For the month of March, we celebrate the legacy of international working women’s struggle for liberation. In this moment it is ever relevant to strengthen the fight for the power and self determination of working women, femmes and gender oppressed people around the globe. 

Israel’s ongoing genocide of Palestinians, and particularly the recent massacre in Rafah, must be at the fore when thinking about the struggle for women’s liberation right now. According to the Palestinian Prisoner Society, “this year is the bloodiest for Palestinian women.” California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP)’s Diana Block & Anna Henry insist in a 2016 pamphlet on women, imprisonment, and resistance in Palestine by Freedom Archives, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, and Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, that: “Palestinian women challenge imprisonment in multiple ways every day when they participate in rallies and protests about administrative detention, when they cross countless checkpoints in order to visit their loved ones in prison, when they support prisoners who are on hunger strikes, when they demand that prisoners have access to medical care. Cultivating solidarity with Palestine involves support for the thousands who are in prison and those who are at risk of going to prison every day. It means learning from the resistance strategies that have enabled Palestinian women and men to sustain their struggle in the face of overwhelming odds.”


On Friday, March 8, our movement partners near and far are mobilizing mass actions in the spirit of the first women’s strike in New York City in 1908, to stand united in upholding the legacy and power of women’s resistance here and in Palestine and demand an end to the horrendous genocide funded by US tax dollars. If you’re in the Bay Area, please join Critical Resistance (CR) in San Francisco, which is part of Palestinian Feminist Collective’s mass mobilizations in multiple cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Providence, and Washington DC. Find an International Working Women’s Day action near you and take the streets with us! 

Flyer in English, Arabic and Spanish for March 8 Action, 2024, in San Francisco

Globally, the struggle for reproductive autonomy continues in the wake of the far-right’s threat. While working people pushed to enshrine abortion rights in France, in the US we’re seeing the state of Alabama granting personhood status to fetuses. As the ability to have self determination over reproductive decisions shrinks, the likelihood of coming into contact with the PIC has, and will continue to, increase. Still, the fight against the PIC remains vigorous. When looking at policing and incarceration in women’s facilities, issues of pretrial detention, cash bail, parole, surveillance, sexual violence, and abuse remain ever present. In a time when economic inequality continues to rise sharply, the media’s push to disappear poverty behind criminalization is particularly sinister. Given that the majority of people in women’s prisons are parents, the devastating impacts of women’s incarceration falls on families and broader communities.

While CR’s Oakland and Los Angeles chapters and CCWP have been central organizations in Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB)’s fight to close 10 prisons by 2025 in CA, which has only gained momentum, CCWP spearheads the effort to close the two remaining state women’s prisons in California. The 2023 comprehensive report From Crisis to Care points to an inescapable conclusion—women’s prisons only perpetuate catastrophic trauma and harm. To reverse intergenerational cycles of gendered and racial violence and poverty, California needs to invest in community controlled resources that are life-affirming and health promoting. Our communities need non-punitive forms of accountability. CLOSE ALL PRISONS, NOW!


To examine more the intersections between reproductive justice and PIC abolition, check out Issue 39 of CR’s cross-wall bilingual newspaper, The Abolitionist, available for free download in both English and Spanish here. Issue 39 covers several articles exploring how the PIC maintains reproductive oppression, and how PIC abolition and reproductive justice must conjoin to win collective liberation, including an interview with CCWP’s Diana Block and Moonlight Pulido on the fight for reparations for people forcibly sterilized while caged in California prisons for women. CR’s launch webinar–“Our Bodies, Our Freedom: Abolishing the Prison Industrial Complex Post-Roe”–for Issue 39 is also available online to (re)watch, as is CR’s first podcast episode of “Over the Wall: The Abolitionist Hour” here.


PIC abolition is a necessary vision for the liberation of all working women and gender oppressed people.

Join CR in attending CCWP’s upcoming event on March 28 @ 5pm PST #ClosureIsPossible: Making California Women’s Prisons Obsolete featuring CR-cofounder Rachel Herzing, Andrea James, and Piper Kerman.


 Happy International Working Women’s Day and Women’s history month!

Onward toward liberation,

-Critical Resistance