Greve Feminista Internacional
Greve Feminista Internacional is marching in 12 Portuguese towns and cities today. Image: José Coelho/ Lusa

Feminists and unions march in 12 Portuguese towns for ‘women’s rights’

Movement ‘Greve Feminista Internacional’ seeks to give visibility to domestic violence, oppression and inequalities

With political leaders all marking International Women’s Day with pledges about equality and inclusion, feminist associations and trade unions will be marching in 12 different towns and cities in Portugal today ‘for women’s rights’.

In the march taking place in Lisbon, for example, all victims of feminicide (deaths through domestic violence) will be honoured.

There is a certain irony that today women are honoured, yet only two days ago seven single mothers were made homeless by Loures town council in an operation involving two brigades of riot police – but this has not been referred to in today’s reports.

Instead, space has been given to the ‘positive words’ of politicians; of President of the Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and to the activists who make up ‘Greve Feminista Internacional’, a movement that has been present in Portugal since 2019

Cheila Collaço Rodrigues, a member of the Lisbon branch of the feminist movement, told Lusa today: “In addition to celebrating our lives, we also want to give visibility to the violence, the oppressions, the inequalities that women are targeted in an unequal society, whether cis [cisgender] women or trans [transgender] women.” 

Today’s marches will be taking place in Aveiro, Barcelos, Braga, Bragança, Coimbra, Évora, Faro, Guimarães, Leiria, Lisbon, Porto and Vila Real.

On Saturday there will also be a march in Chaves.

Cheila Rodrigues explains the movement is “a very specific wave of feminism” outlining the work that women perform in society “without which society collapses.” 

Planning to “shout” today for the rights that have been lacking for women in recent years, she promised to make “many criticisms to the Government for not presenting solutions.

“This is the time to unite. We feminists, leftist women and all allies,” she told Lusa, stressing that women must “stand up to the national and international conjuncture, which is currently quite difficult.”

This March 8 movement has the support various trade unions, including S.T.O.P, the most radical teachers’ union which has scheduled another strike for today.

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