“The strike defined in a broader sense as ‘the working classes’ using their power which they take from their production value’. Women around the world launch a strike this 8 March . That is a day of revolt against capitalist barbarism.” writes Arzu Demir to Yeni Ozgur Politika.
“This 8 March the earth trembles,” was the first sentence of the call of Argentinian women for a global strike for 8 March in 2017, “because we appropriate time and we create it’s availability for ourselves. 2017 is the time of our new revolution.”
Not only 2017, but the whole century is also the century of women’s revolution, women’s resistance…
Because the capitalist system and patriarchy have been working in coordination with each other with all their economical, political, and social institutions. From schools and families to the army, all the institutions that capitalism need for its sustainability are also necessary for the continuation of the patriarchal system. However, the contradiction between capitalism and patriarchy is a unity of contradiction. The main source of that contradiction is the contradiction of capitalism itself. There is a contradiction between the social character of production and the special character of private property. In other words, while the socialisation of production inevitably accelerates women’s participation in social life and production, the specific character of private property pulls women back to the domestic area and the households.
Despite all the developments within the technology, nothing much has changed when it comes to the “duties” of women at home. Of course, washing machines and dish washers has made life a little easier, but still, the women are the ones responsible for using them. Capitalism will not put an end to the slavery of women in the households. There is striking data from Belgium, the “capital” of Europe: Since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic, 78 percent of those who received parental leaves were women. Because despite all the development of capitalism, childcare is still considered the duty of women. The situation is not different in other countries as well.
Women’s situation will worsen within the capitalist system. The oppression of women has been now transformed into a femicide attack against women. Each day hundreds of women are being murdered by men who are very close to them. The women’s movement has tools to stop that femicide and the women’s strike is one of those tools.
“Equal pay for equal work” was one of the main demands of the women’s strike on March 8. That demand spread all over the world with the call of Argentinian women who rebelled against the rape and murder of a 16-year-old Lacia Perez. It proves that this capitalist system, in which humanity is condemned at this moment of history, will do nothing but deepen the gender conflict.
Women have fought for “equal pay for equal work” many times over the past century. For example, half a century ago, on 16 February, 1966, 3,000 women workers rebelled at the Herstal arms factory in Belgium. Their slogan was “We do not get paid even as much as children.”
53 years after 1966, this time in Switzerland women stopped work for the same demand on 14 June 14 2019. Although women do the same job as men, they still receive lower wages than men simply because they are women. This difference is not small at all and it is getting bigger. The wage difference between men and women in Belgium is 23.8 percent.
Women’s demands is not only an end to this discrimination. They also demand “higher wages for all” and they summarise it as “Let’s start to take back what is ours ”
Women will go on strike with various demands varying from rights to have access to free abortion, care work, or domestic work of women to be recognized as work and being paid for domestic labour.
“The strike is defined in a broader sense as ‘the working classes’ using their power which they take from their production value’. Women around the world launch a strike this 8 March . That is a day of revolt against capitalist barbarism.”
The women’s strike, which will take place for the 5th time on March 8, revealed the importance of women’s labour for production. The fact that society needs women’s labour to continue itself has been more visible as the strikes showed to the world.
This year, women from Turkey and North Kurdistan did not call for a general strike. Turkey and Northern Kurdistan women prefer staying out of this wave. The list of reasons for this is long. However, I believe it is about the limits of women’s struggle in our geography. It is related with having perspective that not only limits itself to the preservation of the gains but also pushing the limits further and trying to organise campaigns following the demands of our age.