International Women’s Day was initially established to commemorate a 1908 garment workers‘ strike in New York, where women walked out of factories to protest working conditions. Today, we want to remember the day’s roots in the struggle of working women, and place the spotlight firmly where it belongs: on international women organizing for change.
To that end, we’re launching a series of multimedia profiles of some of the incredible women worker leaders in our network. These are courageous women who have spent years upon years organizing their coworkers, facing repression and retaliation from governments and corporations. They are the ones who, without fuss or fanfare, have dedicated their lives to making space for women to organize in low-wage industries.
In our first profile, you can get to know Iris Munguia. Iris started working on a Chiquita banana plantation in her native Honduras when she was 18 years old. More than three decades later, she went on to become the first woman coordinator of a regional banana union confederation in Latin American history. Now, she runs programs that put more women in the position to lead collective bargaining, handle grievances for themselves and their coworkers, and negotiate union contracts that have specific mechanisms to support women in the workplace.
We’ll post more profiles in the coming weeks – because one day could never be enough to tell the stories of these powerful and inspiring women.