If Women Stop, The World Stops
Press Release: On May Day Feminist Groups Reiterate Call for a Women’s Strike
*Demand no gender wage gap, end gender-based violence among other issues*
* Call for a Women’s Global Strike on 8th March 2020*
01 May 2019
Chiang Mai, Thailand
For Immediate Release
On May Day, feminists, women’s groups and social justice movements are demanding a just, fair and equitable world that includes, a living wage, no gender wage gap, ending gender-based violence, food sovereignty for all communities, and women’s access and control over resources and livelihoods.
The current state of development is market-driven and emphasises individualism, profits, privatisation of public services, while protecting corporations through tax breaks, concessions and loans. “This system is sustained by lowly paid women who are systematically exploited to maximise profits, spend significant time in unpaid care work, and are excluded from political, social and economic decision making. At the same time, we strongly oppose land grabs by corporations that deprive rural women's livelihoods. We want to strike globally to stop economic exploitation of women,” said Burnad Fatima, Tamil Nadu Women’s Federation, India.
Globally, women earn 37 percent less than men and at the current rate of progress, it will take 202 years to close the gap. “In developing countries, two thirds of women are in the informal economy where they are less likely to have legal rights or social protection, and are often not paid enough to escape poverty. We cannot continue like this anymore and demand decent jobs, living wage and the right to organise for women workers,”’ added Daisy Arago, Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CUTHR), Philippines.
It is estimated that 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual abuse at some point in their lives and at least one in four women has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. Ivy Josiah, Feminist Activist and Former Executive Director of Women’s Aid Organisation, Malaysia said, “The world is at a juncture to take a significant progressive step to making a world for women to be free of violence and harassment. The Women’s Global Strike calls for all governments to adopt the ILO Convention and Recommendation on ending violence and harassment in the world of work at the 108th Session of the International Labour Conference in June 2019. It is not only decent but just for governments to take action on their many pledges made on the global stage to end violence against women.”
Women’s labour rights are rooted in the history of International Women’s Day and women’s struggle to participate in the society on an equal footing with men. “We are living in a dangerous world where feminism or women’s human rights are depoliticised and pink-washed by promoting terms such as women’s economic empowerment, or even feminist foreign policy. This is the state of political manipulation. Our collective power and feminist solidarity are our hope and answer to fight back patriarchy, fundamentalisms, capitalism and militarism. And that’s why we are calling for a Women’s Global Strike on International Women’s Day next year!,” added Misun Woo, Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, Thailand.
The coalition also launched the website for campaign, womensglobalstrike.com. This website will be a one stop resource for information about the campaign, how women can participate and take actions for a global strike.