A feminist group in Mexico called “brujas del mar” has been propagating the idea of a general women’s strikeo for months in Mexican social media. As violence towards women rises, specifically gender-motivated homicide, feminist groups in Mexico have amassed an incredible number of supporters.
While men do bare the grunt of homicide, around 90%, women who face homicide are significantly more likely to face it due to their gender (the hate crime is called ‘feminicidio’ in Mexican law). Domestic violence, on the other hand, is one of the most common crimes reported in Mexico; higher than robbery, or assault in most cities.
The government has been slow to react to the crisis, and the president has, time and again, made a fool of himself when speaking about gender issues.
A very long list of blunders have made Lopez Obrador particularly unlikeable among women. His approval rating has descended to 57% (53% among women); the lowest since he came into office fifteen months ago on a high of 80%.
Yesterday’s march for international women’s day had massive attendance, yet in official figures the government claims only 64,000 protestors actually went.
The general strike will occur today. Those participating will not go to work, do any household activities, or purchase anything. Some have even decided to spend the entire day silent, this is to underline what would happen if they were murdered. Their absence, if you will.
Women in Mexico have increased their participation in the economy, and represent 36% of the “registered” workforce. In the case of Mexico it’s important to clarify that a mayority of jobs are not registered (i.e. not registered in the Social Security apparatus), and it is possible that women would make up a larger percentage if those are taken into account.
The effects of their absence will be evident, specially for some sectors like banking. Although its unclear how many of them will participate. The private sector has prepared.
Many corporations have announced that women who participate will not face any economic consequences. Some have missed the mark, like Anahuac university, that got ridiculed for giving the entire student body the day off, instead of offering it only to women.
In the end, we can only wait and see what happens. Hopefully this signals a turning point in the history of a very sexist and misogynist nation.