Let's Work towards a Greater Participation of Women in our Movement!

On the occasion of International Woman's Day, we would like to address the issue of problems which disproportionately affect women in the workplace, dealing with them in a more effective manner and increasing the participation of women in our movement.

Talking to comrades from inside the anarchosyndicalist movement and from outside, we can see that we still have a long way to go to take an organized approach to fighting sexism in our workplaces. At the recent international anarchafeminist conference, during the workshop which dealt with workplace organizing, we found that women had many similar complaints and experiences in the workplace, but few of them had been involved in organizing around those issues where they worked. Only a few of them were involved in unions, either mainstream or alternative.

The reasons for this may be very complex and can also involve many personal specifics. But it is worth discussion. In some of our organizations we have a gender inbalance or women are somehow marginalized because of patterns of behaviour that may be more inclined towards male socialization. However we all know that our movement should not function like this and that the struggle for equality is not only an economic one, but a struggle for equality in all aspects.

On this occasion, we call on our comrades to explore these issues, to take steps towards making improvements where necessary and to highlight the role of women where they have been active and successful.

We also call on comrades to remember about some problems which disproportionately affect women in the workplace and to see if there is any way to address them more in our work. These questions no doubt will vary in different places and different realities, but we find it especially important to address in the situations where these issues do not have wide support.

Some of these issues include pay discrimination, being expected to do more or different work than male counterparts, not being taken seriously, sexual harrassment and problems related to maternity. Besides these issues, many women may suffer from particular incidents of sexism which are just offensive to our human dignity.

On this March 8, we salute the comrades who have been fighting against these problems and the women who have been active in our struggle! Let's try to see that next year there will be even more!

IWA General Secretary


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