International Women's Day 2020

Celebrate International Women's Day and stand up for equality this 8 March

Throughout history, strikes have been an effective tactic for harnessing the power of movements to affect change. International Women’s Day is not a marketing campaign to make women feel beautiful; it is a day when women have risen up and protested, putting their lives at risk to defend their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

In celebration of this year's International Women's Day, let us honour that history, reclaim the day and revive women’s collective power to demand our human rights. We believe everyone in the world should have the following equally:

      • Decent work and living wages

      • Safety from gender-based violence

      • Just access to resources, power, and opportunity

      • Food sovereignty 

Here's how you can lend your voice and power:

1. Post a picture of yourself or something that represents equality on social media with a caption saying why you support equality. Don't forget to use the hashtags #IWD2020 #WomensGlobalStrike #StoptheWorld #AllWomenWork

2. Participate in the Women’s Global Strike 

Pledge and take act to withdraw or slow down your labour this Sunday, 8 March 2020, whether it’s wage or domestic work, to recognise the roots of International Women’s Day in women’s solidarity strike actions throughout history. Let’s show the world that when women stop, the world stops!

Again, accompany your social media post with #IWD2020 #WomensGlobalStrike #StoptheWorld #AllWomenWork

A political statement calling for Women's Global Strike:

We, feminist organisations and allies from around the world, call for a Women’s Global Strike on 8 March 2020. We ask that feminists and their allies withdraw their work on this day (formal, informal and unpaid), recognising the roots of International Women’s Day in women’s solidarity strike actions throughout history, and showing to the world, that if women stop, the world stops.

Why are we doing this?

Because the promises made by governments to advance equality, development and peace for all women 25 years ago were not kept. While wealth has grown during this period, multiple, interconnected inequalities have obscenely deepened. Because that wealth has been in large parts created by women who do not get to share that wealth. We live within an economic order which is exploiting women and benefiting from the free or lowly paid care work that we do, from the low wages and precarious conditions of work.

Because the greed of fossil fuel corporations has destroyed the environment, and the effects of climate change are also more deeply felt by women. We are more likely to be displaced, we have to travel further to collect water, we are forced to migrate, and we suffer from health implications of increased salinity caused by rising sea levels, changing temperature and more frequent natural disasters. Women in all their diversities are taking the streets around the world and demanding an end to corporate exploitation and putting their lives on the line to protect the future of this planet. We are facing the greatest existential climate crisis as rivers run dry, lands are scorched, oceans are rising and forests keep disappearing. The very air we breathe is being stolen from us. Women are fighting harder than ever because climate justice is a feminist issue and the time to act is now.

Because worldwide, women and girls continue to perform more than three-quarters of the total amount of unpaid care work. This work is still unrecognised and  undervalued even though the economy would not function without it. Women spend more time in unpaid care work than men in every region, ranging from 1.7 times more in the Americas to 3.4 times in Africa, 4 times in Asia and 4.7 times in the Arab States. Besides, domestic work is commonly underpaid and performed under precarious working conditions.

Because the gender pay gap has remained stagnant in many countries,and for some it is actually increasing. The global pay gap between men and women will take 202 years to close.

Because women human rights defenders across the world who are working alongside communities to challenge oppressive power structures face intimidation,sexual harassment, violence and repression from anti-rights groups, state actors, international financial institutions, and multinational corporations around the world. We are witnessing a growing closure of women’s civic space that restricts our right to defend rights.

Because women continue to face multiple and intersecting forms of violence and discrimination based on age, household and relationship status, indigeneity, race or ethnicity, HIV/AIDS status, disability, migration status, socioeconomic status, employment, and real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics, among many other grounds.

We believe that our demands are common demands across the world:

We want alternative development models that center people and planet, uphold human rights, food sovereignty and climate justice. We want decent work and living wages for all women. We want unpaid care work to be fairly recognized, reduced and redistributed. We want gender-based violence to end. We want corporate abuse to stop. We demand just access to resources, power, and opportunities. We demand that our voices be heard, heeded and protected. We want systemic change, and we want it now!

In 2020, when we mark 25 years since the commitments made for women’s rights at the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women, known as the Beijing Platform for Action, it is time for us to come together, across generations, across different movements and struggles, to stand in solidarity with each other and bring the world to a standstill.

Which ever action you choose, it's all for equality. Let us know about your action by tagging @ActionAidThailand! 

ActionAid Thailand journeys south for women’s economic empowerment

ActionAid Thailand journeys south for women’s economic empowerment

ActionAid Thailand’s visit to the deep south marks a new chapter of our women’s economic empowerment project. Led by partner organisation Chumchonsattha Foundation, our programme officers and country director on 26-28 September visited three new communities in conflict-ridden areas of Narathiwat and Pattani Provinces to study the feasibility of potential empowerment initiatives. We gained insights about the present geopolitical and cultural context as well as each community’s achievements and challenges.

Meeting with the committee of Ittihad savings group and Loyfah Ban Chumbok cooperative in Takbai District, Narathiwat, ActionAid learned about factors that had posed challenges in the group’s operation, such as lack of skillful labour and expertise, budget liquidity and government intervention.

Photo: Varisa Sinthusake

We also visited Moo 1, Cho-airong District, where the local community has been trying to form a savings group and develop small enterprises, namely small-scale black pepper and lime farming or made-to-order bakery and Thai dessert service, as an additional source of income to rubber cultivation. The meeting addressed network performance, market study and local product development, and more access to land and skill training that would open up considerable growth opportunity.

We travelled to Khok Poh, a district 30 minutes southwest of Pattani’s city centre. Due to their location, the local women’s group, who increase family income by producing coconut oil, dishwash, soap bars and other self-care products, at times faces transportation and logistics problems when festivals and big events take place in the city. Nevertheless, they have been trying to develop products according to the market and discovered a bigger market opportunity since foreign visitors had approached them about international distribution. This, however, has to be preceded by registering the products and standardising the brand and quality.

Photo: Varisa Sinthusake

ActionAid Thailand sees in these communities a huge opportunity to strengthen women’s groups and networks and boost their capacity to generate additional income for their households. We will be working with Chumchonsattha Foundation to fill the gaps, supporting each group in meeting their goals in a sustainable way, be it providing more access to land and resources, marketing channels, marketing strategy or training of specific skill sets.

Follow the progress here or via the rest of our channels.