Throughout the pandemic we have seen an increase in violence, loneliness and exploitation in our homes and in our workplaces. Today, on the International Day Against Violence Against Women, we acknowledge that this violence will not stop unless we demand change. Now more than ever, women and non-binary people feel the weight of society on our shoulders and are holding the crisis of care in our hands.
We are calling on women and non-binary people to weave a red thread of feminist resistance and care in every village, town, and city. We need to remake our homes and neighbourhoods as places of solidarity and political power. Spaces to plot and recover, to reproduce resistance and grieve those we have lost.
On the 8th March 2021 we will strike. We will strike because we are tired of our labour being taken for granted. We will strike against the day-to-day violence in our lives. We will strike because we can’t afford not to.
We now have to do a triple shift: our paid work, our unpaid domestic labour and educating our children during the pandemic. Our care work and domestic labour continue to be taken for granted, with no recognition that without it the world stops. This is how society has managed to stay afloat during the pandemic. This was the case before the pandemic but now we have become the government’s last and cheapest resort.
The home has been and remains a place of violence for many of us and the pandemic has confined us to it, forcing us to depend on fragile, violent and abusive relationships. The State has long ignored domestic violence and we have only seen this worsen under lockdown conditions.
At work, we represent a disproportionate amount of key workers. Those on the frontlines are overwhelmingly people of colour and migrants. It is us who have kept open care homes, supermarkets, hospitals and nurseries. This labour has become more visible and emerged as essential but what has this gotten us? We were sent back to work with no PPE and no rise in our wages. We are still in low paid jobs paying for the pandemic in our time, in our health and our lives.
Gendered violence continues, the perpetrators are let off the hook and the stigma, shame and silence carry on. The police and justice system continue to be part of the problem. In the words of our Chilean sisters and siblings:
EL ESTADO NO ME CUIDA A MI ME CUIDAN MIS AMIGAS
THE STATE DOES NOT TAKE CARE OF ME,
MY FRIENDS TAKE CARE OF ME
We are calling for a strike on 8 March because we refuse to be the ‘heroes of the nation’ or ‘angels of the home’. We demand structural change because visibility is not enough. We demand security, respect and an end to the system built on sexism, racism and domestic violence.
If you want to resist and build a new collective future, it’s time to get involved the Women’s Strike Assembly.
JOIN US: Thursday 10th December, 7:30 PM