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Historical mobilization for women's equality

Marches in 120 cities, strike and Paros mark a day against discrimination, harassment and violence

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Historical mobilization for women's equality

Few times a mobilization is so successful before even being held. On or hand, this is precisely what happened this year in Spain with 8th of March, International Women's Day. All discussions on gender inequality (co-responsibility and family care, wage and pension gaps, labour discrimination, glass ceiling, harassment and sexual violence) have been open for weeks. The Catalan crisis and pensions have had to make room on agenda. The government, with its president in lead, has had to rectify and clarify its speech, critical in principle, on strike that 8-M Commission had convened this year.

The feminist strike to which multiple social groups, organized by that Commission, had called Spanish — under slogan "If we stop, it is for world" — placed Spain at forefront of gender equality movement. It was only country in which a mobilization had been convened to be accompanied at time by a work stoppage. And that was echoed in main international media, which made a wide coverage of day.

The ratification of success came with evening demonstrations, under banner we stop to change everything. With gasoline of data showing that women earn 13% less than men in similar tasks or of incessant deaths from macho violence, pattern of last general strikes was fulfilled: unequal follow-up, pulling scarce, unemployment and , however, massive marches in afternoon in multiple cities. The call came preceded by manifestos of professional groups (journalists, academics, health workers, sportsmen,...) who had widened perimeter of protest much farr than in preceding years.

Hundreds of thousands of people across country paraded under violet color symbolizing feminist movement and overflowed streets of 120 cities. Last year's attendance was greatly exceeded in Madrid: The government delegation encrypted protesters in 170,000 — in 2017, he spoke of 40,000. Trade union sources raised number to one million — 500,000 people according to organizers in 2017 —. Patricia and Virginia, two retired officials, flocked to march for "raising awareness". "We have to show that toger we have a lot of strength", claimed both, reports J. A. Aunión. Among chants and cries were references to future: "The fight goes on, whatever it takes". Also classics of se protests as "Manolo, Manolito, today you take care of yourself."

In Barcelona, urban guard estimated 200,000 demonstrators — 600,000 according to organization — and mass figures were repeated in main capitals.

March 8th feminist demonstration in Barcelona GTRES

Before se marches re were countless concentrations and events at noon, coinciding with partial stoppages in morning shift (between 11.30 and 13.30) that had convened UGT and CC OO. Only in center of Madrid, at that time could go to protest at gates of Atocha station, before city Hall in Cibeles (where traffic was cut), in Plaza de Callao or in Footbath, where commission convener of strike , described mobilization of "success".

"We've paralyzed Madrid. This is our day and tomorrow. We're not stopping. For us. For those who are not, for those who will come. For those who do not listen, "said Victoria Castrillón of organization from stage at end of Madrid demonstration, which read prepared manifesto. "It's a historic day, we've stopped Madrid. It will be studied in history books, "Maria Alvarez, anor of organizers, added in her speech. "We have a lot of hope that things will change, we have been talking about feminist strike for many days."

"We have put machismo and inequality in all houses, throughout society and no one can remain indifferent," had proclaimed in morning Ruth Carrurs, of Commission 8-M.

Hours before informative pickets had cut traffic in Barcelona, at crossroads of Gran via with Urgell, and railways, in Vallès line. And before concentrations of midday, re was a demonstration of students attended by thousands of people, reports Alfonso Congostrina.

But 8-M, this year was complemented by a labor aspect, both in debates and in mobilizations. The 8-M commission had called a 24-hour strike, which counted on legal coverage of minority power stations (CGT and CNT). In this area, follow-up was scarce. CGT spoke of "resounding success", although in sectors like railway he regretted that minimum services prevented a real stoppage and, despite this, quantified follow-up in 90%. The RENFE figures, collected by Servimedia, were far from that percentage, 2.6%.  These last numbers are more in line with what was appreciated when walking along platforms of Atocha.

Two young people at Madrid demonstration by 8th of March Jaime Villanueva

Neir electricity consumption, indicator of impact most used in strikes against disparity of data of trade unions, businessmen and government, noticed much incidence.

However, re were sectors where strike had a lot of echo and visibility. Among journalists, whose manifesto has achieved more than 7,000 signatures, follow-up was very broad and it was noted in radio schedules (Pepa Bueno, Àngels Barceló and Julia Otero were not in front of ir programs) and television grills (TVE, Antena 3 and Tele 5 They were changed by absence of married Maria, Susana Griso and Ana Rosa Quintana, respectively). Also among opposition parties follow-up was ample and Congress was almost without activity.

More significant were two-hour partial stoppages convened by majority trade unions. Their numbers figure in about six million followers. "This strike has already been a success, because it has put on table many things that were not spoken", said before demonstration vice general of UGT, Cristina Antoñanzas.

Aware that from important sectors of feminism are criticized for not joining 24-hour strike, leader of CC OO, Unai Sordo, asked not to leave "8 March arguing about wher strike had to be two or eight hours. We have to get out discussing how to end general gaps [...] by telling CEOE and administrations to eliminate gender differences. "


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