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Education community to join International Women's Day strike
STUDENTS, teachers and education unions have planned a general strike for International Women's Day on March 8 'to expel sexism from the classroom'.
According to the Labourers' Commissions (CCOO), joining in what has become almost a universal strike day in Spain every year: “It's getting more and more urgent to place equality, co-education and elimination of violence at the centre of the schools debate to try to encourage a change in education policies, putting our country on the threshold of progress and development in line with modern society.”
Along with the General Workers' Union (UGT), the CCOO is considering a strike involving two-hour shifts, but has not ruled out a 24-hour shutdown to raise awareness 'in those sectors where workers determine'.
“What we're trying to do is to stage realistic and feasible action so workers can reach a compromise,” says the CCOO's head of women and equality, Elena Blasco.
The two-hour-shift strike has not pleased the organisers of the annual Women's Day marches, the 8-M Commission – anything less than 24 hours on the trot would be 'shameful and insufficient', it says.
Spain's National Union of Students is calling for all high schools and universities in Spain to 'empty the classrooms' and turn Women's Day into 'an historical moment'.
“Education is the most powerful voice to bring about a social paradigm and to eradicate violence,” the CCOO continues.
“A national education strike would allow us to expel sexism from schools and set respect for women, life and safety in stone.”
The unions have drawn up a list of requests for areas to be included in the core school curriculum, including women in history and textbooks with female as well as male authors on the set book list, plus 'equality agents' in schools whose hours in their role count as part of their regular jobs and pay.
Curriculum content focusing on preventing sexism and which counts towards grades or is assessed via coursework or tests, extra funding for education centres which 'innovate' in gender equality, and additional cash in the 2019 State budget to close the gender pay gap in education – which the CCOO cites at 8% - are among other issues the unions are calling for in the context of International Women's Day.
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