Women of Asia Pacific Strike on International Women’s Day 2017
*8 men own more wealth than poorest 3.8 billion, 10 corporations own more wealth than 180 countries*
*Democratic systems are failing to deliver on women’s human rights and development promises*
*Global solidarity and strike is needed to counter the crisis*
08 March, 2017
Chiang Mai, Thailand
On International Women’s Day, Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development (APWLD) is amplifying calls for global women’s strikes. More than 500 women in Thailand, Philippines and India participated in a global solidarity strike for their rights today.
APWLD’s Regional Coordinator Kate Lappin said, “This action is part of ongoing efforts to increase the power of global solidarity strikes as we believe solidarity is the only possible antidote to the growing authoritarianism, deepening inequalities, runaway climate change and sexist leadership the world is experiencing.”
While the election of Donald Trump has brought attention to the resurgence of patriarchal authoritarianism, the Asia Pacific region has experienced authoritarian and patriarchal forms of governance that have resulted in attacks on women human rights defenders and a rise in conservatism for years. Democratic systems are failing in our region, and globally, to deliver on human rights and development promises to women. At the same time, the climate crisis is dangerously aggravating, without any sign that governments are ready to take the bold decisions that would stop it.
“The peasant women joined today’s strike to call on the Duterte administration to turn down neoliberal policies detrimental to the country and fulfill its promises to the Filipino people to provide land to the tillers, food on the table and respect for human rights.” added Edna Velarde of Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women , Philippines.
APWLD member, Elizabeth Khumallambam of Nari Shakti Manch, India said, “Women working in unorganized sector continue to face discrimination – unequal wages, sexual harassment at workplaces, absence of social security and maternity benefits. In voicing these suppressions, our strength lies in solidarities across spectrums. Today, we are demanding the State to ensure our autonomy, safety, freedoms and our fundamental and democratic rights. We are diverse but our diversity is our power for new beginnings with new thoughts.”
APWLD believes that advocating for policy changes with governments is not longer enough as governments increasingly respond to the demands of corporations rather than the needs of the people. Today, only 8 men own more wealth than the world’s poorest 3.8 billion people and just 10 corporations have more wealth than 180 countries combined.
Kate Lappin of APWLD said,” Multinational corporations and billionaires are more economically and politically powerful than governments. We just can’t accept that. The consequences for women and for the planet are just too horrifying and unjust. Global solidarity and strikes have worked before – they helped end apartheid, wars and many civil and political rights women have now were gained through striking. In fact the origins of International Women’s Day come from strikes and now we need those tactics on a global scale”. ”
APWLD hopes that this day will ignite more strikes. In the coming weeks, we will hold a side event at the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York on global strikes and will provide more information on the power and history of strikes that have improved women’s human rights.
Additional Background Information
Access APWLD’s statement on why we need a Global Solidarity Strike
Use our photo gallery of ‘History of Strikes’
APWLD is the leading network of feminist organisations and individual advocates in Asia Pacific. Our 219 members represent groups of diverse women from 26 countries in Asia Pacific. Over the past 30 years, APWLD has actively worked towards advancing women’s human rights and Development Justice. We are an independent, non-governmental, non-profit organisation and hold consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
For more information, please contact
Landline:+66 53 284 527
Mobile:+66 955 282 396
Languages: English, Hindi
Landline: +63 2 922 3982
Languages: Filipino, English
Nari Shakti Manch, India
Mobile: +91-959 981 1996
Languages: English, Hindi, Assamese and Manipuri
To download the press release click here