Women resisting austerity and exploitation: public meeting, London, Wednesday 28 November
Women resisting austerity and exploitation: global struggles and stories
Public meeting, Wednesday 28 November, 6.30-8.30pm
Venue: War on Want offices, 44-48 Shepherdess Walk, London N1 7JP
With a deepening global recession, Europe is heading further into crisis. Austerity plans are destroying rights and pushing millions into unemployment, while eroding basic welfare standards and destroying public services. People in the Global South have been resisting the consequences of neoliberal policies since 1980s: public sector job cuts, casualisation of labour and cuts to essential services and welfare benefits, all of which hit women the hardest.
The Central America Women’s Network and War on Want have invited the leaders of two feminist organisations from Honduras and South Africa that defend and promote the rights of women and women workers. Their experiences are part of the same global struggle against injustice.
Reyna Quintanilla, campaigner at 'Honduran Women’s Collective' (CODEMUH): Ex-sweatshop worker and currently CODEMUH's organiser, Reyna campaigns for the improvement of women workers rights in Honduran garment factories where more than 75% of workers are women.
Violence at the workplace, health and safety issues, and very precarious work conditions are some of the challenges workers face in the maquilas. Reina helps them to raise their voice against these abuses and lobbies for a reform of Honduras' outdated legislation, which would improve working conditions.
Patricia Dyata, Secretary General at Sikhula Sonke: A former farm worker, Patricia now acts as the Secretary General of the only women-led trade union for farm workers in South Africa and campaigns to improve labour and housing conditions, including a living wage, decent healthcare and pension, and maternity leave. Sikhula Sonke also supports unionised workers who face harassment from their employer and police.
Roxanne Harley is a founder of anti-cuts direct action group UK Uncut, and has been campaigning against all public service cuts since October 2010. She is currently working at Eaves for Women and has a particular interest in women's rights.
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