Argentinian feminist collective calls for International Women’s Strike on March 8th

A strike against violence against women in Buenos Aires, October 2016. (Image: Eitan Abramovich/AFP/Getty Images)

The Argentinian feminist collective behind Black Wednesday back in October have called for an International Women’s Strike. Planned to coincide with the International Day to End Violence Against Women, Ni Una Menos (Not One Less) is calling for women everywhere to strike on March 8th.

Black Wednesday was the first region-wide march to protest male violence against women and girls. It rallied women in Latin America around the concept of femicide, which describes the murder of women and girls at the hands of men. Femicide targets females specifically, and is an epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as in countries across the world. As such, it is the cornerstone of Latin American feminist activism.

In their manifesto, Ni Una Menos states:

“We strike because the victims of femicide are missing among us. Their voices were violently shut down by the chilling drum of one femicide per day in Argentina.”

Although Ni Una Menos is based out of Argentina, on Black Wednesday women and girls were joined in a massive display of feminist solidarity by thousands in Uruguay, Paraguay, Perú, Chile, Venezuela, Colombia, México, Honduras, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Spain. Following the success of the Polish women’s strike against abortion, Black Wednesday, and the Women’s March in Washington and sister marches, numerous countries around the world are expected to join the March 8th strike.

Ni Una Menos’ manifesto reads:

“This March 8th the earth will shake. Women around the world will unite and organize around one common goal: an International Women’s Strike. We women will strike, organize and build solidarity among ourselves. We will practice the world in which we want to live.

We strike to bring attention to:

The capital that exploits us in the informal economy. The state and market forces that exploit us when they put us in debt. The nation-states that criminalize our migration. The fact that we make less money than men and our wage discrimination is, on average, 27 per cent. We strike because of the economic violences that heighten our vulnerability to misogynist violence, whose most violent extreme is femicide. We strike to demand abortion on demand and so that no girl is forced to become a mother.

Among us are missing the lesbians and transwomen who were murdered under hate crimes. The political prisoners, the persecuted, the women murdered in our Latin American territory for defending the land and resources. Among us are missing the women who died and the ones who remain in prison due to unsafe abortions. We are missing among us the ones who were disappeared by traffickers and the victims of sexual exploitation.

We appropriate the tool of striking because our demands are urgent. The strength of our movement is in the bond we create with other women. We are braiding a new internationalism. We see the neoconservative turn that’s taking place in the region and in the world, so the feminist movement is surging as an alternative. 2017 is the time for our revolution.

When our homes become hell, we organize to defend each other and protect one another. In the face of the crimes of machismo and its pedagogy of cruelty and in the face of the media’s attempt to victimize us and terrorize us, we make of our individual grieving a collective comfort and a shared enragement. In the face of cruelty: more feminism.”

With over 30 countries set to join the strike, the rallying cry,  “Solidarity is our weapon,” is fitting. Indeed, this has always been the ethos of the women’s movement. Now more than ever before, solidarity is exactly what is needed.

Raquel Rosario Sanchez

Raquel Rosario Sanchez is a writer from the Dominican Republic. Her utmost priority in her work and as a feminist is to end violence against girls and women. Her work has appeared in several print and digital publications both in English and Spanish, including: Feminist Current, El Grillo, La Replica, Tribuna Feminista, El Caribe and La Marea. You can follow her @8rosariosanchez where she rambles about feminism, politics, and poetry.

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  • John Stuart Mill

    I support the strike – yet I must point out: again with forcing women to take on “transwomen” as our faux-sisters, when so many of them are abusive to women: death wishes, assault, rape, even murder.
    Douglas “Donna” Perry (serial killer of women) and Robert “Michelle” Kosilek (wife killer) are NOT my sisters!!!

    • Hey there! I think you make a good point in trying to address the smear campaigns and violent threats directed at feminists by some transactivists in Anglosaxon countries. That being said, women and transwomen have a completely different relationship in Spanish speaking countries. The virulent tensions and conflicts from the United States are starting to permeate small hubs liberal feminist websites, that I have seen, but those are very contained.

      Overall, both women and transwomen and lesbians and queer folks seem to show solidarity and support towards one another without any need to undermine each other’s movements. I also think is important that the manifesto stated explicitly both “transwomen” and “lesbian” specially given the erasure of both women and lesbian from feminist spaces that’s been taking place in other English speaking countries.

      So I am aware of the tensions going on in US feminism at the moment but it truly feels like a complete 180 situation in what I have seen in my work with fellow Spanish speaking feminists and Dominican feminism, for example. The concern is absolutely valid but I assure you, women and transwomen (and the feminist movement in the region) have a very different relationship: no name-calling, smearing, doxxing or death threats. Nobody is being no-platformed. I am SO praying that it remains that way.

      There is no need, whatsoever, for the women’s rights movement and the LGBT rights movement to be in conflict. **AND I BLAME PATRIARCHY** for creating havoc and infighting in the US about it and trying to spread it elsewhere!

      • Mar Iguana

        There is an absolute need for all women and men to be in conflict with m2ts who are patriarchal to their core.

        Lesbians know they are female. Gays know they are male. Bis know they are either female or male. M2ts screech at women “Transwomen ARE women” and demand we validate their wackaloon version of biology and reality itself. Or else.

        I’ll be damned if I’ll go along with m2ts’ quest to erase women, I don’t care what country they are from. Can’t you see using their preferred term “transwoman” is an insult to all women?

      • FierceMild

        I blame patriarchy and men. Even when those men throw on dresses and claim to be women.

        • Interestingly, I’ve never met an actual trans person who engaged in any of the vitriolic stuff. All the transmen and transwomen I know are well versed on feminists politics and women and girls material realities. And some are highly critical of the entire concept of transition.

          However, I’ve met countless white men (and some white women who never took the time to analyze what Crenshaw was actually saying) mostly in the United States who smear and attack feminists. The ones into doxxing, threatening no-platforming feminists… My analysis is that they are using trans rights as a token to prove their own sense of “progressiveness” to overcompensate for being white, male and a United States person (each being fairly privileged in it’s own way). That just goes on to show that they don’t really care about the humanity of trans people either, only stealing social justice rhetoric to perpetuate white+male supremacy and put women “back in their place.”

          It’s important to make that distinction and let them know: we see you.

    • FierceMild

      No. Nor mine.

  • Bleeps3

    Could women who don’t have jobs to strike from (self-employed, SAH, looking for work), or who need to hide any action from abusers, maybe show solidarity with an internet strike? As in no social media, no visiting popular websites, no internet shopping (but perhaps still using email)? The internet in general and Silicon Valley specifically has surely encouraged, enabled and profited from misogyny in just about every way I can think of…

  • Wren

    This manifesto is sooooo much better than the statements on the women’s march. However, I still wish it said they protest the violence and murder BY MEN.

  • Wren

    Lol, thanks but I can’t take credit for that observation. Many posters brought it up about the Women’s March mission statement, and now I look at everything scan everything written about violence against women for the *men* word.

  • Bleeps3

    Of course not! 🙂