Today, March 8th, is the International Day of the Woman. Today we celebrate all that women have achieved in the more than 100 years of the feminist movement as well as the future challenges they will overcome. Women still have many goals to reach and many social attitudes to eradicate, and we will fight alongside them in their struggle.
One day, infinite struggles
The Day of the Woman is a day in which we reclaim the fundamental role that women perform in every aspect of our society: social, labor, business, politics … However, that we have to continue celebrating this day demonstrates that misogyny still exists and that we must fight against it.
We have had a bad start to the year where misogynistic violence is concerned. More than 20 women have been assassinated at the hands of their partners or ex partners. This alarming situation calls those of us who defend and believe in human rights to act to end the terrible ulcer that is misogyny, an ulcer that weighs us down and punishes us every day.
Not all violence is physical violence. Women also suffer structural violence in our society, which limits personal and social development: the wage gap exceeds two months of work, women suffer discrimination in the hiring process, domestic work is not recognized, the glass ceiling prevents women from gaining positions of great responsibility, conciliation is a utopia, sexual and reproductive freedom are more compromised every day, there is a lack of protocol to address sexual harassment and violence… There are an infinite number of limitations that impede women’s very existence.
Women Who Face Double Discrimination
Misogyny may only be part of the discrimination that a woman suffers. Lesbians, Transgender women, bisexual women, immigrant women and disabled women are examples of women who experience, at the very least, double discrimination. Double discrimination affects diverse groups of women, making them even more vulnerable. We have to take these multiple forms of discrimination into account, understand why they exist, and prevent and eliminate them so that the achievements of the feminist movement can be enjoyed equally by all women. To this end Colega Madrid has been working for fifteen years with collectives that experience double or even triple discrimination to undermine the misogynistic prejudices that impede women’s empowerment and thereby guarantee spaces of liberty, free expression, dignity, and safety. It is not possible to divide human rights; we have to understand them as global and whole.
From our organization we join the women’s strikes summoned globally at noon today as a show of protest against sexist violence and as a symbol of all the achievements that remain to be won. The women volunteers and workers of our headquarters in Madrid and Getafe will join the strikes and demonstrations to demand dignity, freedom and justice. Because the woman who fights also works, builds, contributes and educates.
Thus, 2017 is another year in which we affirm women, their struggle and their fundamental role in the construction of a free, plural, and diverse society where everyone is guaranteed the right to live without fear.