April 10, 2021

8M: Lessons to export from March 8 | Society

8M: Lessons to export from March 8 | Society

Isabel Cadenas's hair stands on end when she remembers it. He asked Gudrun Jonsdotir, participant of the first feminist strike of Iceland in 1975, What advice would you give to Spanish women? "Many people ask me how we did it and they always say that in their countries they could not. And I answer: how do you know if it is impossible if you never tried it? " And that, more or less, is what Isabel Cadenas now advises: "If you ask me, I would say that there is nothing to lose, that they work as if it were possible even if they think it is impossible".

Cadenas is one of the members of the 8-M Commission of Madrid, one of the groups that drove the Spanish feminist strike of 2018 – a strike that appealed only to women not to go to work, parked care, leave classes and not consume. The images of the multitudinous demonstrations reached the international media. The Spanish women were inspired by the international strike of women called the year before in Argentina and Poland. And they are the inspiration for others this year.

Different members of the commission have traveled throughout these 12 months through Portugal, Serbia, France, Germany, Greece, Turkey or Belgium to meet activists from other countries and tell the Spanish experience. "What they ask us most are questions of internal organization," says Cadenas.

In February, a group of activists from Brazil, Morocco, Argentina or Italy met in Madrid to "think about how to build feminist internationalism," explains Cadenas: "The surprise was that we realized that this international spirit was already a global cry" .

Brazilian piscologist and activist Lucien Lacerda explained those days in Madrid that she had come to exchange experiences with Spain. "We want to debate what to do with machismo, against sexism, speak for all women." Both in Brazil and in Italy, where Tatiana Montella traveled from the feminist collective Degender Communia, they govern far-right parties that threaten women's rights.

The Italians call a strike in 2017, but "not with the repercussion of Argentina or Spain," she said, surprised by the large presence of immigrant women in the protests and the Spanish mobilization.

Women from other parts of Europe such as Belgium or Switzerland are planning to strike feminist in 2019. The Swiss will make their own date, replicating a protest against sexual, labor and family discrimination that convened on June 14, 1991. In Berlin, the Spanish repercussion has also been noticed.

The woman's day will now be a holiday in the German capital, as approved by the regional parliament in February. Meanwhile, some feminist organizations study going on strike, inspired by the Spanish experience. "We all have our sights set on Spain," explains Kerstin Wolter, one of the leaders of the strike in Germany.


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