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Millions Mark International Women’s Day as Pandemic Deepens Inequality, Violence Around the World

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Millions of women around the world are taking to the streets today to mark International Women’s Day — in a year where women have been disproportionately impacted by rising poverty, unemployment and violence during the pandemic. We hear voices from protests in the Philippines, Mexico and Guatemala.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Millions of women around the world are taking to the streets today to mark this International Women’s Day — in a year where women have been disproportionately impacted by rising poverty, unemployment and violence during the pandemic.

In the Philippines, hundreds of women led a rally outside the presidential palace in Manila, chanting “Stop killing us.” Protesters are demanding the resignation of President Duterte. This is an advocate with the women’s rights group Gabriela.

JOMS SALVADOR: We would like to underline the fact that we are in a deeper crisis and we are facing a virus far deadlier than COVID. And it is the rotten, anti-people, pro-foreign interest and fascist, macho-fascist presidency and leadership of President Duterte.

AMY GOODMAN: In India, thousands of women farmers led hunger strikes and sit-ins at multiple sites on the outskirts of New Delhi, where tens of thousands of farmers have camped out for over three months protesting new neoliberal agricultural laws promoted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In Australia, hundreds of workers, from nurses to teachers, gathered outside a government building in Sydney condemning violence against women and calling for greater gender equality and protections in the workplace.

In Mexico, the names of femicide victims were painted on security barriers placed in front of the presidential palace in Mexico City’s Zócalo ahead of a massive march today. Over 900 femicides were reported in Mexico last year alone.

MARCELA: [translated] We believe that it is important that they are written because the fight is for them. What we want is to ask for justice, for the people to be aware and for the president who lives here to understand that we are fighting because they are killing us.

AMY GOODMAN: In Guatemala City, hundreds of women and girls gathered outside the presidential palace to protest the rising number of femicides. After a march, advocates filled the Constitutional Plaza for a music festival, where activists danced and artists painted colorful murals commemorating the victims of femicide. This is one of the protesters.

PROTESTER: [translated] I dream that women are free from violence, that I can go out on the streets and be at peace, know that I’m going to come back home alive. We want the liberation of women from this patriarchal system.

AMY GOODMAN: International Women’s Day also marks four years since 41 girls were burnt to death inside an orphanage near Guatemala City for protesting sexual and physical violence.

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