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This March 8th we stand, we strike.

This March 8th we stand, we strike. This March 8th we go back to tilting the earth from its axis. From the deep roots of our lands to the buildings of corporations, we’ll break the structures that bind us. This March 8th, we strike. Women, lesbians, drags and trans are organized around a common wish; there is no turning back.

In the face of feminized poverty, we say: feminization of the resistance! and we return to take the streets on the International Day of Working Women. If we all strike, the earth moves.

Working women, amongst which are the poorest, the indigenous, the migrants, the oldest, the youngest, the teens, women from native communities, kurd women, feminist warriors, black women, refugees, students, deteinees, political prisoners, those who have been criminalized, victims of slave trafficking and sexual exploitation, mothers and those who do not wish to become mothers, women with diverse functionalities and different capabilities, housewives, domestic workers, caretakers, sex workers, retirees, pensioned women, teachers, girls, nurses, doctors, state workers, informal workers, working-class fighters, trade unionists, unemployed and precarious women, artists, taxi drivers, plumbers, and a long etcetera of diverse women: #WeStrike from Alaska to Patagonia.

“If our lives are not worth anything, produce without us” is once again the motto of the strike that extends throughout the world but is mainly driven from Latin America and the Caribbean, where the calls “Ni Una Menos” and “Vivas Nos Queremos” originated and resonate like a stampede in every corner of the world.  

One has been designated as the most unequal region in the world, where 10% of the population owns 71% of the wealth.

We strike to disavow every form of gender-based violence and to protect our right to exist free of such violence.

We strike for those who are no longer here, taken by the most extreme expression of gender-based violence, femicide: in 2016 alone, 1998 murders were registered in 17 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Each day, 12 women are murdered for being women.

We strike because 14 of the 25 countries with the highest femicide rates are in Latin America and the Caribbean. Governments fail to present complete and reliable statistics for us to illustrate the depths of the problem, but we are certain the number of femicides continues to rise. We also lack serious, creative, and innovative public policies in prevention and intervention to guide our actions in these cases, like, for example, the correct way to comfort communities and families in the aftermath of a femicide.

In Argentina, there is one fewer woman every 30 hours; femicides of girls between the ages of 16 and 20 have quadrupled and there are three times more murders of girls between 11 and 15 years old.

We strike for the murdered lesbians, transvestites and trans women for whom the Government has no data. We strike against hate towards sexual and identitarian dissidence.

We strike because in our epic we are willing to resist male dominance. Because we won’t keep abiding power relationships that continue to cause us pain.

We strike for the missing ones. In Argentina alone, 3228 girls, teenagers, and adult women have disappeared, according to official data. If we analyze the numbers by age, the group with the greatest number of disappearances is in the range between 12 and 18 years. How many of these girls are missing because of police misconduct or negligence on the part of other State entities? Is the State even searching for them at all?

We strike for the girls that never came back.

We strike because as victims of violence we do not have access to justice and states do not draft budgets keeping in mind this is a structural problem that affects human rights as a whole.

We strike because, after Africa, Latin America has the largest teenage birth rates in the world. In Argentina, a teenage girl gives birth every 5 minutes. Most teenage moms leave their studies and lose track of their projects. 7 out of 10 live in poverty. We strike to demand comprehensive sexual education and non-punishable abortion protocols. Maternity has to be a decision and young women who are mothers must have opportunities.

We strike for the dead and imprisoned because of abortions. 95% of abortions in Latin America and the Caribbean are clandestine and unsafe due to the restrictive laws to stop unwanted pregnancies. We strike to demand legal abortions, and to stop forcing unwanted maternities on women.

We strike for the women that have been imprisoned, persecuted, and murdered in our Latin American territory for defending the land and its resources from trans-national companies and State accomplices.

We strike because 79% of identified human trafficking victims in Latin America are women and girls.

We strike because we demand spaces to be heard and to make choices about what affects us. Because our participation in the traditional structures of politics, syndicalism, and State governance are still an expression of desire. In Argentina, women account for 18% of charges in unions, but rarely participate in the discussion of salaries and finances.

We strike because one of every three women in the region cannot generate any personal income. The average weekly hours of unpaid work, obtained from ten countries in the region, is 13.72 for men and 39.13 for women. Women in Argentina do three times as much unpaid work as men do. We strike to draw attention to this double work burden, which weighs even more heavily on poor women.  We strike because transvestites and trans women cannot get formal jobs.

We strike because women, transvestites, and lesbians are the groups most affected by politics that hinder labor rights, like the pension reform recently approved in Argentina and the labor reform implemented in Brazil.

We strike because we bear the brunt of spending cuts on health and education, as we take care of children, the ill, and the elderly.

We strike because we are denied a seat at the table where our salaries, labour rights and pension rights are served, because we are the face of poverty, because in Argentina the gender wage gap  is 27% but reaches as much as 35% when it comes to more precarious work.

We strike because more than a third of women in the workforce have precarious jobs: today they can not access maternity leave, and tomorrow they will not have a dignified retirement pension. Precarious work entails the precarization of our lives.

We strike to put an end to economic violence.

We strike because women and dissident people are underrepresented in the media, in art, in music, in science, in literature, and that creates an unreal, male chauvinist world.

We strike to recover the history written into our identities, our existences, including the struggles and suffering that precedes us. Our intimate and collective memories, our languages, and our forms of togetherness, to conquer a future of freedom.

We strike because we can and know how to, we strike for our lives.

We are free, together!

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