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Girls & Women

Spanish Women Are Planning a Nationwide Strike for International Women's Day

From the 2017 Barcelona Women's March
Courtesy of Ilias Bartolini, Flickr

By Ana Ionova

LONDON, March 2 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Women in Spain are poised to stage their first nationwide strike on International Women's Day on March 8 as they demand an end to unfair wages, domestic violence and the country's prevailing "macho" culture.

The walkout aims to highlight discrimination, harassment and violence against Spanish women, which the organisers see as a product of macho attitudes.

The 8M Commission, the umbrella collective organising the strike, has demanded authorities take a tougher stance on domestic violence in Spain, where 99 women were killed by their partners last year.

The organisers have also urged women to halt the "invisible" tasks that they often perform, such as taking children to school or cooking meals, and that they said go mostly unrecognised.

"We believe that the world does not work without us, without our domestic and care work, without our purchases and without our labour," 8M Commission said in its manifesto.

The group called for measures to reduce precarious work conditions and improve wages for Spanish women. They earn about 15 percent less per hour relative to their male counterparts, a survey by the European Commission showed.

Read More: The History of International Women's Day

Women staged strikes in dozens of cities across Spain last year, but this will be the first nationwide walkout.

The strike is expected to draw teachers, journalists, healthworkers and politicians, including Madrid's Mayor Manuela Carmena and her Barcelona counterpart Ada Colau.

Similar strikes are planned in other countries - including Britain, Poland and Ireland - as the movement for women's rights continues to gain momentum around the world.

One in three women worldwide has experienced physical or sexual violence, mostly by someone they know, according to the United Nations organisation UN Women.

Take Action: When It Comes to Gender Equality, #WeSeeEqual

(Reporting by Ana Ionova, Editing by Robert Carmichael. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, climate change, resilience, women's rights, trafficking and property rights. Visit