The crisis of the corona virus is objectively amplifying what was the condition of exploitation and oppression that the majority of proletarian women already suffered in our country.
The emergency is affecting all aspects of women's lives: work/non-work, wages/non-wages, the burden of social services, the problems of sexual violence and femicides, abortion, etc.
On the problem of work, on the one hand because of the corona virus a large number of workers women lost their jobs due to the closure or suspension of some “non essential” sectors, such as social cooperatives, tourism, restaurants, shops, cleaning/services, as well as some factories. Many workers women who were already in a precarious situation are now at risk of not going back to work even at the end of emergency.
The social security measures for those who are forced to stay at home are definitely insufficient, very late and in any case they mean at least a 20% cut of wages, which often were already very low.
In a whole sector where female workers are mainly immigrants, employed as carers, domestic workers, they not only are in a very hard condition of non-work (and many of them lost the housing), but also excluded by the wage support programs.
On the other hand, the women who continue working are in a condition not only of more exploitation but even of no protection of their health and life, no prevention, risk of dying, as happened for example, in logistics. The front line is certainly made up of all the workers who work in thehealthcare system, above all in the CoViD-19 dedicated hospitals. The doctors, the nurses, the health workers, the cleaning women, are in the vortex of the crisis, with grueling work shifts, lack of adequate protection and safety devices; a situation that is clearly bringing out the devastation of the health system made by all governments which today heavily weighs on the patients as well as on workers, putting life at risk. More than 100 doctors and dozens of nurses died: Rosaria from Milan, two nurses in Bergamo and Cremona, etc. ad also Daniela in Monza who committed suicide killed by stress and despair. For all these deaths the masters, government, bourgeois state, have to pay.When health workers rise asking at least masks and gloves, they risk being fired, as happened in the hospitals in Livorno and Genoa.
Until recently, factory workers have had to work because what matters for the capital is the surplus, the profits and not the life of the workers, so it is quite possible to continue to produce even in those non-essential factories, and without the necessary safety. Only the spontaneous strikes of workers in different factories forced the government to restrict the number of the so-called essential production, but many factories are going to be reopened soon, under the pressure of owners.
For the women who are continuing to work in the food or pharmaceutical factories, the supermarkets, despite the protocols that the government has signed with the unions, the condition is still not safe, they are at the risk of getting seriously sick.
Not to mention the whole sector of agricultural workers, in which there are many migrant women. These either have lost their jobs or are even worse today than modern slaves, because corona virus is now added to a very difficult working condition and these workers are left in disarray.
The government in recent months has come out with a whole series of decrees, however nearly nothing has been done regarding to the living conditions of women; for which, instead, the main measure “stay home” is harmful and risky.
When they say "stay home", they show us advertisements with scenes of peace and relax which are absolutely not true and do not correspond to reality. Staying at home 24 hours a day for the majority of women means an even heavier burden of work for the care of family, children, husband, aged relatives, domestic work, etc., it means undergoing a psychological stress that makes you sick more than the corona virus.
It is as if it were taken for granted that for women "stay home" is usual, it corresponds the role that the bourgeois system entrusts to women: care, assistance, reproduction, "social security cushion". The government also takes advantage of this situation to keep us more chained to the role that this society wants for us, mainly: wife, mother, "alternates of the state".
The measure of a bonus to buy groceries, which consists in a few tens of euros to a few "poor" families when a huge number families are now without wages, is ridiculous and offensive, an unworthy alms, against which many people, especially women, rightly rose up refusing to pay groceries, as happened in Palermo and Naples.
Even for those women who have a “smart work” at home, this solution turns into a chain more: women at the same time as they work must take care of the children, must help them in distance learning, must do the cleaning, must cook; that is, they must continue working with no time limit (as was home work), with a very heavy psycho-physical stress.
Masters and government have achieved the perfect "reconciliation of work and family", not by separating them, but by weaving them minute by minute, thus making double exploitation and oppression evident.
They want to get us back to work at home, in a modern key, with which the capital made and realizes "two birds with one stone": lengthening of the exploitation times, reduction of wages, control of work (now more facilitated by computer means). While the role of reproducing the workforce of women with domestic work is guaranteed.
But being closed inside the house also means exasperating and amplifying a situations in which women are forced to live 24 hours a day with violent husbands and partners. In recent weeks, there are dozens of femicides, various forms of sexual violence, mistreatment favored by the forced coexistence, not least the girl killed in Messina by her partner. For women, who the official stats show as stronger, less infected by the corona virus, the death risk comes from being locked in the house with their killer more than from the CoViD-19. And the ironically it comes from the state itself, as happened in Taranto, where a judge sent to house arrest who a husband had tried to kill his wife.
What is the government's solution? To entrust the police to defend women against femicides, releasing an app by which women in danger can sound the alarm. An absolutely useless and even ambiguous solution. Useless because the women who called to the police have already experienced how those complaints remain locked in a drawer and then they were killed anyway. But we also say ambiguous, because such police app is the same with which people are invited to report the bully or the drug addict or the homeless, created in the name of mobilizing citizens to play an active role in the security policy, the control of the other who becomes my enemy; in the same way as who stay behind the windows to see whether someone goes down the street and report it to the police, and that walker becomes your main enemy, deviating you from the real enemy, that is the government.
All the opposite of an active climate of solidarity/unity among women that only can defend them against femicides.
The MFPR in the platform for the women's strike says: removal from the houses of violent husbands/partners; immediate interventions against the reported for violence, stalking, mistreatment; shelter houses, anti-violence centers, women's houses.
Then there are the women who are previously included in count of deaths for coronavirus.
They are the immigrants in Centers of Permanence for Repatriation (CPR), inmates who are simply deleted, they exist only when they rise up.
In the CPR of Ponte Galeria, the immigrants live in terror of getting the CoVid-19, they are 6 in small rooms, they eat, they wash, piled up as before. The same for women in prisons, from Poggioreale, Naples, to the Vallette, Turin, they risk their lives every day, no health care is guaranteed, indeed in the emergency it has decreased. The "distances" do not apply to them. The riots in many prisons have shouted this announced death by the state. But this does not enter into government decrees, the response in massacres, punishments made by law enforcement.
And today are mainly women those who continue the protests outside prisons, asking that their family members be treated like all other people, staying at home during the emergency.
But this emergency also means much more for women's lives.
Women give birth in the corridors of emergency rooms. Women today cannot abort. If before women already had enormous difficulties in aborting in a country where there is a very high rate of conscientious objectors and absolutely inadequate hospitals, today, with the collapse of hospitals, they are in a heavier condition. It would be normal and logical that solutions already proposed by some women's associations were adopted, such as drug abortion, the lengthening of the period in which it is possible to take the pill, but it is not discussed at all. If this is a way to solve the problem of poor birth rate - of which the Minister of the family of the current government, as before the fascist fundamentalist like Salvini, had complained - we must say that with the corona virus helps them to solve it…
If this is the situation, it is equally true that it makes it even more necessary for women to rebel, unite and fight even more than before.
This year on March 8th and the women's strike occurred in the midst of corona virus crisis. They went out of their way to prevent the women’s strike but the MFPR observed it anyway. The women’s strike this year alongside its political ideological significance as an important step in the path of women's revolutionary struggle, has had an added value, of being a challenge against the state and the government which had tried to ban it, announcing heavy sanctions. But many women workers, precarious workers, challenging the prohibitions, said: "If we are good at working side by side, we are good at striking!".
And this strike has shown even more clearly that there is a petty bourgeois and bourgeois feminism that accepts bans, accepts to "stay home" by giving up the struggle and becoming a docile follower of the call to the "national solidarity" by the bourgeois state, and a proletarian revolutionary feminism that says: more rebellion, more struggle is needed, to strengthen the march of women for revolution, to put an end to the true "pandemic", that is the capital system that increasingly shows its inevitable patriarchal face against women.
We women for our condition carry out a condemnation, a criticism, a perspective, a 360° struggle, which affects all aspects of the living conditions, the work, family, sex, culture, all aspects of humanity! This must encourage us, make us more determined.
In this "emergency" we want to impose even more "our own emergency": that our whole life must change!
We continue the struggles we were doing and indeed new struggles must be done and we do.
This emergency puts the need to reorganize ourselves also in new forms, in creative forms.
We say NO to closure, the attempt to isolate ourselves, to individualize.
YES to unity, connection, socialization, starting from flats, from neighborhoods, from the queues for shopping, etc.
Active solidarity, mutual help is needed at this moment, certainly not to unload the state from responding to women's needs but to strengthen women's unity and mobilization against this system.
We also use IT in a more creative and wider way to connect nationally. We use this longer time at home to study, to arm ourselves theoretically; because for women, revolutionary theory is a weapon to be addressed with more force and perspective against this bourgeois system. We use time to arm our heads, and thus to arm our hands, our bodies.
We organize a day in which as women we make our protest and our reasons for struggle strong.
For contact information to connect us, our email is: email@example.com
Our blog: https://femminismorivoluzionario.blogspot.com/
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Revolutionary proletarian feminist movement.