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(en) Germany, LIKOS: Speech at the women's strike demo 2022 (ca, de, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Sun, 20 Mar 2022 08:34:04 +0200

Demonstration for women's day of struggle by the comrades of women's strike Osnabrück with about 300-350 people. ---- Our speech: ---- Dear comrades, dear passers-by, on today's women's day of struggle, women in many places are uniting to strike. Even in the normal state of capitalism there are more than enough reasons for a women's strike. The corona pandemic has been making this even clearer for us for about a year. ---- In poorly paid and precarious jobs, women are more often than average. Many of the typically female jobs, such as nurses, educators or shop assistants, are underestimated, which ideologically justifies the low wages.

At the same time, it is now these professions that are considered systemically important that, according to politicians from all parties and representatives of various employers' associations, really matter during the pandemic. But it's not enough for more than applause, chocolate and praise. Recognition for these jobs, which are mainly carried out by women under the now tightened conditions, is not expressed in serious efforts to improve working conditions or even to raise wages significantly.

A clear example of the miserable conditions in these so-called systemically relevant professions can be found in the care sector. Since 1990, around a third of the jobs for nursing staff in the hospital have been cut. But there are more and more cases of treatment. Professional care today is piece work. Taking care of each other has no value in today's practice. Rather, it is about the fact that the nursing staff contributes to the creation of value. Doctors treat illnesses, the nursing staff ensure that people can live with their limitations and work for wages. The enormous need for workers to ensure that people can work for wages again has led to many new professions over the past 30 years. Nursing assistants are a prime example. Conservatives say that there must also be jobs for secondary school students. We say: modern barbarism.

So capitalism needs women's work for women's wages in order not to hit a wall completely. What else does he need to keep the shop running? In addition to the lousy situation in paid work, women still do the majority of housework at 79%. Whether washing laundry, standing at the changing table, caring for elderly relatives, cleaning, absorbing the frustration of the husband - in our society women are the ones who also have to organize all this mentally, keyword care work.

The Corona crisis in particular shows all the more clearly that the state and capital can rest easy and rely on women and the work they do underpaid and unpaid. When daycare centers and schools are closed, it can be assumed that women use up their vacation time to look after children or work from home, while this is far less common for men.

In addition, women are devalued, often sexually harassed and victims of misogynist violence, usually in their own homes or in their immediate surroundings. Women are particularly exploited and disadvantaged in our society, they are exposed to a double burden of wage and care work and are repeatedly victims of violence.

This oppression and exploitation is no accident. In capitalism, i.e. the form of economy and society in which everything is ultimately subordinated to the purpose of maximizing profits, workers are needed who can be exploited in order to make this profit possible in the first place. The prerequisite for this is that the workers are reasonably healthy, educated to a certain extent and not too frustrated. After all, workers who are tired or sick are not productive, frustrated workers are less devoted to their employer and workers who were not brought up as children are much more difficult to exploit.

Creating these conditions, i.e. housework and care work, is the task of women in capitalism. Girls are taught from an early age how important it is to be gentle and sensitive, not to be too dominant, to take care of others, to put one's own needs and interests aside and to submit to boys and men in all matters.

Much of the housework and care work takes place behind closed doors and curtains. As a rule, housework and care work is not remunerated, and work is often not even mentioned here - after all, women do all this out of love for their families. Conveniently for capital, this much-needed drudgery remains invisible, isolates women, chains them to the home, and most importantly, does not need to be remunerated

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