[Marxism] Global Women's Strike

DoC donaloc at hotmail.com
Wed Mar 1 03:54:21 MST 2006


GLOBAL WOMEN'S STRIKE - 8 MARCH 2006

END POVERTY, WAR AND ENVIRONMENTAL DEVASTATION -

INVEST IN CARING NOT KILLING!

Dear Sisters & Brothers,

Every International Women's Day since 2000, women in over 60 countries 
have

taken all kinds of grassroots actions to demand that society Invest in

Caring Not Killing, and that the money squandered on war is spent 
instead on

what our communities need, beginning with the needs of women the first

carers on whom everyone else depends.

We invite you again to take action together in the 7th Global Women's 
Strike

on or around 8 March.

In January and February, co-ordinating groups of the Strike in England,

Guyana, India, Ireland, Peru, Spain, Uganda and the USA attended the 
World

Social Forum in Caracas - an opportunity to meet grassroots organisers 
from

around the world and to meet as a network in the heart of a revolution

spearheaded by women - the Venezuelan revolution. We held workshops in

English and Spanish which gave visibility to different countries of the

Strike but also different sectors of the grassroots: women and men of

different races, different sexual choices and different disabilities - 
each

found her/his counterpart in the Venezuelan movement. We have been

strengthened and encouraged by the tremendous energy and determination 
of

grassroots women who have protected a government which invests in 
caring,

starting with the poorest communities, and which in turn backs women.

The world is beginning to recognise and value women's hidden 
contribution to

society but Venezuela goes further. On 3 February President Hugo Chávez

announced that, in recognition for their work in the home the poorest

housewives would receive a monthly income equivalent that is 80% of the

minimum wage - 372,000 bls or about $180. He also announced a 15% 
increase

in the minimum wage (which with the ticket employees get for meals and 
other

essentials would bring its value to 835,350 bls or about $400 a month),

along with increases in pensions and other low wages. The first hundred

thousand housewives will benefit from June, and another 100,000 from 
July.

Chávez said that he aims for up to 500,000 women eventually to get this

money.

This is not the implementation of the revolutionary Article 88 of the

constitution which recognises the economic and social contribution of

women's unwaged work in the home and on that basis grants housewives a

pension. Article 88 still needs legislation to put it into practice.

Rather than wait for this, Chávez has put together the recognition 
Article

88 gives to housewives' work, with the recent legislation aimed at 
lifting

the poorest out of poverty, and redirected some of the oil revenue to

women -Chávez has repeatedly said, women are the poorest, work hardest 
and

are most committed to the revolution.

This is finally a wage for housework, something we have demanded since 
1972!

It is bound to raise women's wages in Venezuela. We heard about it first

from people phoning to congratulate us on this victory which they 
assumed

was directly associated with our work.

The Grassroots Network of Los Altos in Miranda State (Venezuela), which 
is

part of the Strike and hosted us in Los Teques, issued a public 
statement

welcoming the money, urging that revolutionary community work also be

recognised as productive work and paid for, and proposing ways for the

government to prevent corruption in how beneficiaries are selected and 
the

wages distributed. We are circulating their statement (enclosed) and 
invite

you to do the same.

Another high point of the trip was meeting a woman from the Indigenous

organisation Organización Nación P'Urhépecha in Mexico who has been

organising Strike actions for the past three years, publicising what she

read on email that women in other countries were doing and hoping it was 
all

true! She has since raised the Strike at a national women's network and

they have agreed to take part!

We're sure women in other countries have also made plans for the 
Strike -

please tell us about them so we can tell others!

In London the key event will be on 17 March: Report back from 
Venezuela -

Women Spearhead the Revolution, and discussion on the Strike's 
relationship

with the women and men organising there. We will also launch the new 
book

Creating a Caring Economy - Nora Castañeda and the Women's Development 
Bank

of Venezuela published by Crossroads Books in English and Spanish, which 
we

launched in Venezuela to great acclaim. It is a dynamite collection of

recent interviews and speeches by Nora Castañeda, the President of the 
Bank,

which provides micro-credit to low-income women, and is helping to build 
a

movement which is "creating an economy at the service of human beings".

We will also be showing a film on the resistance to the coup in Haiti, a

resistance also led by women but much distorted and denigrated.

On 11 March in the great tradition of New Orleans funerals, the Strike 
in

Los Angeles along with the Katrina Evacuees Councils will hold a "Second

Line" March, a Survivors' and Supporters' Speak-Out, followed by a 
"Taste of

New Orleans" Cuisine (see www.globalwomenstrike.net).

Men's support and participation internationally is co-ordinated by 
Payday, a

multiracial network of men. They are also organising with women and men

refusing the military and its lethal and repressive work, from the US 
and

the UK to Israel and Eritrea. The "poverty draft" - economic necessity 
and

the promise of residency or citizenship which drives many, especially 
people

of colour and immigrants, to join the military - would enable the US to 
make

"endless war". Refusing the military is a vital part of the movement to 
end

not only war but poverty. Payday's film Refusing to Kill about women and

men refusing to be torturers, rapists and murderers for the military was

shown on Venezuela's national TV (with Spanish subtitles). So was the

Strike's fourth film Talking of Power - sex, race and class in 
revolutionary

Venezuela. Get them shown where you are. (E-mail: payday at paydaynet.org

www.refusingtokill.net)

We have just issued a new Strike journal with news from the network over 
the

past year (enclosed for people who don't yet have access to the Strike

Website). As you'll see, much of our organising, in both countries of 
the

South and increasingly the North, has gone on fighting environmental

devastation: floods and/or droughts in Guyana, India, Uganda, the US...

Do please send us your news and photos, so we can publicise them as 
always

on the website and in future Journals and other reports. If you have an

email address, please send it to us, to reduce the cost of mailings.

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



Selma James



Previous year's Strike materials are available in the following 
languages:

Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Aymara, Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Melayu, 
Bengali,

Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Deutsch, Dutch, Espanol, 
Euskera,

Farsi, Francais, Gallego, Greek, Gujerati, Haitian Creole, Hindi, 
Hungarian,

Italian, Japanese, Korean, Kurdish, Lingala, Luo, Luganda, Oriya,

Macedonian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian,

Serbian, Shona, Sinhala, Slovene, Somali, Swedish, Swahili, Tagalog, 
Tamil,

Thai, Tigrinia, Turkish, Twi, Urdu.

We need people to help translate this year's materials, if you can help,

please contact us right away!




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