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International Women’s Day: Women in Spain urged to strike, march… and dance the merengue

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International Women’s Day: Women in Spain urged to strike, march…  and dance the merengue
Women are bing encouraged to take to the streets to demand equal rights. Photo: AFP
18:32 CET+01:00
Women across Spain are being urged to down tools and strike at midday on Wednesday March 8th to mark International Women’s Day and make a stand for equal rights.

The ‘walkout’, an act supported by various women’s rights groups across Spain, is scheduled to last for just an hour in a symbolic protest against the gender pay gap, which in Spain sees women earn 19.3 percent less than men.

Most cities are holding the main event of International Women’s Day in the evening when women are being asked to join protests.

The biggest demonstrations will take place in Madrid and Barcelona at 7pm but marches are planned in a total of 46 cities across Spain. Click here to find the one nearest you.

Many of the events in Spain will focus on the gender violence that plagues Spain and has already caused the death of 17 women in the country since the start of 2017.

Last year, 44 women died at the hands of their former or current partners, according to official data from Spain’s government.

Women are calling for the government to do more to stop domestic violence, including tightening the laws and allocating more funds to its prevention.

Since the conservative government of Mariano Rajoy came to power in 2011, the budget for gender violence prevention has been cut by 19 percent.

International Women’s Day coincides with an ongoing protest taking place in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol which has seen a group of women staging a hunger strike to demand more action to stop domestic violence, including the crime to be recognized as a separate offence.

Photo: Fiona Govan / The Local Spain

The group, which calls it self “Ve-la luz” now comprises of 16 people camping out under plastic tarpaulin in the central square with a discarded play of red shoes forming a giant peace sign.

One feminist group has specifically choreographed a dance to celebrate International Women’s Day. It is a merenque with easy to follow actions and will be performed across the country during the protests.

To learn the moves watch the video here:

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