Ahead of International Women’s Day March 8, Spanish Christian Workers’ movements are clamouring for the “full equality” of women in the economy and the Church.

– Women, “one of the most discriminated-against groups in history”

“We are at a moment in history in which the economy predominates in the world of work, which implies, among other things, that today precariousness and poverty still have a woman’s face”, the Workers’ Fraternity of Catholic Action (HOAC) and Young Christian Workers (JOC) movements cry out in a manifesto for March 8.

“A change in the organisation of the economy and society is necessary”, the Christian workers continue, observing that in that necessary evolution “women have an opportunity to make our voices heard as one of the most discriminated-against groups in history”.

– “Full equality, the only way to recognise the sacred dignity of all”

While the Christian groups acknowledge that “timid advances” have been made in recent years in terms of gender justice, they warn “there is still a long way to go to overcome patriarchal culture and the culture of economic profitability, in which women suffer the consequences and have little say”.

As examples of the work still to be done for the real and effective equality of women, the HOAC and JOC mention the internships young women are typically limited to, without possibilities for future advancement, the meagre pension older women are forced to survive on and the lower salaries and longer hours working women suffer compared to their male colleagues.

In the case of working women with children, the HOAC and the JOC denounce these women too often have to manage along a household and child care along with their professional responsibilities.

“We must continue fighting for full equality in all areas of life, because that’s the only way to recognise the sacred dignity of all people and move forward on the paths of justice and humanity”, the Christian Workers’ movements insist.

– To governments: “Dignified work and real work-life balance for women”

In their manifesto, the HOAC and the JOC plead with governments to reassess and revalorise the work women do, and to compensate women for the care-giving tasks they perform.

The movements also demand from politicians effective “plans for women’s equality that don’t just remain ink on paper, but instead promote access to dignified work and to a real work-life balance” for women.

– To the Church: “Women have the right to be visible in ecclesiastical structures”

The believing women behind the HOAC/JOC manifesto for International Women’s Day also lay claim to their “right to be visible in the ecclesiastical structure [and] to share [with men] Church spaces of education and action”.

That much, the women say, “because of the radical equality given to us by baptism”.

The women also demand the right “to fully participate, without discrimination, in the communion and mission of the Church”.

“We have to continue promoting testimonies of equality and favor dignified work in our Church. For that we have to make progress on the full equality of all the women and men who make it up”, the manifesto claims.

– “Hope and solidarity” in the struggle for women’s “equality, visibility and dignity”

The HOAC and JOC movements conclude their manifesto demanding once again the “equality, visibility and dignity of women in the world of work”, and that much with “decent jobs” as a minimum for women “that dignify and put the person in the centre”.

“With hope and solidarity, we join the Church movements, feminist and union organisations, other social actos and so many men and women Christians in this common struggle towards full equality”, the HOAC and the JOC insist ahead of International Women’s Day.

Next on Novena:

Catholic women mobilise for International Women’s Day: “The equality of every human being is a basic lesson of Christianity”

“Jesus was a feminist!”: Hundreds of Spanish Catholic women cry out for equal rights in Church

Spanish Catholic women protest: “They call us to fix the flowers, but not to make the decisions”

Spanish Catholic women “losing patience” with Church: “Without deep changes it will never be the Church of Jesus”

Spanish women theologians shout “Enough!” with “deep discrimination” in Church, call on Catholic women to “revolt”


Progressive Catholic journalist, author and educator. Working on social justice, equality and Church renewal.