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Strike as long as it’s needed !

Feminist strike in Switzerland 14 June

Thursday 16 June 2022, by Effe Deux

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Switzerland feminists organize their women’s strike on 14 June which marks the anniversary of a big women’s strike for equal pay in 1991. [1] Since 2019 the movement has taken off again. This article explains the issues in 2022. [2]

In 2019, thousands of us across Switzerland responded to the call made by the Feminist Strike collectives by taking to the streets to defend visibility and an end to the discrimination suffered by women and dissidents of the sex-gender system.

Three years later, there is greater awareness of the legitimacy of the issues raised in particular by the Manifesto. But the 19 demands contained therein are still not heard.

A pension 37% lower than that of men

Faced with the government’s neoliberal offensive around the AVS 21 project, feminist collectives throughout Switzerland have mobilized by taking up the issue of pensions and supporting the referendum. On 25 Marc, 2022, more than 150,000 signatures, three times more than the necessary number, were deposited with the Chancery. The message is clear: we refuse to pay for the reform of a capitalist and patriarchal system that discriminates against us throughout our lives.

On average, in Switzerland, women receive a pension 37% lower than that of men and therefore suffer more precariousness and poverty. In terms of paid work, women, and in particular women with a migrant background, are in the majority in precarious and low-paid occupations. Jobs predominantly held by women are poorly paid because the skills required are considered “natural” and their arduousness is not recognized. Finally, 70% of free domestic and reproductive work is carried out by women. Essential to the functioning of the capitalist economy, domestic work is nevertheless devalued and rendered invisible.

This hardship and precariousness have an impact on women’s physical and mental health. However, here again, access to dignified care remains discriminatory for women and people who dissent from the sex-gender system. Even today, research too often fails to include female, transgender and non-white subjects in medical studies, leading to the creation of biased knowledge and contributing to poor care and prevention.

All in the street on 14 June

Access to care is even more violent and stigmatizing for queer, racialized, fat and disabled people. By offering only a hidden vision of sexual health, maintaining a significant cost of contraceptives, and stigmatizing our right to access to abortion, our health system is part of a society that seeks to control female and dissident bodies.

That is why we will continue to mobilize. Because the history of struggles has shown us that asking is not enough, we must take: let’s all take to the streets on 14 June 2022!

In solidarity with all feminists who are fighting, everywhere, to defend their right to a dignified life and to defend our demands, let us fight as much as is necessary to build a political balance of power capable of dismantling this capitalist, cis-heteropatriarchal system, which oppresses, exploits and kills us. The revolution will be feminist, of solidarity and internationalist, or it will not be.

Translated by International Viewpoint from solidaritéS.


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