Globalization aims to give corporate capital total control over labor and natural resources. Thus it must expropriate workers from any means of subsistence that may enable them to resist a more intense exploitation. As such it cannot succeed except through a systematic attack on the material conditions of social reproduction and on the main subjects of this work, which in most countries are women.
Women are also victimized because they are guilty of the two main crimes which globalization is supposed to combat. They are the ones who, with their struggles, have contributed most to “valorizing” the labor of their children and communities, challenging the sexual hierarchies on which capitalism has thrived and forcing the nation state to expand investment in the reproduction of the workforce.3 They have also been the main supporters of a noncapitalist use of natural resources (lands, waters, forests) and subsistence-oriented agriculture, and therefore have stood in the way of both the full commercialization of “nature” and the destruction of the last remaining commons.4
This is why globalization in all its capitalist forms—structural adjustment, trade liberalization, low intensity warfare—is in essence a war against women, a war that is particularly devastating for women in the “Third World,” but undermines the livelihood and autonomy of proletarian women in every region of the world, including the “advanced” capitalist countries.
Silvia Federici, « Women, Globalization, and the International Women’s Movement » (2001) in Revolution at point Zero : Housework Reproduction and Feminist Struggle, p. 86
One view is that witch beliefs are being manipulated to justify expropriating people from their land. In some areas of post-war Mozambique, for instance, women, who after their husbands died, insisted on holding on to the couple’s land, have been accused of being witches by the relatives of the deceased (Bonate 2003: 11, 74, 115). Others were accused when refusing to give up the land that they had rented during the war. (Gengenback 1998) (4) Land disputes are also at the origins of many accusations in Kenya. In both countries, land scarcity adds to the intensity of the conflicts.
More broadly, witchcraft accusations are often a means of enclosure of communal land. As international agencies, with the support of the African governments, press for the privatization and alienation of communal lands, witchcraft accusations become a powerful means to break the resistance of those to be expropriated. As historian Hugo Hinfelaar points out, with reference to Zambia:
« In the current era of uncontrolled ‘market forces’ as preached by the present government and other supporters of neo-liberalism, confiscating land and other forms of property has taken on a more sinister dimension. It has been noted that witchcraft accusations
and cleansing rituals are particularly rife in areas earmarked for game management and game ranching, for tourism, and for occupation by potential big landowners…Some chiefs and headmen profit from selling considerable portions of their domain to international investors, and fomenting social disruption in the village facilitates the transaction. A divided village will not have the power to unite and oppose attempts to having the land they cultivate being taken over by someone else. As a matter of fact, the villagers are at times, so engaged in accusing each other of practicing witchcraft that they hardly notice that they are being dispossessed and they have turned into squatters on their own ancestral lands.” (Hinfelaar 2007: 238)
Silvia FEDERICI, Witch-Hunting, Globalization, and Feminist Solidarity in Africa Today p. 5-6