Spain sees 1st feminist strike

Rallies mark Intl. Women's Day around world

Striking Spanish women hold hundreds of rallies against gender inequality

About five million feminist women went on strike Thursday and marched in Spain in support of an worldwide call for strike led by women to mark global Women's Day and demand a just and egalitarian society.

A 24-hour strike by millions of Spanish women. Larger marches were also planned for this evening.

Organised around the slogan "If we stop, the world stops", the manifesto of the strike's organisers, the March 8 Commission, declared: "It is not our aim to organize a "classic" workers strike but to go beyond this format: our plan is to paralyse all the different invisible tasks and activities that women usually do, in all different levels and places".

"We never thought they would take reprisals", said Valverde.

"This is important not only because of us, we are aware of the social relevance of our work". Activists marched to call for an end to gender disparities in salaries, gender violence and the nation's "macho" culture.

The two main trade unions supported half-day stoppages and estimated that almost 6 million people took part.

Clad in pink and purple shirts, the activists in Manila lambasted Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, calling him among the worst violators of women's rights in Asia.

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"We're giving visibility to work that no one wants to recognise, whether it's at home or badly paid or done in the invisible economy", said the organisers.

"I feel that there is a really worldwide offensive against women's rights".

Popular support for Spain's first women's strike was evident in mass marches held across the main cities. These extraordinary women - and so many others - did not have obituaries in The New York Times. Former Irish President Mary McAleese, an advocate for women's ordination and gay rights, accused the church's all-male leadership of refusing to change women's second-class status.

In politics, women members of the Coalicio Compromis party in the Valencia regional assembly were on strike, while in Madrid, women Podemos councilors also respected the strike action. "Man enough to say no to domestic abuse", said another. She said she was demonstrating "so when I am older, everyone is the same".

'Now, more than ever, we have experienced the ingrained prejudice against our womanhood, the Centre for Women's Resources said in a statement on International Women's Day.

The survey, conducted among more than 4,500 senior executives across 35 countries showed that 46.58 percent of Filipino women in business hold senior management roles.

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