Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

International Women’s Day in the Land of Femicides

Left Voice interviews Mexican socialist, Joss Espinoza. She is a student at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and an activist in the socialist women’s organization “Pan y Rosas” (Bread and Roses).

Joss Espinosa

March 7, 2017
Facebook Twitter Share

What is planned for March 8?

March 8 of this year promises to be historic. The call for an international women’s strike has been taken up in more than 40 countries. In Mexico City, women’s organizations are holding a demonstration at 5pm.

We are calling on the trade union federations that consider themselves oppositional to mobilize their members. This is necessary so that not just women, but all workers strike.

As Pan y Rosas (an international socialist women’s group), we have been organizing activities such as discussions, performances, poster making, and mural painting in schools, universities, and workplaces where we have militants. We don’t just want to protest – we want to build a widespread women’s movement that fights for our collective liberation.

A central theme is sexist violence.

Mexico is the land of femicides – seven women are murdered every day. There is also a high grisly number of women who disappear as human traffickers’ networks collaborate with the state.

Violence against women occurs in several ways. We women work double or triple shifts every day. After finishing our wage labor, we have a second, unpaid working day in the household. 70 percent of the most precarious contracts in the country are held by women. And we earn 25 percent less than men.

Since education is not isolated from the realities of the country, sexist violence is also present at the university. Sexual harassment has increased in recent years, and the university authorities protect the aggressors. This is one reason why we need an independent organization of women.

What are other themes for international women’s day?

We are mobilizing against the misogynist and homophobic U.S. President Trump who is attacking our class brothers and sister directly. On March 8, we want to fight against Trump and his wall fram both sides of the border.

But there are also measures of the Mexican government of Peña Nieto that affect us as workers and youth, especially the increase in gas prices (“gasolinazo”), which has led to price increases for transport and basic goods. We must also oppose attempts to privatize education. International Women’s Day is taking place within the context of all the recent struggles against the government.

A big debate within Mexican feminism is the question of whether women should struggle together with men. What is the position of “Pan y Rosas”?

In our opinion, a movement that aims for our liberation cannot be a separatist one. We want to make clear that the division between men and women is functional for the university authorities, for the bosses, and for the bourgeoisie because it keeps us isolated from and in competition with each other. Any liberation movement has to overcome these divisions imposed on us from above.

At the same time, we need to convince our male colleagues that heteropatriachal oppression disadvantages them as well, even though not to the same degree. This is about more than just the stereotypes that men have to live with – the low wages that we earn also lower the wages of male workers. We need unity among all workers to fundamentally change reality.

But if you advocate a common struggle with men, why do you have a special women’s organization?

“Pan y Rosas” emerged as a women’s organization to approach the question of women’s oppression with a class struggle perspective. We women are oppressed with double and triple chains which makes it more difficult for us to become political subjects. That is why special organizational spaces for women are necessary — so that we can speak about all problems that affect us as women. But this project is not divided from our goal which is the construction of a revolutionary workers’ party. We have spaces for women, but struggle together with men.

Interviewed by Wladek Flakin

Facebook Twitter Share

Joss Espinosa

Joss is a student from Mexico City and a member of the Socialist Workers Movement (MTS).

Gender & Sexuality

“We are your economy”: Trans Youth Walkout and Speak Out

The following is a speech by a young trans person as part of an action called for by NYC Youth for Trans Rights.

Tatiana Cozzarelli

March 20, 2023
Mexican president AMLO on the left with the female members of his cabinet. International Women's Day protesters on the right.

President AMLO’s Government Is Not Feminist

On March 8, Mexican president AMLO spoke cynically of his commitment to feminism. But the fight against gendered violence, militarization, and labor precarity will be fought by the masses, not the so-called “progressive” government in Mexico.

Barbara Funes

March 13, 2023
A sign drawn on a small whiteboard, in trans pride colors. Text: "CUNY Graduate Center and Professional Schools Workers for Trans Rights" Beneath the text is a chain of 9 smiling stick figures in different colors, all holding hands

CUNY Union Chapter Unanimously Passes Resolution in Support of Trans Rights

The Graduate Center chapter of PSC-CUNY, the faculty, staff, and graduate worker union of the City University of New York, passed a resolution pledging support to all workers fighting the anti-trans bills nationwide.

Olivia Wood

March 12, 2023

“We Won’t Go Down Without a Fight”: Trans Youth Walkout and Speak Out

The following is a speech by a student activist from NYC Youth for Trans Rights.

Raven Benjamin

March 11, 2023


“Lesser Evil” Biden Wants More Border Patrol Than MAGA Republicans

Over the weekend, Biden bragged about his support for even more resources than “MAGA Republicans.” to “secure the border” on Twitter. This is “lesser evilism” in action.

Molly Rosenzweig

March 28, 2023
Customers clear shelves of water Sunday at Fresh Grocer in West Philadelphia.

A Chemical Plant Just Poisoned Philadelphia’s Water: A First-Hand Account of the Crisis

A company dumped thousands of gallons of poisonous chemicals into Philadelphia’s drinking water. This is an on-the-ground account by a Philadelphia worker and socialist.

Jason Koslowski

March 27, 2023
A group of protesters, in the front of whom are a line of protesters wearing red vests. In the front right corner, a white sign reds "vive la retraite," with a skeleton wearing a red hat in the middle of the sign on a black background with a text bubble on its left that reads, "oiv a bosse, c'est pas pour en crever!"

“French March”: The Right to Revolutionary Optimism

Evoking memories of '68, the students enter the fight against Macron. In our chaotic world, the future can only be built in the streets.

Eduardo Castilla

March 26, 2023

Joe Biden Is Deporting Russians Who Escaped Putin’s Draft — Let Them All In!

The United States is deporting Russians who sought asylum following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This is a heinous attack against war resisters and shows that the proxy war in Ukraine is about capitalist rivalry first and foremost.

Sam Carliner

March 26, 2023