Global Women's Strike
The Global Women’s Strike is a movement that seeks to value all women’s work and all women’s lives around the world. Many countries (including Guyana, Haiti, the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Peru, and Ireland) actively participate in this campaign in an effort to grant women justice for their unacknowledged contribution in the labor force. The stated mission of the Global Women's Strike is:
Women and girls perform nearly two-thirds of the work in most given households. This work includes physical labor such as washing dishes, doing laundry, vacuuming, etc. but also emotional labor such as sending out birthday cards, organizing family vacations, preparing for holidays, etc. Much of this work in the household, while at times is referred to as a “second shift,” remains unpaid. It is also not included in a country’s Gross National Product or Gross Domestic Product, although women’s unpaid labor is estimated at nearly $11 trillion. Many of the women engaged in this campaign argue that a large portion of this problem can be traced back to the military-industrial complex. Over $1 trillion a year is spent on the military worldwide, owing a large portion of this spending to the United States. If 10% of this money was circulated back into the community, it could be used to provide essentials for living: water, basic health care, sanitation, nutrition programs, literacy programs, minimum wage. The Global Women’s Strike, which is a result of the International Wages for Housework Campaign started by Selma James in 1972, seeks the recognition and payment for all caring work and the return of military spending to the community through a policy of “Invest in Caring, Not Killing.”
● Payment for all caring work —in wages, pensions, land and other resources. What is more valuable than raising children and caring for others?
● Invest in life and welfare, not military budgets and prisons. Pay equity for all, women and men, in the global market.
● Paid maternity leave, breastfeeding breaks and other benefits — stop penalizing us for being women.
● Abolition of “Third World debt”
● Accessible clean water, healthcare, housing, transport, literacy.
● Non-polluting energy and technology which shortens the hours we work.
● Protection and asylum from all violence and persecution, including by family members and people in positions of authority.
● Freedom of movement. Capital travels freely, why not people?
- 6 Siren September 2001, http://www.nwcfbu.co.uk/siren/s0901/s0901_6.pdf
- The Guardian Stop the world and change it: the global women's strike , http://www.theguardian.com/world/2000/mar/07/gender