[Audio] 100 years of International Women's Day

Tomorrow is International Women's Day. Although governments and political parties around the world pay lip service to women's liberation, the liberation of women remains elusive. Barbara Humphries, long-term labour movement activist and Marxist, spoke on Wednesday evening at the ULU Marxist Society in London on the origins of International Women's Day, the necessity for capitalism to divide society on the basis of sex and how the emergence of class society made women second-class citizens. On 8 March 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter working hours, better pay, voting rights and an end to child labour. International Women's Day has a long and proud history of working class struggle. It was, for example, on 8 March that the revolution began in Russia in 1917.

Today, however, the celebration has been recognised by the United Nations who celebrate it "to recognise that peace and social progress requires the active participation and equality of women to international peace and security". Although governments and political parties around the world pay lip service to women's liberation, the liberation of women remains elusive. Barbara Humphries, long-term labour movement activist and Marxist, spoke on Wednesday at the ULU Marxist Society on the origins of Women's Day, the necessity for capitalism to divide society on the basis of sex and how the emergence of class society made women second-class citizens.

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