8M: Mass mobilization exhibits the strength of feminism in the streets | Society

Feminist demonstration this Friday in Madrid VIDEO: ATLAS | PHOTO: JAIME VILLANUEVA

The feminist protest in Spain does not stop. The gigantic push that a hundred years ago exhibited hundreds of thousands of women, who had declared themselves tired of the slowness with which society walks towards equality, has not only been repeated in hundreds of cities and towns throughout the country. It has even been overcome. From Cadiz to Bilbao, from Cáceres to Palma de Mallorca, from Santa Cruz de Tenerife and to Vigo, the massive demonstrations on March 8, Women's Day, were again the most visible symbol of mobilization. Hhave come to gather, according to the delegations of the Government, between 350,000 and 375,000 people in Madrid (last year, the same source calculated 170,000) and 220,000 in Valencia. In the case of Barcelona, ​​the Urban Guard has estimated 200,000 participants. This newspaper figures about 230,000 protesters in the capital at the time of reading the manifesto. The full calculation can be seen in this chart.

The mobilization has included, for the second year in a row, a day of strike aimed at women (work, care and consumption) and a student strike and two-hour work stoppages in the centers promoted by the majority unions. And, despite the support that is so difficult to measure and, in any case, unequal in this labor part, the strength of the mobilization it seems to have no equivalence anywhere else in the world, which turns Spain into a kind of advancement in the visibility of the feminist struggle.

In these last 12 months, despite the change of Executive that took the Government to 11 ministers of a total of 17 - world record-, there have been hardly any real changes in fundamental issues such as sexist violence and wage inequality and access to positions of responsibility, clear triggers of the explosion a year ago and about which he had been arguing for months. But this time, the return of debates that seemed overcome, such as abortion, after the Vox breakthrough in the political landscape they have finished paying for the environment so that the massive support to the convocation of the different groups of the 8M Commission was repeated under the motto, this time, of We have 1,000 reasons.

The manifestation of Barcelona. ATLAS

"We defend a way of living together and we want to do it all, united, strengthening our alliances with other social movements. So we face those who make their policy from lies and contempt to women, from fear, hatred, victimization and resentment, "says the committee's manifesto read throughout the day in the various rallies and demonstrations. The text also spoke of the need to continue fighting - "with the collective force we have been opening spaces and getting some changes, but not all or for all" - declared the Spanish mobilization in solidarity with the struggle of women around the world and He listed a series of goals, some as concrete as that of abortion being a woman's right.

Only between Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona, ​​the demonstrations organized in the afternoon came to gather more than 770,000 women and men, according to the calculations of the Government delegations in Madrid and Valencia and the Barcelona Urban Guard. In Valencia, the concentration has undoubtedly been one of the most multitudinous that is remembered in the city. In Andalusia, protests had been authorized in the eight capitals - only in Seville 50,000 people participated, according to the Local Police - and in 139 towns. The Federation of Rural Women's Associations also recalled that there were hundreds of small and medium-sized municipalities throughout the country.

The push of the young

But it was the students who began to pull the mobilization in the morning, when thousands of young people took to the streets of Barcelona between the University and Sant Jaume squares, and of Madrid, around the Puerta del Sol. the capital, Leire, 19-year-old student teacher, explained: "Nobody has to tell me if I go beautiful when I go alone on the street, it makes me feel insecure." Very close, Laura Martin, 20 years old, declared herself sick of going scared on the street. "I have felt harassed many times by men; they have touched my ass in the club, "he complained. "I want to walk alone, without light and without a lamppost", and "we want to be free, not brave", have shouted in Bilbao between 30,000 and 50,000 people during one of the earliest protests. Those slogans have traveled throughout the day the rest of the country.

In 2018, 158,590 women were victims of sexist violence in Spain, there were a total of 166,961 complaints, of which seven out of 10 ended in conviction, as reported by the Observatory against Domestic and Gender Violence. Today, an octogenarian killed his wife with a shot in Madrid.

The manifestation of Bilbao. ATLAS

In the capital, apart from the students, there have been meetings throughout the morning in which the manifesto was read. Towards the one of Cibeles they walked from the station of Atocha Magda and Amanda, administrative of the public company Ineco, touched with purple scarves: "We do it to continue vindicating our rights and by which they come behind. For us they have fought others and now we have to do it ourselves, "argues Amanda. Similar images were repeated throughout Spain. In Seville, Isabel Garruta and Claudia González, workers of a juvenile justice unit, explained that they are part of a team of 28 people, of which 23 are women and only five men, but two of them are the bosses. "In positions of power we are all down and those who ascend are those who resign, there are still buried sanctions and reprisals."

Labor inequality, in all its forms, is also among the 1,000 reasons for complaint that brought women back to the streets this Friday. And in feminized sectors, such as nursing, it is even more striking. But the problems to solve do not stop there: "As nurses, the idea of ​​a sexy nurse is still maintained, always complacent and always willing to please. Of course, we have to put up with many sexist comments, "Pilar Juárez told a gathering in Granada, which is recognized by Ciudadanos.

Precisely, next to the descent of the mobilization by Vox and the PP-against whose leaders shouts were heard in various concentrations, the alternative discourse of Citizens, with its idea of ​​"liberal feminism", has also marked the day on a stage political in which the proximity of the general elections (next April 28) and European regional and municipal (on May 26) conditions almost everything. The candidate of Citizens to the Madrid City Council, Begoña Villacís, and the leader of the party in Catalonia, Inés Arrimadas, have been rebuked in the afternoon demonstration in Madrid.

Images of the march of Valencia. ATLAS

On behalf of the socialist government, Vice President Carmen Calvo and ministers Nadia Calviño, Magdalena Valerio, Reyes Maroto, Dolores Delgado, and did it together with Begoña Gómez, wife of President Pedro Sánchez. Podemos also had a large representation headed by the party's spokesperson in Congress, Irene Montero.


Surfaces occupied at the time of reading the manifest

With information from Alfonso L. Congostrina, Grego Casanova, and Oriol Güell (Barcelona), Pedro Gorospe (Bilbao), Jesús A. Cañas (Cádiz), Javier Arroyo (Pomegranate), Manuel Planelles (Madrid), Nacho Sánchez (Malaga), Javier Martín-Arroyo (Seville) and Ferran Bono (Valencia).

The education sector and the health sector are at the head of the stoppages of 8-M

The unions compared the day yesterday with the historic one a year ago. Not only for the mobilization on the street, but also for the follow-up of the two-hour strikes that were called by the two majority centrals, CCOO and UGT, and the 24-hour strike for women that the feminist movement had called, unions minorities such as CGT and CNT and, according to sectors, also the majority. "The 8-M of 2019 will not detract from that of 2018. One can already predict a success of the 8M labor dimension," said Unai Sordo, leader of CCOO, at the concentration that his organization had convened at noon. On the other hand, Pepe Álvarez, of UGT, demanded the participation of men in the day, because "we are not going to be fully free, but we are equal".

This is one of the arguments given by these organizations to call for two-hour work stoppages. To this call, and to the strikes of a whole day that had been convened in more feminized sectors such as education, attended between 5.3 million and six million people, according to the estimates of CCOO and UGT, respectively, figures similar to those of the year. previous. Explains the secretary of Organization of CC OO, Fernando Lezcano, that this year they have noticed more activity (assemblies, manifests) than the previous year.

These data contrasted with those offered by the Administrations. For example, in Catalonia the Department of Labor estimated the follow-up at 8.23%, reports Alfonso L. Congostrina. In Madrid, the discrepancies between the centrals and the regional government were also abysmal. While CCOO argued that the follow-up of the strike exceeded 80% in Spain in the University, 61% in Secondary and FP and 42% in Infant and Primary, the Ministry of Education reduced the follow-up of the strike of 24 hours to the 14% in all teaching. Something similar happened in the Basque Country; in this sector, the follow-up was 11.5%, according to the Government of Euskadi. In any case, the different calls -partial strikes or 24-hour female strikes- do not facilitate calculations.


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