The International Women’s Strike (IWS) is a grassroots movement established by women from different parts of the world. It was created in recent weeks of autumn 2016 as a response to the current social, legal, political, moral and verbal violence experienced by contemporary women at various latitudes and plans general strikes and protests for March 8, 2017, with “Solidarity is our weapon” as a common call.
The IWS consists to date of women of almost 30 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Poland, Russia, Salvador, Scotland, South Korea, Sweden, Togo, Turkey, Uruguay and the U.S., with others in contact to join in the near future.
Events of recent months show that women are aware citizens and prepared to fight. Following the example of the Icelanders from 1975, Polish women went on a day strike to halt plans for criminalizing abortion and miscarriage on 3 October. Planned legislation was immediately withdrawn. Similar issues brought Korean women to protest publicly several times in October against introduction of higher penalties for doctors performing abortions. Next were Argentine women who reacted with massive strikes and rallies to the inhuman rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl that happened on the same date of a brutal police repression against the women’s political movement. More protests followed, leading to establishing the International Women’s Strike group, realizing joint actions on 25/11 – the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women and 21/01 – Sister Marches in solidarity with Women’s March on Washington.
What links most of our countries are misogyny and permissiveness by elected leaders and public persons using hate speech, by media negligent of their lawful responsibility for reliable information and full coverage, and by democratic institutions that should be protecting public safety and ensuring justice. Women defending their rights too often are not receiving support in their homes and communities, but instead face insults and a notorious overriding underestimation. This is why the creation of IWS was instigated. The International Women’s Strike builds bridges to define and focus more effective pressure on our governments, with a main strike on March 8, 2017.
The International Women’s Strike main event: