Mexican women hold historic nationwide strike
Women are participating in 'A Day Without Women' protest, when women will not attend school, work, or leave their homes
After a weekend full of feminist marches throughout Mexico, women in the country are now participating in a day-long strike in protest of violence against women.
In Mexico it is estimated that every day there are 10 femicides, or the killing of a woman based on her gender. After a series of high-profile femicides early this year, Mexican women proposed the idea of “A Day Without Women.”
On March 9, women who are participating will not attend school or work. They also won’t leave their homes or purchase anything. Many are also abstaining from social media.
It’s a day for the Mexican society to reflect on what the country would be like without women – people’s mothers, daughters, friends, and coworkers. Feminists hope that the day will prompt change in the government.
“I am joining the strike because I think that we are facing a society that has really normalized machismo [or male chauvinism] to the point that we no longer notice it,” Nydia Mariana Garcia, who lives and protests in Queretaro, said. “I think that it’s necessary that we take note, and unfortunately the demonstrations have been ignored for years.”
On International Women’s Day on Sunday, women protested throughout all of Mexico – from Mexico City to Oaxaca City to Cancun.
There was historical turnout throughout the country. Although the government estimated that 80,000 people showed up to the women’s protest in Mexico City, Mexican reporters believe the number was much, much higher with some estimating up to 300,000.
An aerial view of the protest showed the capital city blanketed in purple, the color the women were wearing in protest of violence.
In smaller metropolitan cities like Queretaro, located about three hours north of Mexico City, women showed up in large numbers as well. In Queretaro, which is known for being a relatively safe and calm city, it is estimated that 10,000 women protested in the city center on Sunday evening.
Women of all ages, outfitted in purple, held protest signs with phrases like, “Justice for my daughter.” While the protests skewed more female, there were some families present.
One mother brought her two children and husband to the protest. She said it was their first protest together.
“I want my daughter to grow up without fear. That they don’t violate her, that they won’t touch her. I hope that we can all go out into the streets without fear and that there is not one more assassination,” Camela Cano, who was at the protest in Queretaro with her family, said.
Her young daughter wore a sign that read “You do not touch nor violate young girls.”
The women walked past government buildings while banging on pots and pans, chanting, and holding signs. The feminists painted on the water tank of a historical aqueduct in the city, leaving behind the words “Femicide State” and the names of women and girls who have been killed.
“I don’t want to be afraid anymore,” another phrase painted on the monument said.