Re-establishing a tradition of struggle
When being a woman is more and more associated with insecure working conditions and finding our rights under attack, the mood in Italy on 8th March, during International Women’s Day in Italy, felt like one of struggle rather than a festival.
Lotta (CWI Italy) stall, International Womens Day, 8 March, Bologna
More than 1,000 young and not so young women (and men) marched through the streets of Bologna, in just one of the cities in which demonstrations took place. The march re-established the link between International Women’s Day, with the tradition of struggle, while confronting the oppression women face.
We live in a country where the average wage of a woman is half that of a man; where work is more and more ‘precarious’ for everyone but above all for women; where public services are constantly being cut and where past victories are under permanent attack; a country where women are not only not safe on the streets but also in their own homes.
The main demands of the Bologna demonstration were for women’s self-determination, in support of the abortion law 19, and against interference from the Catholic Church on social issues. Demonstrators chanted slogans, such as, “La 194 non si tocca, la difenderemmo con la lotta!” (“Hands off law 194, we will defend it through struggle!”) and “I preti fuori dai consultori: ai donne i consultori ai preti gli oratori” (“Priests out of the clinics: Women in the clinics; Priests in the oratories!).
‘Lotta’, the Italian CWI, participated in the demonstration, handing out a special leaflet on abortion and the right to choose, which was well received. We sold 30 copies of our newspaper.