Spanish women strike for International Women’s Day

For decades, Spanish women did what women all over the world do on International Women’s Day — held protests, seminars and marches.

But this year they tried something different: Taking part in an unprecedented national strike.

The result was felt across the nation, with many schools and universities closing, public transport reduced to holiday schedules and essential services cut back to a minimum.

Women without jobs were also urged to withhold labour.

A social media campaign “Take out your aprons” called for a 24-hour moratorium on housework.

Many women responded literally, hanging aprons from balcony windows.

The demands at all the protests were the same — fair promotions for women, the closure of the gender pay gap and an end to sexual harassment.

By one estimate, women are paid on average of 12 per cent less in the public sector and 19 per cent less in the private sector in Spain.

“I feel that there is a really worldwide offensive against women’s rights. You see it in [US President Donald] Trump’s speech, the role of the Church, how we are using our bodies,” Ms Mas said.

“If women in other countries see what we’re doing I think they could reproduce it.”

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