Who are we
We are the feminist network that organises the March 8th 2018 Feminist Strike in the Spanish state. We belong to many different collectives and come from different regions. Our main purpose is to create a common plan for the Strike and look for a big response in the whole country and internationally. Nowadays we are working on the creation of a structure to coordinate the actions and spread the voice about it, both inside and outside of the Spanish state.
How did it all begin? Our first step was a positive assessment of the 2017 International Women Strike. The response to the 8M actions in 2017 was quite powerful in the Spanish State. Following this positive experience of last year’s International Women’s Strike, many different collectives, from the different territories of our country decided to start working to organise an even bigger strike for 2018. There was enough time ahead to organise it, but it was crucial to engage as many participants as possible from all different regions of the state and also to get in contact with activists and collectives abroad. Therefore, in the summer 2017 many feminist groups from all regions of Spain started organising themselves and creating their own spaces to strike from a local perspective, but also with a national and international dimension.
A precedent that also inspired us was the first women strike (called “Vaga de totes”) in Catalunya, which took place in 2015, focusing not only on labour, but also on the social, productive and reproductive fields and which was followed by hundreds of women from that region.
Then, different feminist collectives starting to gather and to organise the 2018 Strike: on summer 2017 there was a meeting in Madrid; and in October 2017 another one in Elx (Alicante), where about hundred Spanish feminists gave birth to a statewide platform, called “Hacia la Huelga Feminista” (Towards the Feminist Strike). Besides, Spanish migrants living abroad and international activists from Mexico, Argentina, Italy and other countries took part in this meeting via skype. So, in the autumn time, the International Feminist Strike 8M2018 was already in the mind and dreams of many interconnected Spanish feminists.
Since then, thousands of women have been building this structure together. All groups work in two directions: on the one hand, keeping contact face to face and online to work on the statewide articulation. On the other, doing a lot of grassroot fieldwork in order to build the strike with the local people from their places and from their own intersections.
Also, an international commission has started to make contacts with different initiatives worldwide with a clear goal: networking with women from as many countries as possible to simultaneously struggle together against the patriarchal oppression. It would be a dream come true if the 8M feminist strike reached all the corners of the World and we became hundreds, thousands, millions of women claiming together and united against the patriarchal system that threatens our lives and the life of the planet.
We want to stop this system and its violence, thus we can build a new and more fair reality where nobody is oppressed. To do so we need to be united, to collaborate from our places and our perspectives, all oriented towards the same horizon: reaching a liveable life to everyone, the life without discriminations that we all deserve.
More than 400 Spanish activists attended the second big preparatory meeting that took place in January in Zaragoza. Some local struggles were shared, previous strike experiences discussed, a manifest was jointly composed by the attendants. Among other activities, different local voices were heard and territories fertilised one another with their strike creativity.
What is the Feminist Strike?
It is not our aim to organise a “classic” workers strike but to go beyond this format: our plan is to paralyse all the different invisible tasks and activities that women usually do, in all different levels and places. Specifically, we call a housework and care strike in the private field, a labour strike and a consumers strike (both in the public field) and a students’ strike in all educational levels.
These different (though closely related) strikes have their origin in a common thought: we believe that the World does not work without us, without our domestic and care work, without our purchases and without our labour. However, these tasks are barely acknowledged as they are done mostly by us, by women. Most of us are in charge of these tasks and exploited not just in the labour and public field, but also in our homes. The care-work of women (for example: nurturing, cleaning, taking care of children, sick or old members of the family) is essential in order to keep the live going, however, almost nobody recognises these tasks and moreover, they are never (or almost never) economically rewarded.
The same happens in the markets and shops: our everyday purchases are essential to the movements of the global capitalist system, which would not work without us. Therefore, we want to paralyse it all and to show to the World that we, women, are essential and indispensable to everything, everywhere.
Here are some ideas for the strikes: in the care-work strike we want to put into the table who does most houseworks in our places. What would happen if the women don’t take their children to the school or if nobody goes to the market and prepares meals?. What if these tasks are shared instead of done just by a person, probably a woman, probably yourself? In the labour work, it is important to be informed about your rights, you can also speak with your co-workers and create a common plan or activity for this day, such as printing leaflets with your laboral rights or having a ten minutes symbolic strike. Maybe you are forced to work this day, but if there’s a chance to speak about your rights or to show the difficulties that women have to face in their workplaces, March 8th is the perfect day to do so. The consumers strike is easy: just avoid purchasing that day, especially in malls or big corporations. Also, try not to use so much technological devices or not watch TV. It is also a great day for getting to know the small producers of your city and to support them. Finally, the students strike is addressed to paralyse all the educative centers in all levels. You can not go to school, high school or university; in case that you are obliged to attend to your class, speak with your teachers and classmates, share your concerns, create a common plan, organise talks about women’s rights in your center and be creative!
We want to paralyse the whole World from our different locations, with an intersectional approach. We understand that each woman is different, so we want to take account of all these different realities, which affect us all, and to fight from there. We are migrants, students, butches, journalists, housewifes, trans, artists, self-employed, doctors, lawyers and much, much more… We are all different but we all want to put into question the current dynamics and axes of power that strangle our World. We are aware about the fact that organising such a Strike is not an easy process; being such an heterogeneous group, but we are determined to fight together in this common way, embracing our plurality on the basis of our mutual acknowledgement. We want to let the resistance of each of our sisters around World resonate in unison in every one of us, re-sisters.
March 8th is an important date to us, but this process of getting there is even more important, because it gives to different women from different places, with different thoughts, existences and perspectives, the chance to meet and gather in this common fight against patriarchy. We are all together and determined to reach a better life for all us. After this big, surely unforgettable, day of empowerment, the common struggle continues, the challenge will be to stay connected and to keep organised working, creating, growing stronger, building a better future, together.
WE BECOME MORE WHEN WE ARE UNITED. TOGETHER WE ARE MORE.
Every March 8th we honour the women’s alliance to struggle for our conquered rights. In the past, It was because of many women fighting together that we succeeded and got some of the rights we have today. A long genealogy of activists, suffragettes and unionist women has fought before us. Among them, those who brought the Second Spanish Republic (an alternative to the Monarchy that was abruptly ended by the Civil War in 1936 and the consequent fascist regime), those who fought in the Spanish civil war, those who stood up against colonialism and those who took part in the anti-imperialist struggles. However, we know it is not enough yet: there is still a lot to do so we keep fighting!
Sorority is our weapon, and the massive response of the feminist movement what keeps up moving us forward. The 8th of March is our day. It is an international and revolutionary day, with a clear political message. Today, 8th of March, all the women of the world are invited to join the FEMINIST STRIKE.
Our identities are plural: we are diverse. We live in rural and urban settings, we work both in the labour market and at home. We are gipsies, migrants, racialized. We are all ages old and we are lesbians, trans, bisexual, intersexual, queer, heterosexual… We are even those who aren’t here today: we are the murdered women, we are the imprisoned. We are ALL THE WOMEN. Together we stop the world today and we scream out loud: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! To all the violence inflicted upon us!
STOP the aggressions, the humiliations, the marginalization and the exclusion. We demand more resources and means for the Spanish National Agreement to fight Violence against Women (which is not enough, anyway) to enable the development of actual efficient policies that allow for a society free of violence against women and girls. We denounce the repression currently going on against those who struggle for social justice and reproductive rights.
STOP The everyday sexism! A frequently overlooked kind of violence that all women suffer at every age and condition. WE WANT to circulate freely everywhere at any time. We pinpoint and denounce the sexual violence as an exemplary expression of the patriarchal appropriation of our bodies. This affects especially the most vulnerable women, like migrants or domestic workers. It is urgent to make our slogan NOT EVEN ONE LESS (Ni una menos) come true.
STOP the oppression based on our sexual affective identities and orientations! We denounce the LGTBIfobia that many of us suffer at a social, institutional level and in the workplace, as another type of violence against women. We are all women, and we are diverse.
FREE WOMEN IN FREE TERRITORIES!
We are the ones who reproduce life. We are those who are currently making possible the conditions for the reproduction of life. The domestic and care work we make is essential for maintaining life. The trap of capitalism makes it look like something unworthy. We are obliged to provide care for free or under humiliating work conditions. The care strike today is meant to make visible a set of daily tasks that nobody wants to acknowledge, neither as free work at home, nor as an undervalued employment. We claim that the care work should be recognised as a social good of first order and we demand the equal redistribution of these kind of tasks.
Today, we demand a society free of oppression, of exploitation and violence against women. We call for rebellion and struggle against the macabre bond between patriarchy and capitalism that wants us to be obedient, submissive and silent.
We don’t accept worse labour conditions and lower wages than those of men for the same work. That is another reason why we go on a workers´ strike today.
We strike against the glass ceilings and the precarity in the work market. The jobs we get to have (when and if we do) are usually temporary, uncertain and underpaid. We are the ones having undesired shorter working days. We are the ones making the unemployment rates grow. Many of the jobs we do are not guaranteed or even not regulated. And when we actually do have better jobs, we find out that the best positions, with higher salaries and responsibilities are always taken by men. Private companies, the public sector, institutions and politics keep reproducing the gender gap.
STOP wage discrimination only because of being women. No more despising and sexually harassing us in the workplace.
We denounce that being a woman is the main risk factor for impoverishment. We are punished for our diversity. Precarity actually deepens when we grow older, when we migrate and/or are racialized, when we have functional diversity or a body image that challenges what is considered normal. We demand working conditions that allow us to develop a life project with dignity and autonomy. We demand that employment adapts to the needs of life. Pregnancies or child care shouldn´t be accepted reasons for worse work conditions or dismissal. They shouldn’t actually compromise at all our personal and professional expectations.
We also demand the pensions we have earned, enough is enough of miserable pensions that force us to poverty in our old age. We want the possibility to have pensions with two holders. We also demand the inclusion of the time that we invested in care or agricultural tasks in the total calculation, as much as the regulated work. We stand for the ratification of the Agreement number 189 of the International Work´s Organisation that regulates domestic work.
We shout strongly against the savage neoliberalism that is imposed as the only way of thinking in the whole World, but at the same time, destroys Earth and our lives. Women play an essential role in the fight against the climatic change and the preservation of biodiversity. For this reason, we defend the food sovereignty of all communities and support the efforts of women who take the risk of losing their lives to protect their territories and their crops. The protection and defence of life should be the main focus of economy and politics.
We demand to be protagonists of our lives, our health and our bodies, without any kind of aesthetic pressure. Our bodies are not merchandise nor objects, therefore we will also do a consumer strike. Enough of being used as a claim!
We also demand the depatologisation of our lives, our emotions, our circumstances. We are against the excessive medicalisation that responds to the interests of large pharmaceutical corporations, disregarding our bodies and our health. Stop treating our natural and life processes as diseases!
Primary and secondary education are the stage in our lives in which we build our sexual and gender identities. Therefore the students, the teachers, the educational community and all feminists demands our right to a public, secular and feminist education. We want an educative system free from heteropatriarchal values, from the very first years of education (where most teachers are female) to the University. We also claim for our right to an affective-sexual formation that teaches us sexual diversity, without fears, complexes or taboos. We don’t want to be reduced to mere objects. And we won’t accept any aggression in the classrooms, neither against women, nor against LGTBI people.
We demand a progress in the coeducation, in all educative fields and all levels. We don’t want women to be missing in the school books, or our History (rather Herstory) to be marginal. Gender perspective should be transversal to all disciplines and fields. We, the women, are not an exception, but a constant, which has always been silenced!
LONG LIVE OUR STRIKE IN ITS FOUR DIMENSIONS (CARE, CONSUMPTION, WORK AND EDUCATION). HURRAH TO THE FEMINIST STRIKE!!!
No woman is illegal. We say ENOUGH to racism and exclusion. We shout loudly: NO to wars and NO to the manufacture and selling of weapons and war material! We consider war a product and extension of the patriarchal and capitalist system to control lands and bodies. As a consequence of wars, millions of refugee women around the world become victims and are violated and then forgotten. We demand the asylum of every migrant. We are free women in free territories!
We denounce the economical cutbacks in the fields that most affect women: the health system, the social services and the education.
We denounce the corruption, as an aggravating factor of the crisis
We denounce the patriarchal justice that do not consider women as subjects within our full rights.
We denounce the repression and rights cutbacks that we suffer every day.
We demand a complete equality in rights and life conditions and the complete acceptation of our diversity.
WE WANT OURSELVES FREE, ALIVE, FEMINIST, COMBATIVE AND REBEL!
March 8th is not the last day of the feminist strike:
WE WILL KEEP ON FIGHTING UNTIL WE GET THE WORLD THAT WE WANT!