This statement is being circulated in a  number of countries by Payday’s international network

 



MEN SUPPORT THE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S STRIKE, 8 March 2019

 

Payday is an international multiracial network of straight and queer, cis and trans men, working with the Global Women’s Strike (GWS). The strategy of GWS is to undermine the hierarchy among us beginning with the economic power relations between women and men which are central to capitalist power. We support and extend the day-to-day struggles of the GWS, working with claimants, low waged workers, sex workers, prisoners, refuseniks, whistle-blowers… We welcome and will be actively supporting the Strike’s activities as part of the IWS on 8th of March.

 

Women’s campaigning has led to more men waking up to and acknowledging that their survival and the survival of their loved ones is dependent on women’s caring work. The UN has established that women do 2/3 of the world’s work for 5% of the income. Raising children, caring for families and communities, campaigning for justice and protecting health and the planet are mainly done by women.

 

International Women’s Day is an occasion to show our solidarity with women of all nationalities and all sectors, beginning with carers as well as asylum seekers, trans women and sex workers.  We call on men to join us in campaigning with women for their demands:

 

Against men’s sexual and other violence against women and children - domestic, sexual and military violence and rape.

 

·       According to the UN, 70% of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime [1].

·       In the UK, two women a week are murdered by partners or ex-partners.

·       Rapists often escape unpunished. In the UK only 6.7% of reported rape end in conviction [2], in the military it is 2.6% [3].

·       Violent men use the “complicity” of family courts to get back at ex-partners by demanding contact with or custody of children.

 

It is the responsibility of men to name and shame men who are rapists and domestic abusers so they are shunned by other men. It must be clear that their victims have the whole community’s support.  We must also denounce the institutional support that violent men often count on.  One way of doing that is to support the growing movement against rape and domestic violence.  Decades of struggle by women rape survivors has opened the way for men to speak out about their own rape, especially as children. We denounce organisations of fathers who, reactionary on most issues, are defending fathers’ rights over the rights of children and mothers to safety and protection, denying the extent of domestic violence and spreading the lie that fathers are the main victims of discrimination in the family courts [4].  At the same time, we work with men who stand with their partners and sisters, and other men who are primary caregivers fighting for the return of children unjustly taken by the state.

 

Against racist policies promoted by governments everywhere.

 

We support the millions of asylum seekers, refugees - overwhelmingly women and children of colour - and immigrants fleeing wars, poverty and ecological devastation.  We oppose Israeli apartheid and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and promote Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). We are committed to struggle against foreign occupation and state repression against any population, such as in Haiti. We work with hunger strikers against deportation and detention particularly at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma Washington in the US and Yarl’s Wood in the UK. Their struggle has inspired wide support among non-immigrants despite nationalistic propaganda. We support freedom fighters in prison: e.g. Kevan Thakrar in the UK, Mumia Abu Jamal and the Dallas 6 in the US where men of colour have long been under particular attack through mass incarceration [5]. We cross borders by organising international actions.

 

Against destruction of the environment.

 

We support farmers, fishers, herders and other rural and urban communities confronting agribusiness, fracking, pipelines, mining, land-theft, etc., including Indigenous peoples struggling to protect their sovereignty, lands and waters. Women are often the front line and always the backbone of these struggles.

 

Against war and proxy wars.

 

The main victims are civilian women and children, predominantly people of colour. We campaign with soldiers who refuse military service or wars including in Greece, Israel, Turkey, UK and US, working with the mothers, sisters, daughters, partners who are always there to defend their loved ones. We actively support whistle-blowers who expose government and corporate crimes, the most prominent being transgender former US soldier Chelsea Manning.

 

Against austerity, poverty and exploitation.

 

These are being forced upon the vast majority of the world, beginning with women and children.  We stand with workers in sweatshops and on zero-hour contracts demanding a living wage and decent conditions. We oppose workfare and benefits cuts and sanctions.

 

For pay equity.

 

We believe workers’ experience of fighting for it can be used to do a true valuation of women’s work both inside and outside the home. Because women work for less or no wages, we are all under threat of working for less and increasingly for nothing.

With the Global Women’s Strike we demand a living wage for the work of caring.

 

Caring for children, partners, parents, communities, and the lands, waters, air and climate we depend on is vital for everyone’s survival but is unpaid or underpaid.  Many of us who are fathers, teachers, nurses, farmers and caregivers for our elders know the importance of this work from our own experience. If caring was paid, more men would choose to do it! Men need to take on much more of this work. One way to do this is to demand paid time off from waged work and a shorter work week in every country so we have time to create the caring society we all need and want.

 

We benefit from every gain women make. Every improvement in the economic situation of the lowest paid workers and every rise in benefits puts us all in a better position to refuse low wages and slave conditions. Employers couldn’t impose low pay if none of us was desperate to make ends meet.  

 

We are building a network of men working with women who are organizing to undermine the power relations among us by uniting across divisions of gender, race and ethnicity, age, disability, nationality, sexuality, occupation.

 


1. Facts and figures: Ending violence against women, UN Women. www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/facts-and-figures

2. Women’s Aid website 2014, quoted in Evidence to Home Affairs Committee on Domestic Violence from Black Women’s Rape Action Project and Women Against Rape, 5 July 2018

3. Channel 4 News investigation, 17 October 2010.

4. In London we join the Support Not Separation monthly pickets of the family court.  In the US we join mothers’ protests of child welfare agencies.

5. While Black people are 12% of the US population, they are 33% of the prisoners.


Payday men’s network

www.refusingtokill.net +44 20 7267 8698

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