With the slogan “If we stop, the world stops“, the women stood up against gender inequality and took the streets on massive rallies across Spain. It was a nationwide strike, which not also could be seen on the streets, but also with disorders in buses and metro timetables and thousands of jobs which did not work as usual because of the absence of many women.
According to CCOO and UGT, the two largest unions, 6 million women took part in the strike held on International Women’s Day. In Barcelona, the Catalan capital, around 200.000 people participated in the march, according to the local police.
Some reasons for an unprecedented nationwide strike
Spain is ranked 27th in a list of 188 countries in the United Nations’ latest Gender Inequality Index. However, Spanish women’s access to the labor market remains well below the European average, according an information on The New York Times, and when they get it, they are more likely to be offered more precarious contracts with worse conditions. This is a well-known claim, jointly with the fact that they, rather than men, are also often expected to leave their jobs to care for their children or aging parents.
The feminist strike also wanted to evidence the sexual harassment suffered by one out of every three Spanish women. That is about 32%, a rate that rises up to 47% among women between 18-34 age. The numbers also show that one out of every four women has been groped, or attempts at groping were made, at least once, according to the survey conducted by Metroscopia and published by El Pais.
Thus, the feminist strike had the goal to fight against women discrimination, gender violence and structural inequalities at home and in the workplace.
We do not need flowers. We need respect
It is obvious that after these protests, something must change. The question is when and how. Which steps must be taken in order to fulfilled a real equality between women and men.
Here are some shots that were taken during the Barcelona’s protest on 8th March. Some slogans shouted by protesters were ¡No es no y lo otro es violación! ¡A quién le importa lo que yo haga, a quién le importa lo que yo diga…! ¡La talla 38 me aprieta el chocho! ¡Els carrers seran feministes!