Today’s WDD is a very special International Women’s Day edition, as we bring you stories of some of the feminist strikes and protests taking place around the world.
Women across Spain downed tools and walked out of work on Thursday in protest at sexual discrimination, the gender pay gap and domestic violence.
The country’s first nationwide feminist strike has been backed by some of Spain’s most prominent women politicians, including Madrid mayor Manuela Carmena and Barcelona mayor Ada Colau. Pleasingly, it also has support from 82% of Spaniards, according to a poll by the Spanish newspaper El País.
The strikers also refused to take part in domestic or care work on International Women’s Day, to show how much unpaid labour is done by women.
“Today we call for a society free of sexist oppression, exploitation and violence,” said a statement by the 8 March Commission, the umbrella group of activists that organised the walkout.
“We call for rebellion and a struggle against the alliance of the patriarchy and capitalism that wants us to be obedient, submissive and quiet. We do not accept worse working conditions, nor being paid less than men for the same work. That is why we are calling a work strike.”
Hundreds of trains were cancelled as a result of women not showing up to work.
The Independent has more on this story here.
Hundreds of people wearing pink and purple shirts marched through the capital city of Manila on International Women’s Day, protesting the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and describing him as one of the worst violators of women’s rights in Asia.
Led by militant women’s group Gabriela, the activists converged in Intramuros, Manila’s historic walled city. Three women on horseback, representing modern versions of the Philippine revolutionary leader Gabriela Silang, led the protestors to the Department of Labour and Employment’s office, where they called on the government to ban “endo” - the practice of hiring workers on short-term, often exploitative contracts.
ABC News reports that activists also handed out red and white roses in Plaza Miranda in Manila, giving them to the female relatives and widows of those killed as part of Duterte’s bloody crackdown on illegal drugs.
Read more on this story at CNN Philippines.
Hundreds of women gathered in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Thursday to highlight the country’s lack of gender equality.
Afghanistan ranks 154th in the UN Gender Inequality Index, and this year’s Women’s Day aimed to draw attention to the rural and urban women who are left behind in many areas of development. Afghan girls rarely receive the same education as their male counterparts, and women often receive little help from authorities if they are subjected to domestic abuse.
Sima Samar, the head of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, delivered a speech to women working in Afghanistan’s security forces.
“Your safety represents the safety of all women,” she said, adding that they should not let anyone comment on their appearance in the workplace.
Read more on this story here.
7,000 people pledged to go on strike in the UK on International Women’s Day, with hundreds gathering in London’s Russell Square and actions also taking place in Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Brighton.
The women’s strike “is about solidarity between all women – trans women, women of colour, indigenous, working class, disabled, migrant, sex workers, Muslim, lesbian and queer,” said Noshin Salari Rad, one of the event’s organisers.
Iida Käyhkö, another organiser, said: “We are sick of ‘telling our stories’ and being told to ‘lean in’ when nothing changes in response. We are instead taking action – action against our exploitation under capitalism, where the domestic and emotional work we do for little or no pay is made invisible, while austerity measures force us into a more and more vulnerable position. This is feminism for the 99%.”
Read more on this story at The Guardian.
Throughout 2018, Stylist is raising the profiles of brilliant women past and present – and empowering future generations to follow their lead – with our Visible Women campaign. See more from Visible Women here.