#WomensDay One week from #8m and the National Strike
Hi dears! How are you? A week away from Women’s Day and National Strike, here’s a small reflection from these days. I hope you like it!
By Andrea Ochoa
It seems that a long time has passed since Sunday, March 8, Women’s Day, in which thousands of women in Mexico City and in other cities around the world marched on the streets to demand respect for their rights and to protest against violence towards our gender.
The stock market crash and the coronavirus crisis have somewhat overshadowed everything that happened that weekend, however, I would like to share some thoughts about it.
As never before, this March 8 was highly anticipated, not to celebrate, but quite the opposite. The latest cases of violence and femicides in our country, such as Ingrid and Fátima’s cases, shook public opinion, denoting the satiety of many women who have suffered some type of violence and machismo in their lives.
On the day of the march, the biggest impression was the number of women gathered at the Monument to the Revolution. Definitely, nothing like this had ever been seen. Although the official numbers say they were 80,000, I don’t think so. We were more.
Women and young ladies took the streets, but also girls and even older women. That was such a big gesture, since many of these old ladies carried posters that clearly stated their message: I march for those who in my time were not able to do it, I march for my daughters and granddaughters because I want them free and safe.
Another notable moment was the union of all voices infront of the Palacio de Bellas Artes. In a stand, some women shared their personal experiences, for which all were silent. Once they were finished, the cry “I do believe you” echoed up to the Zocalo.
There were some radical feminist groups that graffiti buildings, smashed glass and destroyed what they had infront of them, it is true. It may seem unjustifiable, but it is also a country where 10 women a day are victims of femicide and the justice system does nothing about it. What would we do if some of the women in our lives could be violated in this way? I don’t even want to imagine it. Empathy, that is.
Following the journey towards the end, some women abandoned the march due to fatigue and fear of the reaction of the female police officers towards the radical groups. However, women who were working in restaurants and businesses shouted and supported from the balconies all those who were marching.
Arriving at the Zocalo, all women took a break after a mix of emotions throughout the march. But the biggest impression was seeing the names painted on the floor of all those women victims of feminicides in recent months in Mexico, an action by various feminist groups.
The next day, it was the National Women’s Strike. Despite the criticism, many women did not show up for their respective jobs and stopped their daily activities, not because of laziness, as many say, but to simulate what would happen if they did not return home, what would happen one day if women did not exist in this country.
The result? An economic impact of 30 million pesos. But more than that, an awareness of the role of women in Mexican society. It is not a fight between genders, but it is about valuing our role as women in society, the economy and culture.
And well, what do we gain from all this? It is difficult, even delusional, to think that two days would change the reality of this country. Gender equality is a struggle that continues and will take years.
However, I believe that, as women, we achieve something: unite our voice against any type of violence against our gender. Thousands of women wnet out to the streets for the first time to raise their voices, and I’m sure they won’t shut up again.
We need more empathy, we need more help between women, because that is the first step. Greater sorority not to allow any woman to suffer violence for the simple fact of being it.
Because if I’m the next, I want to be last one.
– Andrea Ochoa