Without our work, not a wheel would turn in this world:
We have the power to stop the world and to fundamentally change it!
Call to the International March 8th Strike
March 8th is International Women’s Day. For decades we have taken to the streets on this day to make visible our experiences and the social abuse to which we are exposed every day. We are women, lesbians, non-binary, trans and inter persons and we are part of an international movement. Last year there were worldwide protests. Millions of people demonstrated. Alone in Hamburg there were 10,000 participants. In 2020 we will build upon these successes and again leave the sinks full and the offices empty. We will demonstrate and we will strike!
What makes us furious?
For years we have seen femicide1 played down and dismissed as “crimes within relationships.” Alone in 2018, nine women and trans people in Hamburg were killed in this manner. We must constantly endure sexist, homophobic and transphobic commentary. We are oppressed and exploited by patriarchal structures. Our work is under-appreciated and unequally valued: we still earn on average 22% less than cis-men2. In the home we provide countless hours of unpaid parenting, household work and care-giving. In old age we often suffer poverty because we cannot get by on our retirements. It is expected that we provide emotional support for those around us and put the needs of others before our own. But as different as we are, we are all workers! Whether with a pen or with a wrench, with a computer or with a broom, whether we’re paid or not: it is expected of us that we do this work readily and without complaint. What unites us is the power to put down our paid or unpaid work!
Who are we?
We are very different people from different contexts. Our diversity makes us strong. We demand the right to a free life in a society that guarantees equal rights for all. On March 8th, we will take to the streets to make these demands visible. We will make public what has been hidden in private. We will unite experiences that otherwise remain isolated. We will demand a society in which all people have what they need and in which they can be who they are without fear. We do not want an equal part in a system based on competition, discrimination and exploitation of people and the environment. We are fighting for fundamental societal change and anti-capitalist feminism.
What do we want?
The strike is an opportunity to bring together disparate fights and in solidarity become politically active together. We are fighting for a world in which each works according to his/ her ability and is rewarded according his/her needs. We are making hidden and unpaid work visible. We are politicizing relationship and familial dynamics, because private life ispolitical. We demand to decide for ourselves whether, when and how we work because every second of our day is our own time.
We demand social recognition and material improvement for those in care-giving trades like elderly care, child care and cleaning work. We are against the criminalization of sex workers. We stand for a society in which everyone can lead a good and secure life!
We fight in solidarity with the trans, inter and non-binary people of the entire world, since we alone decide our gender. We will not be told how we should look, behave or dress and will not be attacked or abused for it. We do not need protection from cis-men; we demand an end to all violence. An attack on one of us is an attack on us all!
We decide for ourselves whether, when and with whom we have sex. We decide whom we love. We are fighting for the right to choose about our own bodies. We will decide, whether and when to get pregnant or whether to abort that pregnancy.
We will no longer allow ourselves to be racially discriminated or sexualized as “exotic beauties.” Whether you can pronounce our names or not, we will not conform. Our feminism remains antiracist!
We demand an open society in which everyone can live and work where they want, in which refugee and disabled women, lesbians, non-binaries, trans and inter people are assured residency and a secure and decent home.
We are fighting for a society without nations and borders. We throw down the gauntlet to antifeminism, racism, anti-Semitism, anti-Gypsyism and anti-Muslim racism.
What does strike mean?
It is debatable whether a right to political strike exists in Germany. Therefore we have to get creative! There are many ways to be involved. Let us hold together and be seen together.
Striking as a form of political action, not just resigning ourselves to appeals to politicians and employers, is an effective means to reach our ends. However, many forms of strike are possible: from refusal to make coffee or clean up to the rejection of wage labor.
Let us activate and organize! Call together student committees, workers committees, committees of the disabled as well as youth and trainees. Let us speak to colleagues, friends, our mothers, grandmothers, aunts and sisters.
Let us all strike together on the 8th of March! Let us take politics into our own hands, demonstrate on the streets and occupy public places. Let us, like our predecessors and fellows, fight with all necessary means for a good life for everyone. For recognition of our work, for enforcement of our demands, and for civil arena belonging to us all!
Until every day is March 8th! Join us!
1 “Feminicide” or also “femicide” denotes the killing of women, lesbians, non-binaries, trans and inter people with or without disabilities on account of their gender.
2 Cis men are the men who were classified as men at birth and identify
with this classification. Trans-men are also men, although they do not have the
same privileges because they experience oppression.