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6th Global Women's Strike

6th Global Women's Strike - 8 March 2005

End Poverty And War - Invest In Caring Not Killing!

A Living Wage For All Our Work &
Pay Equity In The Global Market
Dear sisters and brothers, January 28, 2005
6th Global Women's Strike - 8 March 2005

End Poverty And War - Invest In Caring Not Killing!

A Living Wage For All Our Work &
Pay Equity In The Global Market



Every International Women's Day since 2000, women in over 60 countries have taken all kinds of grassroots actions to demand together that society Invest in Caring Not Killing, and that the money squandered on war is spent instead on what our communities need. The Strike has grown stronger in these five years, especially in countries of the global South, and women, and increasingly men, now take action throughout the year. We have seen how working across national boundaries with others struggles for justice empowers us all.

Opposing war and ending poverty are inseparable. The recent horrendous tsunami killed almost 300,000 people, but every day many thousands die from starvation, disease, global warming and war - all man-made disasters caused by the rule of money and the market. Governments and their beloved multinationals talk a lot of hot air about ending poverty but they never even mention giving us the money we need. The twin terrors of poverty and war are profitable, so it's against their interest to end either. Only we ourselves, beginning with women the carers who struggle every day to sustain life, working the hardest for least, can make this life-saving change. The Strike is our way of mobilising for this.

We are not asking for charity but demanding what we have earned: A Living Wage for All our Work. And waged workers are entitled to the same pay, women and men, in whatever country: Pay Equity in the Global Market. This is the Strike's program to end poverty as well as sexism and racism.

The Strike always aims to bring women (and men) together across many divisions. It begins with those of us who are invisible as workers: mothers and other caregivers, grassroots activists; subsistence, migrant and family farmers; those struggling on disability benefits, welfare, social security; child labourers; immigrants with or without papers; bonded labourers; domestic and homecare workers; sex workers; prisoners and ex-prisoners; refuseniks; students; rape survivors & others working for justice; community volunteers and more; whatever our sex, race, nationality, religion, age, sexual choice . . . Demanding global pay equity and wages for all the work we do, strengthens all workers, waged and unwaged, by making visible our contribution and our power to unite.

Men's support and participation internationally is co-ordinated by Payday, a multiracial network of men. They have not only supported women's Strike actions, but have also organised with women and men refusing the military and its lethal and repressive work, from the US and the UK to Israel and Eritrea. The 'poverty draft' - those driven to join the US army by economic necessity, mainly people of colour and immigrants - enables the US to make 'endless war'. Thus those refusing the military are a vital part of the movement to end not only war but poverty. Payday will be launching its film Refusing to Kill about women and men refusing to be torturers, rapists and murderers for the military. (E-mail: payday (at) paydaynet.org Website: www.refusingtokill.net)

The Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela and the resistance to the US-French coup in Haiti are important points of reference for the Strike. Both are largely woman-led, though that is not often admitted. The Strike will be launching its third film on Venezuela* - the extraordinary experience they are making shows that what the grassroots wants and is demanding everywhere is achievable.

Many of us are shocked that Bush and his genocidal henchmen are in charge of the largest military machine in the world for four more years. But as Joe Hill, a great working class fighter, said when he was framed for murder by the US police and got the death sentence, 'Don't mourn. Organise!'

Power to the sisters and brothers to stop the world and change it!





Selma James
Global Women's Strike (International Co-ordination)

*The first two films (Venezuela - A 21st Century Revolution and The Bolivarian Revolution: Enter the Oil Workers!) are available both in Spanish and in English with subtitles, on VHS and DVD. Please contact the Strike for more information.




Strike addresses in the US (including Women of Color in the GWS):



LA Crossroads Women's Center, PO Box 86681, Los Angeles CA 90086
Tel & Fax: 323-292-7405; Email: la (at) crossroadswomen.net

* * * *

Philly Crossroads Women's Center, PO Box 11795, Philadelphia PA 19101
Tel: 215-848-1120; Fax: 215-848-1130; Email: philly (at) crossroadswomen.net

* * * *

SF Crossroads Women’s Center, PO Box 14512, San Francisco, CA 94114

Tel/Fax: 415-626-4114; Email: sf (at) crossroadswomen.net



Strike Demands:



Payment for all caring work - in wages, pensions, land & other resources. What is more valuable than raising children & caring for others? Invest in life & welfare, not military budgets or prisons
Pay equity for all, women & men, in the global market.
Food security for breastfeeding mothers, paid maternity leave and maternity breaks. Stop penalizing us for being women.
Don't pay 'Third World debt'. We owe nothing, they owe us.
Accessible clean water, healthcare, housing, transport, literacy.
Non-polluting energy & technology which shortens the hours we work. We all need cookers, fridges, washing machines, computers, & time off!
Protection & asylum from all violence & persecution, including by family members & people in positions of authority.
Freedom of movement. Capital travels freely, why not people?
 
 


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