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(en) [BRC-ANN] Women's Global Strike - March 8, 2000

From "Women's Global Strike" <womenstrike8m@server101.com>
Date Sun, 20 Feb 2000 03:21:39 -0500


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      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E
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CALL TO JOIN THE WOMEN'S GLOBAL STRIKE ON 8 MARCH 2000.

Dear sisters, we invite you, your relatives, friends and
colleagues to join the Global Women's Strike on
International Women's Day, 8 March 2000.  You may already be
part of the World March organised by La Federation des
Femmes de Quebec/The Federation of Women in Quebec, Canada.  
We are too.  We have written to them, and they welcomed our
proposal that we combine our events and support each other.  
The strike was called almost a year ago by the National
Women's Council of Ireland, and was made global by the
International Wages for Housework Campaign and the
International Women Count Network which Wages for Housework
co-ordinates.

MOST OF THE WORK WOMEN DO IS UNWAGED, UNRECOGNISED AND
UNVALUED.

The Strike focusses on women's enormous contribution to
every society and every economy.  Women make the world go
round, and raise and look after its entire population; but
most of the work we do is unwaged, unrecognised and
unvalued. This lack of economic and social recognition is a
fundamental sexist injustice which devalues women and
everything women do, including keeping our wages 25%-50%
below men's.  In fact, though a few women are now in highly
paid managerial positions, the gap between women's and men's
wages is growing.

WE ARE CALLING FOR A MILLENNIUM WHICH VALUES ALL WOMEN'S
WORK AND ALL WOMEN'S LIVES.

Women and girls need and deserve a reduction of our
workload, and financial recognition for our enormous
contribution.  Less work, more time, more resources.

A strike is the best way to make visible women's
contribution, needs and demands, because WHEN WOMEN STOP,
EVERYTHING STOPS!  Women have taken strike action before -
from Iceland in 1975, to a decade of Time Off for Women in
24 countries (24 October 1985-1994), to Switzerland in 1991
and Mexico in 1999 . . . Such actions have won increased
recognition for all the work women do, waged and unwaged,
and more bargaining power for our demands - from pay equity
to welfare benefits and childcare.

WE ARE NOT STRIKING FOR A FEW WOMEN TO RISE IN THE
HIERARCHY.

We have had enough of pinning our hopes on women who urged
us to support their rise in the economic and political
hierarchy with the promise that when they had attained
powerful positions our needs would be addressed. In fact,
women who have climbed the power ladder have all too often
been used against us, to disguise the attempt by governments
to sacrifice our lives on the altar of the "global market".  
Just as people everywhere are accusing governments of not
representing any of us against corporate greed, we are
accusing women in governments of not representing women.  
We as a movement are learning not to confuse the personal
ambitions of some women with the road to all women's
liberation and the complete transformation of society.

WE MUST CHANGE THE WORLD'S PRIORITIES

As the year 2000 approaches, more and more people are aware
that such a transformation is vital: the world cannot go on
as it is.  From war, famine and disease to global warming
and other ecological devastation, racism and every other
kind of exploitation - high tech has not increased happiness
and well-being for the great majority of us, and has often
had terrifying consequences, as protests against the arms
trade, genetically modified foods, NAFTA and the World Trade
Organisation have highlighted. It is not the money that's
lacking but the political will to change the world's
priorities.  Global figures on military spending - $700
billion a year - compared to spending for essentials for
living - $20 billion - demonstrate that for all to see.

OUR DEMANDS

There are many ways that women can get the money and
resources we are owed.  Add your own demands to this list.

- The abolition of "Third World debt".  The work women do -
massively increased by structural adjustment programmes
imposed by the International Monetary Fund - has more than
repaid the debt.  How can "loans" a few decades old compare
with 500 years of colonial theft and genocide?

- Accessible clean drinking water and ecologically sound
technology for every household - we all deserve cookers,
fridges, washing machines, computers . . . just because
we're poor doesn't mean we have fewer needs.

- Affordable and accessible housing and transportation.

- Protection against all violence - at home, in the factory,
in the office, on the farm, on the street . . .

- Pay equity for all - equal pay for work of equal value
internationally.

- Wages for caring work, whether in the family or not. What
work is more valuable than raising children and caring for
others?

- Paid maternity leave, breastfeeding breaks and other
benefits that recognise women's biological work rather than
penalising us for being women.

- Women in Ireland are demanding that International Women's
Day, 8 March, should be a paid public holiday every year
starting in 2000.

SUPPORT AND PUBLICITY

To publicise the Global Women's Strike, women in the
European and Latin American Network of Pirate Radios (Women
Creating Communication Spaces) are broadcasting a jingle
they have composed in Spanish and German, which you may want
to translate for your own network and broadcast in your
country.  Some trade unions have started to take up the call
for the Strike. Men and boys are being asked to support it
too.

HOW YOU CAN JOIN

Please visit our WEBPAGE and send us your comments and
suggestions on how you want to participate, and on how women
should be remunerated for all their work, in time, money,
land, housing, healthcare, childcare, education, technology...

LANGUAGES AVAILABLE

So far our Strike leaflet is in: Arabic, Basque, Bengali,
Catalan, Chinese, French, Gaelic, German, Gujerati, Hindi,
Italian and Spanish. We also have attractive Strike
T-shirts, badges and postcards (with English logos) for
sale.

Power to the sisters to stop the world - and change it!

SIGNED BY:

Yolanda Benito
Mujeres por el Salario para el Trabajo Sin Sueldo (Spain)
Apartado 109, 08080 Barcelona

Margaretta D'Arcy
Women Count Network (Ireland),
10 St Bridget's Place Lower, Galway

Selma James
International Wages for Housework Campaign (England)
Crossroads Women's Centre, 230a Kentish Town Rd, London NW5 2AB

Margaret Prescod
International Black Women for Wages for Housework (USA)
PO Box 86681, Los Angeles, California 90086-0681

Webpage: http://womenstrike8m.server101.com
E-mail: womenstrike8m@server101.com

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