Mexico: March 9, no women in the streets

After the massive marches on March 8, Mexican women continued to leave a message with the #ElNueveNingunaSeMueve (the nine nobody moves) campaign.

Illustration raised hands making sign of clenched fists.

The National Women's Unemployment Initiative was developed in Mexico on March 9. / Photo: LatinAmerican Post

LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suárez

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Leer en español: México: 9 de marzo, ninguna mujer en las calles

Women around the world mobilized on the streets of the cities with the slogan Ni Una menos (not one woman more), raising the voices of all women who have been violated. The Mexican women decided to do something else and not let the women's day end on March 8, so they led a National Women's Unemployment campaign that took place on Monday, March 9.

The initiative began after the stories of two femicides were known in February, one of which was the death of a 7-year-old girl. In social media, the nonconformity arose that ended in a National Unemployment with the numeral #ElNueveNingunaSeMueve, where it was proposed that on Monday nine no woman would go out to the street, use transportation or anything commercial and not even attend her job. The strike, A Day Without Us, was a proposal by a group of women from Veracruz called 'Las Brujas del Mar'.


Una publicación compartida por Brujas del Mar (@brujasdelmarver) el

Mexico is one of the countries where there is not only a high degree of machismo and violence against women but where there is great impunity in those cases. According to the observatory in Mexico City, femicides in the capital are increasing compared to the 2018 data. As of that year, the death of women for the simple fact of being women rose to 58.9 percent in 10 of the 16 mayors of the capital.

These data, replicated in cities and countries around the world are the reason for going out last Sunday. Thus, the main squares were filled with purple shirts and songs for women. But the Women's Unemployment initiative sought much more. This also included issues such as salary inequality, abuses in the workplace, lack of opportunities and all other aspects that have made the world an insecure place for women throughout history.

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With the absence of women in the streets, shops, and jobs, it seeks to raise awareness about the role of women in society. A Day Without Us is a response to apathy in the face of violence against women, but it is an act that aims to ensure that those who are not affected by this discrimination, realize what happens in their lives when women stop producing and consuming. The slogan is "Neither a woman in the streets, nor a woman at work, nor a girl in schools, nor a young woman in universities, nor a woman shopping."

Social organizations, universities, public and private companies, and government entities joined the women's strike. Ministers of Mexico and even the Head of Government of Mexico City decided to support the strike and allow women in their offices to decide whether or not they wanted to go to work on Monday and companies were asked to raise awareness and support those who decided do not attend work.

According to El Economista, one day without women's participation in economic life would amount to 37 billion Mexican pesos (more than 1700 million dollars). This calculation includes domestic work and unpaid care work. Women “represent just over half of the total population, 40% of the workforce, 77% of the unpaid domestic workforce and 54% of the total workload,” according to the same medium, citing Inegi figures ( National Institute of Statistic and Geography).

AMLO gets criticisms

However, this was not enough for all sectors to become aware and one of the most criticized was the Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The same women members of his cabinet criticized him for the lack of commitment to both the march of the 8 and the strike of the 9 because in previous days, López Obrador in his morning press conferences was charged with lashing out at the policies in favor of the women instead of supporting initiatives.

The president was criticized for his lack of commitment to the initiatives and stood out as an act of indifference that on the same day of the strike, on Monday 9, he will sell tickets for the presidential plane raffle. This, in addition to the fact that dozens of feminist groups have taken advantage of the wave of disagreement to ask them to commit themselves to curb femicides, which have increased since he became president.

Also read: Sebastián Piñera: does he hold women responsible for abuse?

AMLO was also criticized for having taken a position of rejection towards the marches by politicizing them and saying that they were promoted by right-wing movements that were against him when the marches and unemployment were summoned by women and feminist social movements.

At the press conference on Monday, the president spoke about the unemployment of women and said that the federal government had supported that women decide whether or not they wanted to attend their work "according to their criteria and their responsibility", and that there would be no reprisals for any. He also took the opportunity to refer to the women who were working. However, when asked how the absence of women in the sectors was being handled, he replied that he did not yet have the report.

He ended up saying that the government continued to function even if the women decided not to go because it worked thanks to the people and it was the people who kept it going. Although he said he did not know what the impact will be on the economy, he said: "I think it will not be of great impact" and that he did not share the point of some experts regarding the impact of unemployment.