Posted at 21:00 on 6 Mar 2018 by Pandora / Blake
This Thursday a Global Women's Strike is being held, to coincide with International Women's Day.
The concept of the Women's Strike is for women to go on strike to protest inequality, and particularly the amount of feminised labour which is unpaid and unrecognised.
It is about refusing all the work that women do – whether paid work in offices and factories, or unpaid domestic work in homes, communities and bedrooms.
The Women’s Strike rejects the decades of economic inequality, criminalisation and policing, racial and sexual violence, and endless global war and terrorism.
The Women’s Strike is a strike for solidarity between women – women of colour, indigenous, working class, disabled, migrant, Muslim, lesbian, queer and trans women. On 8 March, in cities and towns across the UK we will meet each other on the streets and strike against a system of power that keep us isolated and divided from one another.
The Women’s Strike shines a light of solidarity on to the language of gender identity and recommits us to countering transphobia in the women’s movement and beyond.
In London there's a packed programme of events: in the morning there's a UCU strike to defend academic pensions, with picket lines across London. Cleaners fighting for a living wage (CAIWU) are marching, meeting at Moorgate and the Museum of London. A demonstration organised by Global Women's Strike protesting sex worker's children being taken away from them by the Family Courts will be held at Old Palace Yard in Westminster from 12-2pm, and I shall be there.
Following that there's an afternoon of events, including a workshop on reproductive rights by Feminist Fightback and the Polish Women's Strike, an Abortion Rights action march leaving from Russell Square, a Women's Strike assembly marching from Russell Square which will meet with the cleaners on strike, Women's Strike marches leaving from different locations across London, and a 1pm assembly at Russell Square with speakers from the Brixton Black Women's Group, the Kurdish Student Union assembly, and a statement from the Yarl's Wood women on hunger strike.
Finally at 7pm there's going to be a sex/work strike in Soho, with a speech from Frankie remembering Laura Lee, talks by Laura Agustin, Melina Antunes, the English Collective of Prostitutes, and Stacey from the East London Strippers Collective. #strike4decrim
It's an extraordinary day of action, bigger than I've ever seen it before, and I'm so excited to be taking part.
I've come to realise that I'm not a woman, my gender is more complicated than that. But I have three decades of lived experience being treated as a woman, and direct experience of misogyny. I have performed more than my share of unpaid feminised labour, from housework to emotional labour, unrewarding sex with selfish partners, being the one to look after people or organise things - not to mention political campaigning and activism.
These days I strive for fairness and balance in my personal relationships and my work, and to support women fighting for better pay and labour rights. When I'm employing people, I try if I can to give paid work to women, trans and non-binary people - and I try to pay a bit more than they're asking.
This Thursday, I'm going to be on strike. For me, this means not taking on any paid work, any sex work, or any unpaid labour that feels like work. I'm going to be at the protest at Parliament at midday, and sending my support and solidarity to the rest of the amazing events taking place that afternoon and evening.
See you on the streets! #westrike
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