Women resisting austerity and exploitation: global struggles and stories

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Date(s) - 28 Nov 2012
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

War on Want

A talk by Women leaders from Honduras, South Africa and the UK


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 these 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.

CAWN 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 and search for alternatives.


Reyna Quintanilla, campaigner at the 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 risks, 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 Reina helps them to raise their voice against these abuses and lobbies for a reform of Honduras’ outdated legislation, which would improve working conditions.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.

Aisha Mirza, A journalist from London, she is an active supporter of EQUALS coalition, member UK Feminista, and also UK Uncut.

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