In response to unkept promises made by governments to advance human rights, equality, development and peace for all women, more than 95 feminist organisations from over 36 countries worldwide call for a Women’s Global Strike on International Women’s Day (March 8, 2020). Under the theme, “If women stop, the world stops”, the strike calls women from every corner of the world to stop or slow down their formal or care work and come together to demand women’s human rights.
“On March 8, we will be forging alliance to advocate and reclaim women’s collective power to demand our human rights”, explains Fatima Burnad, founder of the Society for Rural Education and Development and Regional Council member of Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), a network of feminist organisations that initiated this year’ strike. “Women will withdraw from formal work and care work. We will not do housework, domestic responsibility, and where necessary ask male partners and allies to show solidarity by taking over responsibilities for home, family and community. We will bring together women and queer allies in our networks and communities to march, to speak out and to come together.”
We mark 25 years since the commitments made by the world’s governments for women’s rights at the 1995 Fourth World Conference for Women, known as the Beijing Platform for Action. Still, structural oppression against women – whether it is patriarchy, neoliberalism, globalisation, militarism, fundamentalism or environmental destruction, persists worldwide:
- Women and girls continue to perform more than three-quarters of the total amount of unpaid care work, while domestic work is commonly underpaid and performed under precarious working conditions.
- Women across the world are paid 63% of the amount that men are paid. The global pay gap will take 202 years to close.
- 70% of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.
- 80% of people displaced by climate change are women.
In the light of these staggering inequalities, from Argentina to Indonesia, Serbia to Canada and Pakistan to Uganda, social movements, communities and organisations around the world have endorsed the strike, uniting women in global solidarity to take action and connect their struggles against systemic inequalities.
“As domestic workers, we are calling on those women who have suffered violence and harassment at work and have been exploited in many ways, to stand up for their rights, and those women who haven’t experienced such abuses, to mobilise in solidarity”, says Ida LeBlanc, President of the National Union of Domestic Employees of Trinidad Tobago and member of the Red Internacional para los Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales, Red- DESC
Common demands of women striking are reflected in a declaración política that contains the demands for structural transformations: decent work and living wages; end gender-based violence; just access to resources, power, and opportunity; food sovereignty for all and climate justice.
Who we are
The demand for a global strike led and owned by women was ignited by feminists, trade unionists and activists at the People’s General Assembly held in 2015, in New York. This call for a Women’s Global Strike on 8 March 2020 has been initiated by the Foro de Asia y el Pacífico por las Mujeres, el Derecho y el Desarrollo (APWLD), a leading network of feminist organizations and grassroots activists in Asia and the Pacific.
ESCR-Net -International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, is connecting struggles to escalating the Women’s Global Strike to the global level. ESCR-Net is a global network that promotes solidarity and collective action to advance a global movement for social justice, and unites 298 organizations, social movements and advocates across 77 countries in five regions.
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