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5.3 mn women take part in Spain's first feminist strike

IANS  |  Madrid 

Over 5 million women across observed a mass strike on Thursday to protest pay inequality and highlight continued discrimination and violence as the country marked with huge demonstrations planned for most towns and cities, according to major trade unions.

The and the Workers' Commissions reported that 5.3 million women observed general or partial walkouts in what was the first ever nationwide feminist strike for paid and unpaid work in a country where women earn on average 22.9 per cent less than men and where 924 women have been killed in domestic violence since 2003, news agency reported.

"If we stop, the world stops," read the manifesto for the strike as published by the 8th of March Commission, a feminist organisation.

"Women all over the world are called to the feminist strike," it continued.

Thousands of people were expected to join a march through Spain's capital later on Thursday, while over 200 other demonstrations were planned for towns and cities across the nation.

Major trade unions and international organisations such as the have backed the feminist strike and called for limited strike action across several industries, including transport.

"Achieving equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world," said UN Secretary-General, António Guterres in a statement.

State rail company told that around 300 would be cancelled over the course of the day.

were also running with limited trains running and many were operating with skeleton staffing.

The action brought about the inevitable political debate.

The mayors of and Barcelona, and Ada Colau, have both put themselves firmly in support of the strike action and is to be illuminated in purple light to show solidarity with the marches on Thursday evening.

Left-wing party was also to observe the strike, while the would observe the partial strike action.

The governing right-wing and the smaller centre-right recognised the necessity for equality but opposed the strike as a means to achieve it.

"Happy The government is working for real equality: we have to count on the collaboration to afford women the same societal conditions as men," tweeted.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 08 2018. 19:24 IST