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  • "Enough! to all this violence that we, women, are suffering," | Photo: teleSUR

Published 8 March 2019

"We are not alien to the context. The feminist movement is an anti-capitalist movement and it is an anti-neoliberal movement," feminist leaders tell teleSUR.

Ecuadorean women, feminist movements, unions and several social and political movements are adhering to the International feminist Strike, and have called for a day of mobilizations, mainly in Quito (capital) and Guayaquil, but also in other cities of the Andean country.

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The Feminist Articulation Marcosur stated that women around the world, and specifically around Latin America, are striking "because our work is worth it, because we keep fighting for our rights. We unite against fascism and exploitation."

It is very important "that wherever there are women that can go out and join us in this feminist strike, please do it. No matter the place in which we are, we have to make visible our work ... Enough! to all this violence that we, women, are suffering," stated Lenny Quiroz Unionist leader and activist in an exclusive interview with teleSUR.

"We call for a strike in order to stop this violence against us, violence in all its forms: sexual, economic, patrimonial and all the violence that still weigh on us under the pretext that our lives are less important than everyone else's," said Samanta Andrade spokeswoman for the Viva Nos Queremos (VNQ) (We Want Us Alive) Platform in the same teleSUR interview.

Several feminist leaders around the continent are arguing that March 8 (8M) is not a day to celebrate, but a day to join the feminist struggle for equal rights. "No, it is not the women's day, it is the day of the feminist struggle," this motto has circulated on social media in Ecuador.

For social movements, It is a day of fighting and making visible the general lack of "recognition of the historical struggle of women ... especially to reclaim the right to strike," stated Andrade on the interview.

The VNQ platform "is calling for a strike on 8M, as a day of reclamation ... to recognize women's work that has been historically made invisible," said Samanta Andrade. Because it has been "enough, we want our rights, as workers to be respected and recognized," added Lenny Quiroz.

According to both activists, there are over 30 organizations that have signed a manifesto for the 8M, which was built collectively and gathers the demands for 2019, against the Ecuadorean government led by President Lenin Moreno, that has been considered "very neoliberal," because according to Andrade, "the state and the government is patriarchal," and in this context neoliberal.

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The call for general women strike for Friday, is a call for struggle, because "we are not alien to the context. The feminist movement is an anti-capitalist movement and it is an anti-neoliberal movement that has recognized that the national government is playing a really terrible role."

These neoliberal policies are implemented by the Ecuadorean government, which mainly brings back from early 2000 the austerity policies implemented generally throughout Latin America, by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The government is in the process of acquiring a large loan from the organization that has already prompted the Lenin's government to fire up to 10,000 public employees as a show of "good faith" for the IMF.

In "this neoliberal context, this context of privatizations, this context of which (the government) wants to sell Ecuador again to the IMF, this context of massive layoffs, (...) is women who are going to will be fired, they want to make us women again, the popular women, the women who work, the ones who pay for this crisis," stated Andrade.

This is why the feminist movement is striking because what "it seeks is to live sustainably and equality."

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