March 8 is women's day off
Stabroek News
February 28, 2004

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Women's rights group Red Thread is calling on women in Guyana to support the Global Women's Strike (GSW) on March 8.

March 8 is International Women's Day and each year on this day since 1999 the GSW has coordinated a global strike. According to a press release from Red Thread, since 2000 women in over 60 countries have gone on strike on March 8, "demanding that the US$900 billion now spent on military budgets be used instead for basic survival needs - clean accessible water, food security, healthcare, housing, education, safety from rape and other violence, protection of our planet - and therefore for women who are the first carers and the first fighters for the survival of loved ones."

In the last two years the strike has focused on violence and Red Thread, local coordinator of the strike notes the rising tide of all types of violence in Guyana. Red Thread says that despite its focus on violence, it actively campaigns for all the GWS global demands because they are based on the reality shared by women everywhere. According to UN calculations, women do two-thirds of the world's work and the vast majority of the caring work, yet women's work is devalued and they get only five percent of the world's assets in return.

GSW has supported the grass roots women in Venezuela who had lobbied successfully for "housework to be recognised as an economic activity that creates added value and produces social welfare and wealth, entitling housewives to social security".

This has been enshrined in Article 88 of the Venezuela Constitution and a call has been issued for an Article 88 in every country in the world.

On March 8, in addition to the strike, Red Thread will host a number of activities including an all-day women's health clinic, talks on good nutrition and women's issues, a video show on the Venezuela experience and the launching of a campaign. These activities will take place at the Red Thread office, Princes and Adelaide streets.