Mexican women have decided to strike on March 9th, 2020 in response to the rising number of femicides recently in Mexico. In 2019 CNN says there were 1,006 reported cases a stark rise from 912 the year before. And in the last 5 years, they have gone up 137% in the last five years. For this reason, millions of women have taken to the streets or stayed home protesting against the government and a society they see as falling short in protecting women.
The fight in the streets is mirrored online with the spread of videos showing the looting and rioting of the women along with memes and viral images supporting the women, or mocking and shaming them. The women of Mexico have received support from 3 congresswomen: Lorena Villavicencio, Mariana Rodríguez Mier y Terán and Martha Tagle have made a case for the March 9th strike in a powerful open letter published in American Quarterly.
Here is their letter:
The three of us – three women representing three different political parties as federal deputies in Mexico’s Congress – support the historic national women’s strike being convened by women’s groups and feminist organizations on March 9 in honor of International Women’s Day.
Here’s why we support the strike, and what we hope “A Day Without Women” – and the continued efforts of women’s social movements in Mexico – will achieve.
Every year on March 8, the world commemorates the early fights of working women in Chicago and New York, who demanded shorter working days, equal pay for equal work and the right to organize. Over the last 100 years, the demand for equality between men and women has continued and evolved. In Mexico, this year’s commemoration will conclude with a national strike to demand an end to the femicidal violence that every day takes the lives of 10 Mexican women, and to continue to insist that our rights and our lives be protected in every respect.
There are countless reasons why a strike is appropriate. Women are responsible for about half of the compensated economic activity in the country, and relied upon disproportionately for unpaid work in the home, which is roughly equivalent to 15% of Mexico’s GDP. In exchange, our rights are impaired or ignored. Women have become the protagonists of thousands upon thousands of stories of violence and impunity at the hands of men who, in public and in private, feel they have a right to decide over our lives and our bodies.
Read the full letter from American Quarterly