(With thanks to Mike Stanton in Santiago)
International Women’s Day saw huge mobilisations in countries round the world. One of the largest and most important was in Chile in South America.
After a year of meetings and coordination, the M8 group brought out hundreds of thousands of women onto the streets of the capital, Santiago, and over 40 other towns and cities in Chile. It was described by commentators as the biggest street mobilization since the fall of the vicious Pinochet dictatorship in 1990.
“It’s great to feel free” was a typical response to reporters’ questions on the telly. All soŕts of organizations have come together to organize the day: neighbourhood housing groups, union leaders, local collectives, cultural associations and many others.Their demands included:
- No more murder of women; an end to .violence against women
- Equal pay and equal rights at work
- Housing for all
- A woman’s right to choose
- An end to discrimination against indigenous people
What these huge demonstrations highlight is the central role now being played by women in people power movements from South America to Sudan.