For many, International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate and recognise a long struggle for equality and dignity by a majority of our planet’s inhabitants. But International Women’s Day should also be a day to recognise that many continue to be oppressed, that we still have a long way to go to bring about gender equality, and that right now the right is waging an overt war on women.
In Spain, the new extremist political party VOX, supported by the establishment’s own Popular Party and Ciudadanos, has just launched a campaign to annul legislation to advance women’s rights. Their latest hideous stunt is to drive a “Stop Feminazis” bus across the country starting from March 8 – a bus that features the face of Adolf Hitler with make-up and a feminist symbol on his cap. They want to convince voters that the laws to protect women from violence, to achieve gender equality and to defend the LGBT collective should be repealed.
While the establishment and its accomplices want to divide us up by the colour of our skin, our country of origin, our gender, our religion and our sexual orientation – we are going to do exactly the opposite. We are going to bring people together – all Europeans.
Here’s a video message from Virginia López Calvo, member of DiEM25’s Coordinating Collective, in support of the Women Strike.
Democracy is fragile – from corporations buying the loyalty of our political representatives and mass media, to raising xenophobe parties disenfranchising women and migrants in their ascent to power. But on May 26 we have the substantial goal of electing a European Parliament who will pass progressive legislation for all Europeans: A Green New Deal for Europe, and equality for all people.
Because when all the important decisions that govern our daily lives and define our future are made by a homogeneous group of people who don’t understand the struggles of discriminated communities, people get left behind by accident and by design.
Here’s a message from Eirini Mitsou, member of DiEM25’s Coordinating Collective, in support of the Women Strike.
Our European Spring political programme, the first-ever attempt to take a progressive agenda to ballot boxes across the Union by a transnational list, tables a series of initiatives aimed to stand up for a more equal Europe, with dignity for all:
- Equal Pay Standard: We are calling for a pan-European Equal Pay Standard to end gender-based discrimination in the workplace.
- Gender Parity in the EU: We propose the introduction of a European gender parity clause that will ensure an equal and fair representation of all genders at all levels of all EU institutions.
- Convention on Reproductive Rights: We are calling for a pan-European Convention on Reproductive Rights, which sanctions member-states that fail to guarantee safety, security, and reproductive autonomy.
- Ending Gender-Based Violence: We will fight to protect and extend the Istanbul Convention, calling on all member-states to ratify protections against gender exploitation. Also, all EU- sponsored facilities for asylum-seekers must provide gender-specific facilities that guarantee protection from harassment and sexual assault. Exploitation and oppression based on gender should be respected as a basis for refugee status.
- Enforcing LGBTTQIA+ Rights: We will fight for all EU member-states to recognise all marriages between partners and guarantee marriage privileges to those partners. In addition, we will fight to guarantee LGBTTQIA+ people’s right to ad-opt children.
That’s why DiEM25’s Electoral Wings and European Spring partners are supporting gender-balanced MEP candidate lists and a programme that seeks to defend their rights and reclaim their dignity. Because one thing is to say we need more “diverse” representatives in office, and another is to have the will to make it happen. We need candidates who understand and relate to the experiences of their communities to represent those voices in our European institutions. We need people who won’t ever sell out because they understand exactly what’s at stake. And they understand what’s at stake because they’ve lived under the consequences of bad policy their entire lives.
We have a long way to go, but we have the right candidates, the right policies and we have you to support them.
Your monthly donations allow us to grow our movement, spread our message and support candidates who can be your voice in Brussels. Please, become a donor if you are still aren’t one, or increase your monthly donation so we can boost our chances to make everyone’s voice heard in the EU: women’s, migrants’, yours.
#BalanceForBetter #IWD2019 #WomenStrike #8M
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