8th March Protest: if our work is worth nothing, we protest!

We are protesting because the 8th of March is the International Day of the struggle of all women for Social, Economic and Political Rights. It is a day of protests, it is a day of strikes and of persistent struggle against both capitalism and patriarchy. The 8th of March is the day, on which women take to the streets and squares and say: enough is enough!

As we celebrate 8th March this year, our thoughts are linked to the struggle and suffering of women in colonised lands, we are filled with hatred for their exploiters and we are inspired by the successes of their struggle. This is a day when we forge sisterly bonds with all the women of the world; this is a day of solidarity with Palestinian women. We believe in the common struggle of all the exploited and oppressed as a precondition for the liberation of us all. We believe that the feminist struggle is a priority political and economic issue. Either we are all free, or none of us are. 

We are workers. We are cleaners, teachers, nurses, students, taxi drivers, secretaries, seamstresses, farmers. We clean, we sell, we cook, we educate. We are mothers, grandmothers, daughters. We are the ones who invisibly, silently, obediently and diligently do most of the housework and care work.

We protest because women’s work is invisible, unappreciated and unpaid in society. We protest because our work is worth nothing to society. We are overworked and underpaid!

We clean and run our homes, while raising our children and caring for our brothers, partners, parents and grandparents throughout our lives. They say it’s love – we say it’s unpaid work. They take our care for our loved ones for granted – We demand that it be recognised as work, without which society cannot exist. We are paid less than the minimum wage for our work in retail, education, cleaning services and long-term care – because our work is seemingly marginal and irrelevant to making a profit – We believe that all work should be paid a decent wage and we demand an equal distribution of the profits from our work!

Our work is not unpaid because it is worth less. Our work is not invisible because it is not important. Women’s work is less valued in the capitalist patriarchy simply because we are women. We have had enough of double exploitation! We demand that women’s reproductive work be recognised as work. We demand to be paid a decent wage for it. Above all, we demand that reproductive work be subalternised – that the mechanisms of the welfare state be put in place to transfer our work from the shoulders of the individual woman into the hands of the community. 

Liberating women from their so-called natural responsibilities is not something that can be tackled by each family individually. The whole social order has to take care of this, with public kindergartens, canteens, community spaces, nursing homes, maternity leave for both parents and other social measures.

Enough of all forms of exploitation and oppression, we say! Enough of precarious work and poverty! Enough of discrimination, violence, war!

That is why on this International Women’s Day, the 8th of March 2024, we will gather together at Congress Square in Ljubljana at 16.00 and take over our streets!

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