International Women’s Strike comes to Edinburgh
Edinburgh joined worldwide protests for gender equality
The International Women’s Strike was held on 8 March in Edinburgh, with attendees calling out for support on a number of issues.
Key topics included victims of gender violence, gender-based harassment, equal pay and its representation of women in positions of power, as well as protection for migrants and refugees.
Paula Castella, a member of the Hysterical Women international art collective and jewellery design student at City of Glasgow College, said the group took part in the protests to make the struggle for women’s rights more visible.
“Some people celebrate International Women’s Day, but we want to show that not everything is achieved yet,” Castella said.
She highlighted “machist violence”, a term which refers specifically to violence inflicted by men, as one of the biggest problems women continue to face.
“This can be domestic violence, pressures to be pretty, women feeling unsafe when walking alone at night… these are forms of violence,” she said.
The speakers were followed by a music and dance from a samba band action network called Rhythms of Resistance.
Photo and Video Credit: Jenny Tsilivakou
Donations were collected for nonprofit The Homeless Period, while participants wrote messages of hope and empowerment with chalk on the ground.
Ann Krakowska, one of the organisers of the strike, said: “In Scotland, the main issues of gender inequality I can relate to are the gender gap. Women still earn less than men, and they have significantly less chances to get to positions of power.”
Greg Rybak, Edinburgh city council support worker and member of left-wing Polish political party Razem, expressed his thoughts on the ongoing issue.
“Equality is the biggest issue of all in general. Women are seen as servants of men, and men believe women should be paid less, and women are less represented in politics,” he said. “They are less often managers, or even supervisors, and it’s harder for them to become engineers. It is because of society’s prejudices.”
Held in 55 countries, the International Women’s Strike grew into a worldwide movement following a series of protests in Poland in October 2016.
There, women staged a one-day walkout on 3 October against plans to criminalise abortions and miscarriage.