Updates 1+2 of the Global Women's Strike

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Subject: Updates 1+2 of the Global Women's Strike
From: Women's Strike (womenstrike8m@server101.com)
Date: Thu Feb 17 2000 - 11:29:08 EST


WOMEN'S GLOBAL STRIKE 8 March 2000 -- UPDATE 2 -- 13 January 2000

Happy New Year 2000 -- It's going to be a striking one! E-mails are
arriving fast from all around the world with women's reasons, demands and
suggestions for going on Strike. Please let us know responses to your
raising and discussing the Strike, what your plans are and any media
coverage you're already getting.

>From SPAIN:
Barcelona -- weekly meetings and working sessions to co-ordinate the Strike
in Spain. Information is being circulated via mailings, e-mail, speaking
events and meetings. To date we're working with trade unions, feminists
co-ordinating the march called by Quebec, Canada, church volunteers,
immigrant women, lesbian women, childcare workers, social workers,
university staff...
Media: women in the European and Latin American Network of Pirate Radios
(Women Creating Communication Spaces) are circulating a tape in Spanish with
a jingle (2 min) and a radio programme of interviews of people saying why
they support the strike (1 hour).
Trade Unions: some have started to take up the call for the Strike proposing
a one hour stop and/or incorporating it into their 8 March events.
Church: groups have been written to explaining why it is important for
religious and non-religious women to support the strike.
Men: a number of men have been in touch offering donations and/or asking for
information about how to support.
Zaragoza: the Colectivo Ruda have called a meeting on Tues 18 January for
women's groups and trade unions to organize for the strike.

>From the PHILLIPINES:
We have organized a meeting with several NGOs. Many of them were convinced
this action was long overdue and most of them pledged to do all that they
can. Our plans include: 1) Publicize the strike and its objectives on
radio, television, print and internet. 2) Organize a speakers' bureau. 3)
Organize a lobby to get the President to issue a presidential proclamation
making March 8, Women's Day, a paid non-working day. 4) Make the day a "No
Housework Day" for women. Organize women's parties, picnics, etc. in
communities and villages so women enjoy themselves to send the message that
they have had enough of overwork and need time for themselves. 5) Make the
day a "No Shopping Day" as a way of protesting the way the consumer
industry, the health industry included, has made profits and taken over the
lives of women. 6) Establish a network to carry on the objectives of the
strike even after this is over.
For each planned activity, there are NGOs assigned to coordinate it and to
link it up with the other activities. The Foundation for Huwomanity-Centred
Development (FHCD) was asked to act as Secretariat for the activities. We
were deluged by calls from interested women and groups. We have sent out a
call for volunteers to help.

>From the USA:
There is now talk of an hour-long strike of trade union women from coast to
coast in the USA. Women know we're entitled to pay equity and without it we
give an extra subsidy to employers every day we work for them. A great pay
equity petition, which union women are already endorsing, will soon be
launched by the Wages for Housework Campaign. But is it enough to demand
pay equity with men in one country? Can we allow US and other
multinationals -- which pay women less than men in their base country -- to
pay women in other countries far less for the same or even more intense
work? Globalisation is clearly pulling women's wages down. How about using
globalisation to pull them UP! We want pay equity not only in one country
but in the world. We must make multinationals pay the same rate for the job
wherever they invest. After all, their managers and contractors are paid US
or European wages in dollars whatever country they work in, why not the rest
of us? Wherever we work, we're giving the same eight or more hours of our
lives. We can never get that time back, so at least we should get some
decent money in return. Anyone who seriously wants to end poverty has to
agree that this is a major step to undermine the poverty of the poorest
women and therefore also the children who depend on us.

We can use the Global Women's Strike to make clear that that's what women
are demanding wherever we are, in both industrial and non-industrial
countries. The Third World has been the exploitation playground of the
multinationals to divide us and force us to fight over the same jobs, so we
are paid the least everywhere, especially to women. We can begin to reverse
that by demanding Global Pay Equity. Then stage two of the Battle of
Seattle against the World Trade Organisation, which fronts for the
multinationals, will be the Battle for Global Pay Equity for women. And if
men want the same global pay equity with us, we say, What a good idea!
We'll support you if you support us.

SINCE DECEMBER WE HAVE HEARD FROM WOMEN IN:
ALBANIA, Tirana -- promoting the Strike there and in Kosovo, translating
radio jingle and leaflet into Albanian, asking if anyone can translate into
Macedonian, Serbo-croatian or Serbian.
AUSTRALIA, Brisbane -- women's weekly radio Megaherz community radio 4ZzZ
wants contacts to interview for the Strike.
BURKINA FASSO -- calling a workshop to mobilise women. "In my town all women
are involved in small businesses from 8-11 in the morning. What they make
from selling at the market allows them to buy food. Most are illiterate."
(See demands.)
ENGLAND -- University of Exeter, Guild Communications Officer and National
Women's Committee.
London SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) students will be
holding regular Strike stalls on campus. International Campaign in Defence
of Women's Rights in Iran, The Middle Eastern Centre for Women's Studies,
Medusa socialist Women magazine are joining.
Trade union UNISON (Housing Association Branch) discussing model
resolution - watch the website for more details.
CAMEROON, Yaounde -- NGO AFEDYCAM wants to come to London to participate in
Strike.
CANADA -- Status of Women Canada.
Alberta, Calgary Revolutionary Anarchist Kollective (RKA) joining.
Montreal -- CDEACF Information Centre on Women's situation and adult
education. Ontario, Haldimand-Norfolk region. Kingston -- Raging Grannies
striking on the 8th, sent a song to the tune of: "Put Your Arms Around Me,
Honey, Hold Me Tight" (from the 1900's) with promises of more to come.
"Women of the world, Let us throw off our chains, Let us have a taste of
economic gains. Oh, oh, March 8 we will strike, With all women we'll unite.
We want women's work made a priority, International Women's Day, a holiday.
Oh,oh, housework done for pay, Third World debt cancelled today. Celebrate
the women who are in your life, Mother ,sister, granny, auntie, Daughter,
wife. Oh, oh, I always knew, What a woman could do!"
Toronto -- Human Rights Project at Low Income Families Together.
Vancouver -- leaflet now translated into Farsi (Persian) and publicised in
Iranian press, and media in Vancouver.
CHILE -- Democratic Party Youth manager working with a group of housewives.
Valparaiso -- comments about the Chilean election and the difficulty to vote
when there isn't much difference between the candidates.
ECUADOR -- National Council of Women welcomes the Strike: "It couldn't have
come at a better time as we're having conferences to discuss waged and
unwaged domestic work and want to connect it to social security [welfare and
pensions]." Ecuador is the first country we know of whose constitution
recognises unwaged housework as productive.
GREECE -- Non Aligned Women's Movement can't organise a strike but will take
part in other ways - translating, circulating and publicizing information.
KURDISTAN -- Kyrgyz Committee for Human Rights, whose membership is mostly
women, also joining.
MEXICO, San Luis (see demand below).
THE NETHERLANDS, Ospel and Biddinghuizen.
PAKISTAN, Quetta -- Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan
sent information about a thousand women and girls participating in
demonstrations in Islamabad on International Human Rights Day.
PERU, Lima -- Centro de Capacitacion de Trabajdoras del Hogar (Centre for
the Empowerment of Domestic Workers) publicising Strike on their daily
community radio programme, discussing what actions to take. Greetings form
the Andes Centre for Education and Promotion which will distribute
information to Indigenous women in Cusco, the National Network for the
Promotion of Women and the National Network for Rural Women.
PUERTO RICO -- see demand about Vieques Island below.
RWANDA, Kigali -- Prefed Regional Programme for Development Training and
Exchanges.
SENEGAL -- Association for the Promotion of Senegalese Women will be sending
their demands and their proposed actions.
SPAIN, Basque Country -- want more information about Ireland and Wages for
Housework.
Barcelona -- Social Theatre group working for the abolition of Third World
debt and against immigration controls, wants to support the Strike. Faculty
of Biology, Barcelona University, meeting and putting together proposals
from different collectives and women, will distribute and circulate
information.
SWEDEN, Gothenburg.
SWITZERLAND, Bern -- Feminist Coalition Switzerland.
TAIWAN, Taipei -- will be holding a Strike.
USA, Colorado, Florida, Los Angeles -- man from KPFK Pacifica Radio &
microradio "radio clandestina" wants to do interviews with women for March
8.
New Mexico -- posted information on several women's web sites...will play
the jingle on 24 hour a day women's radio show on the Internet.
New Orleans (see demand below).
New York -- "I have thought of this thing over and over...what would happen
if every woman in the world refused to go to work due to the discrimination
and harassment we receive every day?... glad to do something however small"
Ohio
San Diego -- woman from Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in
Space returning from WTO in Seattle sends news and congratulations for the
Strike, and an article about the Battle of Seattle which we quote from
below. She is glad to see our figures on military spending and asks why
they are not in our demands. All our demands are based on changing
priorities FROM WAR TO LIFE AND THE CARERS OF LIFE.
Washington, Thurston County -- National Organisation of Women (NOW).
Washington, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
pledge support, will incorporate Strike in their 85th celebrations this
year.
St. Louis -- University Hospital "I can't effectively strike since I have
direct patient responsibility in my paid job and don't have unpaid care
responsibility at home." What about circulating information to patients and
staff and getting their comments? In Britain cuts to health services are
killing patients, older people are being refused care and starved to death.
A strike by staff with the support of patients would help to put an end to
this murder.
WALES, Gwynnyd (see demand below).

WHERE ARE YOU? Reporter for magazine Planeta Humano (Human Planet) thinks
Strike is a very good idea, wants to report about it.
Koop 91.7 Community Radio (somewhere in the world) is announcing the Strike
on their news.

MEN ARE ALSO INVOLVED Payday men's network have issued a statement (shortly
on Website) and is asking all men supporting the Strike to send a message
explaining why and what they will be doing. They are asking men to donate
time and money for the Strike.

DON'T FORGET TO LET US KNOW WHAT COUNTRY AND CITY TOWN OR VILLAGE YOU ARE
FROM.

===================================================================

REASONS AND DEMANDS FROM WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD

BURKINA FASSO "Women are not allowed to make decisions in the home. When
children want to get married only the father's decision counts." "Women are
an object of pleasure. We make love willingly or unwillingly, without
pleasure." A nurse. "Single women are given no value." "Women are not
allowed to carry out any project even if we have the means to." "Women
civil servants have little time to look after our babies -- one hour a day.
More time for breastfeeding." "Men continue to make women suffer. Beatings,
denial of responsibility. Women are denied the right to speak. The
suffering of a polygamous."

CANADA "When women's work is recognised it will be the end of racial and
sexual discrimination. All discrimination among human beings is based on
discrimination against women." "Solidarity for all women in the world who
have to live on the planet without having their rights recognised - a
monstrous injustice." Montreal "For on-site licensed childcare at
worksites, flexible work hours for mothers, options for well paid non
sweatshop work from home offices, tax benefits for having and raising
children." Vancouver "No corporate rights without human rights." Toronto

ENGLAND "To support my sisters around the world and for myself. We do the
world's work while big business profits and wrecks the planet. I am also
striking as a worker in Haringey Council, we're protesting against cuts in
our wages, conditions and services." London

MEXICO "The work housewives do in the home must be recognised in some way.
For example, here in San Luis it is important to fight for the same rights
to your things when you separate in marriage or at least to give the wife a
decent wage for her work as a wife, mother and housewife. Most women are
left without anything, having to support their children."

PUERTO RICO "Full participation in decision making. Women must decide
about social change. In particular, the US military base in the Vieques
Island must go. High incidences of cancer. Women and girls have reported
assaults by US marines including sexual assault and rapes. Peace is not a
privilege it is a right." Vieques Island

SPAIN "Either we change the world this century or never. Either we change
it this decade or we'll be left without the forests, without indigenous
people in Chiapas, without fertile land to cultivate. We don't appear in
the history books even though we are the real protagonists." University of
Barcelona. "I have worked all my life, raising two daughters and a son,
looking after my parents in my home and my mother in law until she died.
Today my years of waged work do not afford me a dignified old age." "So
that we are not punished for choosing to stay home and raise our children -
even when we are professional women with university degrees - in order to
contribute better human beings to society." "Because women are a high
percentage in the Church."
"Breast milk should be part of national accounts, subsidies for
breastfeeding mothers, mothers at home and all mothers in general."

USA "I work full time raising four boys with little or no help from my
husband. Also taking care of my father in law during his final days. For
this I get no gratitude, no time, no help. I think it is about time that a
woman's thankless job becomes widely recognised. It is time for the men of
the world to stand up and take notice that without our work they would have
nothing." Florida. "Stop the violence towards women ... we will not be
victimised any longer." Minneapolis "Single mother working for poverty
wages -- going on Strike on behalf of working mothers everywhere so that we
can be respected." "To support all women everywhere in this cause. I want
recognition that my family children are my first priority over my job. I'm
in middle management and have just been told that my child having needs is
no excuse for me to work at home occasionally." "I'm a cultural refugee -
my country refuses to show my work officially." New York City "Even women
bosses have been brainwashed into treating their female employees like
second-hand trash. My demand is for a four day work week for mothers with
children over two years of age and a three day work week for those with
children under two years of age; six to ten months maternity leave option
without loss of positions -- women are contributing the generation that will
take care of our bosses in their elder years!" "Insurance and health care
available to all. Childcare provided at places of employment. Childcare
paid on time and in full. Contraception and reproductive rights for women
world-wide." New Orleans "Immediate steps to be taken to begin cuts in
military spending, starting with at least 15% now and in each subsequent
year, towards the objective of total disarmament, and increased investments
in education, sanitation, health and housing. Disappointment that many women
who have risen in the hierarchy are not representing women and their real
needs and aspirations." WILPF "At my university male peers pretend to be
expert critics of females' work, especially in the arts. Female opinions
are put down. That my contributions be considered and position of authority
respected. That men not use women as pawns for their own male-solidarity."
St Louis "Suggestion: A month without feeding, sex, and laundry. Women
who live with men in marriage situations should symbolically move out and
live with other women for the duration of the Strike. That the Goddess and
the sacredness of all women be returned at once to the consciousness of all
humans on the planet." "A mother of two may lose her children because she
works to support them -- stay on welfare or lose your kids! [Comment: But
mothers on welfare are forced into workfare, leaving their kids for low paid
highly exploitative jobs. Every mother is a working mother -- we all must
have the choice and the financial means to decide whether or not to go out
to work!]

WALES "Compensation for injuries due to domestic violence was ignored by
the police even after being reported repeatedly." Gwynnyd
==================================================================

THE BATTLE OF SEATTLE
"What was missing in most of the national coverage of the Seattle event, was
the vast educational aspect of the WTO protests. Incredible, almost
flawless grassroots organising provided tens of thousands of people with an
extraordinary week of free non-stop panels and discussions. These were held
in the many churches in which hundreds of speakers shared their expertise
about the WTO. The most dramatic exercise of democracy ever!... an
extraordinary mood of unity among such diverse groups from many countries
who participated in panels, joined the peaceful marches and shared their
personal experiences of the effect of WTO "free trade" policies. ... The WTO
primary function is not trade but the guarantee of unlimited free rights of
multinational corporations to impose their dominance on the global
economy.... The WTO is based on the premise that the only legitimate role
for governments is to provide for a military and a police force. Over the
past few years there has been exponential growth in military research,
development and deployment especially in the US ... without public
discussion or approval ... The US sells more weapons to the developing world
than all other nations combined. 85% of those weapons go to non-democratic
and human rights abusing nations." [Comment: You don't mention women. Yet
women were at Seattle in great numbers and are often the majority in human
rights organisations, and even when we are not we seem to do most of the
work and get the least visibility.] Urges people to join the Global Action
to Stop Militariation in Space.
===================================================================
Note from E-mailer: If you go to the Hunger Site at the UN and click a
button somewhere in the world some hungry person gets a meal to eat paid for
by corporate sponsors -- one click per day allowed.

===================================================================

SUGGESTIONS for what you can do between now and Strike day!
Publicity is the key to success -- the more women know about the Strike the
more will participate and the more those who do will feel able to take time
off, publicly or privately, with others or alone, from work outside and
inside the home.

ASK LOCAL PAPERS TO TAKE FREE LISTINGS TO ADVERTISE THE STRIKE OR DO A
WEEKLY COLUMN UPDATING ON ACTIVITIES IN YOUR AREA

REMEMBER TO ORDER YOUR T-SHIRT, BADGE, POSTCARD.

VISIT THE STRIKE WEBSITE <http://womenstrike8m.server101.com>

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY We're still desperate for help with the cost of all the
leaflets and mailings. Please send donations in ús to the UK, in $s to the
US, addressed to Women's Strike Fund.

Contact addresses;
England: International Wages for Housework Campaign, Crossroads Women's
Centre,
PO Box 287, London NW6 5QU Tel: 0207 482 2496 minicom/voice Fax: 0207 209
4761
E-mail: womenstrike8m@server101.com

Ireland: International Women Count Network, 10 St Bridget's Place Lower,
Galway, Ireland E-mail: margaretta@tinet.ie

Spain: Mujeres por el Salario para el Trabajo sin Sueldo, Apartado 109,
08080, Barcelona
Tel/fax: (93) 318 08 02 E-mail: womenstrike8m@server101.com

USA: International Wages for Housework Campaign
PO Box 86681, Los Angeles CA 90086 Tel/fax: 323-292 7405
PO Box 11795, Philadelphia PA 19101 Tel: 215-848 1120 Fax: 215-848 1130
PO Box 14512, San Francisco CA 94114 Tel/fax: 415-626 4114
E-mail: womenstrike8m@server101.com

_________________________________________________________________
WOMEN'S GLOBAL STRIKE 8 March 2000 - UPDATE ONE - December 1999

Meetings organising for the Strike have been taking off in London, San
Francisco, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Barcelona (Spain) to reach women
and get press coverage. E-mails are beginning to come in from around the
world with messages full of news and delight. Women are forwarding the
Strike mailing as they receive it, letting their networks know and making
and asking for suggestions about what women can do on Strike Day - see below
for more ideas.

Irish women - who first called for an Irish Strike - are gaining press
coverage for their demand of a Paid Public Holiday on 8 March 2000 and every
year. Their campaign was launched in a Galway theatre; speakers reported on
support from a local council and from members of almost every national
political party. They circulated a model letter for individuals, voluntary
groups and trade unions to send to their local TD - legislator or councillor
urging them to grant the Holiday. An Endorsement Coupon demanding the
Holiday is also circulating for people to send to Senator David Norris -
women campaigners "arrested" and tied him up earlier this year. He was
eventually let go on "parole" on the condition that he brought up the issue
in the Dublin Senate, which he agreed to do early next year. Many famous
people - singers, writers and Miss Ireland - as well as individuals & groups
are supporting.

Payday men's network, which works with the Wages for Housework Campaign is
asking men from their network all over the world why and how they will
support women they know going on Strike - watch this space for what they say
and what they promise to do!

WE HAVE HEARD FROM WOMEN IN
ARGENTINA: ready to co-ordinate the Strike there, have access to TV and
radio ... AUSTRALIA: MELBOURNE ... BRAZIL - a human rights organisation has
offered to translate leaflets into Portuguese and to circulate widely ...
University of Brussels, BELGIUM ... CANADA: VANCOUVER - woman activist will
translate leaflet into Farsi - Persian ... TORONTO ... MONTREAL - Groupe de
travail contre la discrimination, will circulate the information in all the
languages ... BRITISH COLUMBIA - asked for source of our statistics to
circulate with information about the Strike ... ECUADOR: QUITO - putting
information on the Ciberbrujas webpage ... GERMANY: HANNOVER - free radio
station (Radio Flora) will publicise the Strike ... GHANA: TEMA - will put
the idea into concert/drama and take to villages ... MEXICO: MEXICO CITY -
Defensoras Populares promoting the Strike ... SENEGAL - Union Democratique
des Enseignants du Senegal will co-ordinate the Strike ... SPAIN:
BARCELONA -regular planning meetings; GRANADA also in touch ... ROMANIA:
joining the march in Quebec and the Strike too ... SWEDEN: GOTEBORG -
greetings and good luck ... SWITZERLAND ... USA: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA -
feminist radio show will announce the Strike - "mega-parties" in DETROIT,
CHICAGO, LOS ANGELES, SAN FRANCISCO and NEW YORK "if you don't pay us for
our work, we'd rather party instead" ... MINNESOTA, WASHINGTON DC Institute
for Women's Policy Research putting it in her newsletter. Don't forget to
send us copies! ... UK mother of two, sending website out to every woman
she knows ... LONDON - International Organisation of Iranian Women is
supporting ... Middle East Centre for Women's Studies and Research wants to
take part ... Undercurrents UK want to broadcast international footage of
the Strike on their video newsletters.

We heard from many women who didn't say what country they were from. One of
them wrote a poignant indictment of those women who, instead of coming up
with new solutions based on women's enormous contribution, adopt and compete
with "male values". Another woman added the demand: For the reform of
education proposals which, on the grounds of protecting private property,
consolidate unjust systems which do not respect cultural diversity and which
encourage psychological, economic and political dependence. A number of
women wanted ideas for their activities. One woman asked, "What exactly
should we do - call in sick? Protest in front of the government buildings?"
ALL THIS SOUNDS GOOD TO US - JUST DON'T GET SPOTTED ON TV BY THE BOSS!!

Please let us know what you are doing and planning for the Strike so we can
put it in the next Update. And remember to give us your village/town/city
and country.

SUGGESTIONS for what you can do between now and Strike day!
- Publicity is the key to success - the more women know about the Strike the
more will participate and the more those who do will feel able to take time
off, publicly or privately, with others or alone, from work outside and
inside the home.
- Add your demands for the Strike to ours or list your own, circulate them
for coverage in the press, other people's mailings etc.
- Continue to forward Strike news through e-mail, fax, post. Put this
Update with news/photos/video/sound etc on your website . . . link the
Strike website to yours . . . encourage your local newspapers, radio & TV
programmes/phone-ins to do interviews with you and others to get the news
out . . . ask local papers to take free listings to advertise the Strike or
do a weekly column updating on activities in your area . . . ask celebrities
to support the Strike . . . make banners and posters to put up/fly pitch in
your area . . . announce the Strike at meetings . . .ask your trade union or
other organisation to pledge support, money and publicity . . . have a stall
at your local market/shopping centre to give out leaflets and gather support
. . . connect the Strike to neighbourhood actions to help strengthen them
too!

Remember to: order your Strike T-shirts, badges and postcards with logos in
English . . . see the new Strike website for these and other details
webpage http://womenstrike8m.server101.com

Leaflet translations ready in: Basque, French, Punjabi, Spanish. In
process: Arabic, Bengali, Catalan, Chinese, Finnish, German, Gaelic,
Gujerati, Italian, Persian, Portuguese, Swedish, Tigrynya, Urdu. Can you
offer any more?

We're desperate for money to help with the cost of all the leaflets and
mailings. Please send donations in ús to the UK, in $s to the US, addressed
to Women's Strike Fund.

Contact addresses;
England: International Wages for Housework Campaign, Crossroads Women's
Centre,
PO Box 287, London NW6 5QU Tel: 0207 482 2496 minicom/voice Fax: 0207 209
4761
E-mail: womenstrike8m@server101.com

Ireland: International Women Count Network, 10 St Bridget's Place Lower,
Galway, Ireland E-mail: margaretta@tinet.ie

Spain: Mujeres por el Salario para el Trabajo sin Sueldo, Apartado 109,
08080, Barcelona
Tel/fax: (93) 318 08 02 E-mail: womenstrike8m@server101.com

USA: International Wages for Housework Campaign
PO Box 86681, Los Angeles CA 90086 Tel/fax: 323-292 7405
PO Box 11795, Philadelphia PA 19101 Tel: 215-848 1120 Fax: 215-848 1130
PO Box 14512, San Francisco CA 94114 Tel/fax: 415-626 4114
E-mail: womenstrike8m@server101.com


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