Source: Resumen Latinoamericano / Photo credit: Emergente / The Dawn News / October 20, 2016
Tens of thousands of women across Argentina made a strike from 1 to 2 pm on Wednesday, October 19, to raise their voices against gender-based violence and economic inequality in the very first Women’s National Strike in the country’s history.
At 5 pm, women gathered at the Obelisk to march to Plaza de Mayo, the main square of the capital, in the wake of a brutal gang rape and murder of a teenage girl named Lucía Pérez (16) in the city of Mar Del Plata and and the other 18 femicides committed during October that have reinvigorated the fight against femicide and gender-based violence across the continent.
“We want to live” was the common cry. Women were holding their homemade posters, dressed in black. There were families, groups of friends, social organizations, unions and student centers. There were performances, cultural activities, and music.
The strike also aimed at emphasizing the crucial role of women in the country’s economy as well as highlighting the fact that women have been the main victims of the massive layoffs carried out by the administration of Mauricio Macri in both the public and private sector. The organizers of the mobilization, the Ni Una Menos (Not One Woman Less) Collective, highlighted the fatal link that makes poor and disadvantaged women more vulnerable to gender and sexual violence, including human trafficking.
The government of Mauricio Macri remained passive and said little about the mobilization. Some Ministers talked about the participation of men in the protest in a shameless attempt to avoid addressing the main issue. Others, like Macri himself, talked about the Plan Against Gender Violence announced by the National Council of Women on July 2016 but ignored the demands regarding the lack of jobs, privatizations, job instability and the increasing amount of violence that women suffer in the country.
The massive mobilization showed that women are fed up with violence, with discrimination and inequality. Women were not discouraged by the severe weather and understood that this was an unavoidable opportunity to express the anger caused by systemic violence, femicides, abortion deaths and rapes. Now, the Argentinian women will continue the path to liberation, along with the fight against the right and the conservative sectors.
The protest was replicated all over the world
According to the organizers of the day of protest known as #NosotrasParamos (#WeStop), which stood “against femicides, gender-based violence and the devalorization of our lives” there were 139 nuclei of protest all over the world.
The call for this “Black Wednesday” began in Argentina, and in less than a week’s time it was replicated by women all over Latin America and in some other countries around the world.
In Argentina, there were 80 nuclei of protest where women stopped and marched, spread all across the country. And around the world there were 59 other centers, distributed throughout the American continent and Western Europe. The protest was replicated in 25 locations in Chile, 8 in the United States, 7 in Bolivia, 5 in Mexico, 2 in Uruguay, 2 in Honduras and also in the capitals of Paraguay, Ecuador, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala.
In Europe, demonstrations were be held in three locations in Spain (Alicante, Barcelona and Madrid) while in France and England the protest took place in front of the Argentinian Embassies. In Rome, Italy women are preparing a great demonstration on November 27, under the same slogan: Non Una Di Meno.