems have held up during this crisis, despite the austerity policies of liberal governments, it is because of the strength of these workers who sustain public services and society.

No woman can be free until all women are free, and the only way for this to happen is the abolition of the patriarchal system that characterizes our society in all its aspects. We believe that this change must necessarily pass through the school, place of growth and formation, through the comparison with different experiences and is significant for the empathic development of the individual.

On this day, 8 March, International Women's Rights Day, we, student organizations, student unions and secondary school students from Europe and all over the world, wish to recall loud and clear the following demands, which are at the foundation of our fight for equality and progress :

- Sexism and all forms of discrimination must stop in our places of study. Whether it comes from adults or between students, discrimination must be fought against and for a fair education; policies must give priority to teaching respect, tolerance and gender equality.

- Women must be more included in school curricula. Yes, history also contains great women who have done a lot for our society, for our rights and our social achievements, and our school curricula should give them greater prominence.

- The sexist wage differences between the genders must stop. Today, for equal positions and qualifications, women are paid 19% less than men based on many sexist prejudices and beliefs embedded in our society. As young workers and trainees, we must demand an immediate end to pay inequality and higher wages for all in order to fight against precariousness. In 24 countries, women need the authorization of their husbands to access work, the fight for women’s independence is not over.

- Freedom to dress is not yet a given in schools in 2022. In many countries, it is still complicated in the 21st century to have complete freedom to dress as you please. The conservative system that governs us restricts our appearance and the way we dress. We reaffirm that "our bodies, our choices" and that it is still not up to men to decide whether to wear a skirt or trousers.

- Whether in schools or in society, access to menstrual products must be made free. These basic needs and everyday needs come at a high financial cost. States should fund menstrual products and make them available in schools.

- Sex education is necessary in modern school curriculum. It must cover the basics about contraceptive methods, sexual orientation, gender expression and not only heterosexual but also homosexual relationships. The foundation of this type of education should be consent and emotional intelligence. As students grow older and advance through the school system, at least a basic sex education is required for their schooling.

- The UN reports that their husbands or intimate partners in 2017 murdered 50,000 women. Worse still, in 4 out of 5 regions of the world, the home is the most dangerous place for a woman. In addition to fighting the patriarchal system that creates that violence, we need to put pressure on states to adapt their legislation to these homicides. More than 43 countries have still no legislation on marital rape, and is has to change now.

- We want an authentic right to abortion: often access to this service is not guaranteed, because it is sometimes a private service or because the availability of doctors not conscientious objectors is poor. This problem undermines the right to health and the care of so many women. We want to remove the stigma that marks women who choose to terminate a pregnancy voluntarily, considered as inferior or deviant to a concept of femininity, based on the common perception that abortion is wrong and/or morally and socially unacceptable.

Through this statement, we call on young people and students around the world to mobilize for women's rights on 8 March and throughout the year. To show our support across the world with the mobilization, let us all wear a purple cloth headband on 8 March. In addition, in countries where demonstrations and strike actions are taking place, we call on students to join and support these mobilizations.

In order to amplify the mobilization and to show the governments our determination let us all share images of our actions and our solidarity with the movement through wearing purple cloth.

The struggle for women's rights is not a one-day struggle; it is an everyday systemic struggle.


Signatory union organisations :

Fédération Syndicale Étudiante (FSE) - France, Kosovar Youth Council (KYC) - Kosova, Česká středoškolská unie (ČSU) - Czech republic, Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions (OBESSU) - Europe, Comité des Élèves Francophones (CEF) - Belgium, Rete degli Studenti Medi (RSM) - Italy, Union des Conseils d’Étudiants (USO-UCE-UCS) - Suisse, Irish Second-Level Students’ Union (ISSU) - Ireland, Mouvement National Lycéen (MNL) - France, Confederación Estatal de Asociaciones de Estudiantes (CANAE) - Spain, Finlands Svenska Skolungdomsförbund (FSS) - Finland.