In the United Kingdom thousands across the nation pledge to strike on the famous international celebration as part of a global feminist movement.
This Thursday, International Women’s Day will be marked by strikes across the world as part of a global movement to end gendered and sexual violence, the gender pay gap and discrimination against women.
From offices and factories, from care work and unpaid domestic work, from communities and bedrooms, women across the world will strike from the work they do. In the wake of #MeToo and #TimesUp, this is a global feminist movement that sees women in 56 countries standing in solidarity and demanding change.
In the UK, over 7,000 people across the country have pledged to go on strike and strike actions are being organised in the following 7 cities and towns; London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Derry, Brighton.
In London, 2,000 people are expected to meet this Thursday at Russell at 1pm where the programme of speakers and performers includes Gail Lewis, the co-founder of Brixton Black Women’s Group, the Rebel Choir, Erif Sarican from the Kurdish Student Union Assembly, a statement from the Yarl’s Wood women on hunger strike, and the F*Choir.
Thursday morning will also see groups standing in solidarity with striking university professors on the picket lines at universities across London, sex workers’ demonstration in Dean Street Soho, and cleaners fighting for a living wage at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.
The movement unites and gives a voice to women from marginalised communities, promoting inclusivity and equality.
“Thursday is about solidarity between all women* – trans women, women of colour, indigenous, working class, disabled, migrant, sex workers, Muslim, lesbian and queer”, says Noshin Salari Rad, one of the organisers of the strike.
“The women’s strike on 8th March takes aim at the harassment, exploitation and discrimination women face every day. We are sick of ‘telling our stories’ and being told to ‘lean in’ when nothing changes in response. We are instead taking action – action against our exploitation under capitalism, where the domestic and emotional work we do for little or no pay is made invisible, while austerity measures force us into a more and more vulnerable position. This is feminism for the 99%.” Says Lida Käyhkö, another of the organisers.
The strike action is supported by Verso Books, Novara Media, Zed Books, Sisters Uncut East London, Red Pepper, London Latinxs, Women’s Strike Assembly (London), Women’s Strike Assembly (Birmingham), Feminist Fightback, Precarious Workers Brigade, Plan C London, Plan C Birmingham, The x:talk project, AntiUniversity, National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, United Voices of the World, Pluto Press, IWGB, Action for Trans Health, Cleaners and Allied Independent Workers Union, and Ni Una Menos – Argentina Solidarity Campaign.