More than 300 trains will be cancelled across Spain on Thursday as workers go on a strike to defend women’s rights and highlight gender inequalities on International Women’s Day. According to data from the European Union’s Eurostat, women in Spain are paid 13%-19% less than male counterparts.
Women will abandon their jobs to participate in the strike, co-ordinated by an umbrella group called “The 8 March Commission”. The walkout is also expected to put an end to Spain’s “macho culture”.
Madrid’s underground network is expected to be disrupted too, BBC reported, citing the country’s Transport Ministry officials. About 200 of 568 intercity trains and 105 long-distance trains will be cancelled, the ministry said.
Ten unions in the country have called for the 24-hour strike, which has been at the centre of several debates over the last few weeks. The strike, under the motto “if we stop, the world stops”, will be followed by several demonstrations and rallies in Spanish towns and cities in the evening.
Several public personalities in the country have backed the protest. Actor Penelope Cruz has said that she will go on a “domestic strike” and let her partner care for their children. The mayors of Madrid and Barcelona, Manuela Carmena and Ada Colau, have also supported the walkout and strikes.
“Today we call for a society free of sexist oppression, exploitation and violence,” the commission says in its manifesto, according to The Guardian. “We call for rebellion and a struggle against the alliance of the patriarchy and capitalism that wants us to be obedient, submissive and quiet.”
It adds: “We do not accept worse working conditions, nor being paid less than men for the same work. That is why we are calling a work strike.”