If women stop, the world stops”. This is the motto of 2018’s International Women’s Day, when for the first time ever in Spain a legal 24-hour feminist strike is taking place during the day today, 8th of March. Do you want to know what’s behind it and how Universitat Pompeu Fabra and ESN Barcelona UPF already became part of it? Keep reading!

Feminist strike

Women are encouraged to leave their positions at work in order to show how they play a key role in every working place, even when these positions involve picking up the phone to connect their co-works to whoever is on the phone, or keeping the workplace clean. Women occupy all type of positions inside companies and the aim of this Thursday is to make that more visible than ever for everyone: How will companies look without their female colleagues?

Moreover, it is well-known women’s tasks don’t stop when they leave the office: who does usually take care of the kids after school? Who goes grocery shopping and cooks dinner for the whole family? Today, women are invited to stop in every field: don’t work, don’t consume, don’t take care of anyone but yourself. This strike is seen as an opportunity to give visibility to all the invisible and undervalued efforts women do every day, and recognise the impact they have as a collective both in the working, economic and family spheres.

Women’s Day at UPF

Since our university is supporting the strike today, the celebration for Women’s Day already took place at UPF. Last Tuesday, several student associations and other entities joined the initiative and organised several discussions and talks following this topic. Several projects organized and aimed at women were presented, as well as a discussion about the role of women in international institutions or in cultural and media content. At the end, the castellers group of UPF, presented their human towers made only by the females of the association.

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Moreover, today starting 2pm, there is going to be a feminist popular lunch in Jaume I building and a workshop to create stencils for the demonstration that is happening right after that.

ESN Barcelona UPF joins the action

As an international student association (proudly managed by 4 women within the board, we must say), ESN Barcelona UPF also joined the cause: what could we learn from our international female students? What could they tell us about gender policies in their home countries? What had been their cultural and social impact as an international woman when arriving in Barcelona?

Several girls studying now at UPF showed their interest in sharing and discussing their views on the topic. Among them, Verdiana from Italy, who wrote for us some of her reflections regarding young people’s involvement:

Generally speaking, and it applies also to Women's International Day, here in Catalunya I see young people really engaged into things: no matter what we are talking about, you will always find a group or an association supporting that specific matter; it strikes me to see how students participate, fight for what they believe, with no fear to show their opinion. And, speaking feminism, well it's very empowering, even just for a spectator. I loved to see all the activities planned, the placards exposed, the tweets and the talks. No matter how many people are trying to silence it: gender remains an issue, unequal salary remains an issue, sexist language and society remain an issue. Why don't we all make it our issue?

It’s time today to talk about gender, about unequal salary, about sexist language and our sexist society. Le’ts make it an issue!

If you want to find out more about Gender Perspective at UPF, we invite you to visit and get involved at UPF Igualtat.


ESN Barcelona UPF Team


Photo 1: UPF Igualtat

Photo 2: Trempats UPF

Photo 3: UPF Igualtat