On 8th March I am joining the strike to highlight the impossibility of striking from women’s work both paid and unpaid.
To strike from being a midwife, something I’m training to be, is impossible because as a caring (predominantly female) profession you would be vilified for removing care from those more vulnerable than you – women in labour. Yet it is a system in crisis reliant on (predominantly women’s ) unpaid labour as midwives stay later than their shifts require to finish all necessary tasks – midwives are tired and there care compromised by the nature of this work not because they don’t care.
As a mother to strike from my childcare would make me irresponsible and uncaring in a different sense. But whilst I love my children and it’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever done, it is also the most unrelenting and at times monotonous work and the least well paid (because it’s not paid at all) – yet I am a mother 24hrs a day 7 days a week. There is no time off.
It is exactly the contractions in striking that make it necessary. Women’s work will never be valued until we fill the streets and expose the value of the hidden work we do. Join us 8th March on the streets.