[Marxism] Global Women's Strike
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
taken all kinds of grassroots actions to demand that society Invest in
Caring Not Killing, and that the money squandered on war is spent
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
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
Social Forum in Caracas - an opportunity to meet grassroots organisers
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 -
found her/his counterpart in the Venezuelan movement. We have been
strengthened and encouraged by the tremendous energy and determination
grassroots women who have protected a government which invests in
starting with the poorest communities, and which in turn backs women.
The world is beginning to recognise and value women's hidden
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%
in the minimum wage (which with the ticket employees get for meals and
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
Chávez said that he aims for up to 500,000 women eventually to get this
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
88 gives to housewives' work, with the recent legislation aimed at
the poorest out of poverty, and redirected some of the oil revenue to
women -Chávez has repeatedly said, women are the poorest, work hardest
are most committed to the revolution.
This is finally a wage for housework, something we have demanded since
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
was directly associated with our work.
The Grassroots Network of Los Altos in Miranda State (Venezuela), which
part of the Strike and hosted us in Los Teques, issued a public
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
wages distributed. We are circulating their statement (enclosed) and
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
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
please tell us about them so we can tell others!
In London the key event will be on 17 March: Report back from
Women Spearhead the Revolution, and discussion on the Strike's
with the women and men organising there. We will also launch the new
Creating a Caring Economy - Nora Castañeda and the Women's Development
of Venezuela published by Crossroads Books in English and Spanish, which
launched in Venezuela to great acclaim. It is a dynamite collection of
recent interviews and speeches by Nora Castañeda, the President of the
which provides micro-credit to low-income women, and is helping to build
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
Los Angeles along with the Katrina Evacuees Councils will hold a "Second
Line" March, a Survivors' and Supporters' Speak-Out, followed by a
New Orleans" Cuisine (see www.globalwomenstrike.net).
Men's support and participation internationally is co-ordinated by
multiracial network of men. They are also organising with women and men
refusing the military and its lethal and repressive work, from the US
the UK to Israel and Eritrea. The "poverty draft" - economic necessity
the promise of residency or citizenship which drives many, especially
of colour and immigrants, to join the military - would enable the US to
"endless war". Refusing the military is a vital part of the movement to
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
Venezuela. Get them shown where you are. (E-mail: payday at paydaynet.org
We have just issued a new Strike journal with news from the network over
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
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
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!
Previous year's Strike materials are available in the following
Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Aymara, Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Melayu,
Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Deutsch, Dutch, Espanol,
Farsi, Francais, Gallego, Greek, Gujerati, Haitian Creole, Hindi,
Italian, Japanese, Korean, Kurdish, Lingala, Luo, Luganda, Oriya,
Macedonian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian,
Serbian, Shona, Sinhala, Slovene, Somali, Swedish, Swahili, Tagalog,
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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