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'When women stop, the world stops': Brussels to celebrate Women’s Day with call for strike

07:29 06/03/2024

An estimated 15,000 people will participate in this year’s march in Brussels on 8 March to celebrate International Women's Day.

A collective of women’s organisations is organising the sixth edition of the march, which brings together trade unionists, feminist activists and citizens.

Beneath the slogan "when women stop, the world stops", they are calling for women to go on strike that day, both at work and at home, and demonstrate.

That includes women working for Brussels public transport operator Stib, which warns that its network will be strongly disrupted this Friday on the holiday as a result of the strike.

Bus and tram lines that are operational could be hindered by a demonstration in the city centre. Those using public transport are advised to arrange an alternative. SNCB, however, does not expect issues with the trains.

To mark the occasion, Saints Michel and Gudula cathedral will welcome marchers before the start of the demonstration, which will set off at 17.30 from the Place de l'Albertine.

It will head towards the Justice Palace on Place Poelaert, to show its support for the women lawyers. The march will end outside Brussels-Central station.

There will also be a reception for children between 14.30 and 20.00 at the Maison des Cultures de Saint-Gilles so that mothers can participate in the march.

The collective is also planning other support initiatives, for example to household helpers - a sector in which undocumented women are heavily represented - and cleaning staff at places such as Brussels Airport.

Smaller-scale actions are also planned on the day, for example at local universities.

Written by Helen Lyons