Struggle for Women's Emancipation

marxism poster women 1 Image public domainA growing feeling of alienation, injustice and oppression is feeding a general movement of rebellion among women against the existing state of affairs. The awakening of millions of women, especially the younger generation who feel a burning indignation about the discrimination, oppression and humiliation to which they are subjected under an unjust system is a profoundly progressive and revolutionary phenomenon that we should celebrate and support with the utmost enthusiasm.

It goes without saying that Marxists stand one hundred percent in favour of the complete emancipation of women. There cannot be the slightest hesitation, ambiguity or doubt about this. We must fight against the oppression of women at all levels, not just in words but in deeds. Under no circumstances can we allow the impression that this is somehow a secondary issue that can be subsumed under the general category of the class struggle. It would be fatal for the cause of Marxism if women believed that Marxists are prepared to postpone the struggle for their rights until after the victory of socialism. That is entirely false and a vicious caricature of revolutionary Marxism.

While it is true that the complete emancipation of women (and men) can only be achieved in a classless society, it is equally true that such a society can only be achieved through the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism. Women cannot be expected to put to one side their immediate, pressing demands and await the arrival of socialism. The victory of the Socialist revolution is unthinkable without the day-to-day struggle for advance under capitalism.

– From Marxism vs Identity Politics

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all parts of society and has thrown hundreds of millions out of work globally. However, a closer look reveals that women have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Women workers play a key role in health care, child care, elder care, and teaching while experiencing low wages, insecure employment, and domestic and sexual violence—all of which have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

The pandemic and the economic catastrophe it has triggered are threatening to roll back decades of gains in terms of women’s liberation. Capitalism in crisis can offer only counter-reforms. To end oppression, we need socialism.

The following was written by a comrade whose sister tragically became a victim of femicide, which has become a plague on Mexican society. The comrade demands justice for her sister, and every other victim of the rotten capitalist system, which has violence against women written into its DNA. Not one more woman murdered! Justice for Sara Abigail and all victims of femicide!

Every day, 10 women are murdered on average in Mexico. Yet open violence is only the tip of the iceberg. Mexican women face constant harassment, discrimination and humiliation at home, in the workplace, and in the streets. Women in general, and working-class women in particular, bear the brunt of the crisis of Mexican capitalism and the process of social decomposition that accompanies it. Pent-up anger at this state of affairs has now come to surface as International Women’s Day saw unprecedented mobilisations, followed by a women’s strike that paralysed the

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On 9 March, comrades of the IMT participated in marches and strikes in commemoration of the International Working Women’s Day in Argentina, participating in the mobilisations in Buenos Aires and Rosario. In both places, the marches were massive, in Rosario alone, more than 50,000 people gathered, including women, men and youth; a mix of political parties; feminist groups and unions, who marched to the Monument to the Flag.

The following statement was issued by the Revolutionary Women’s League (Liga de Mujeres Revolucionarias) prior to the Women’s Day protest and strike of 8-9 March in Mexico, which have brought hundreds of thousands of women onto the streets in protest against violence and for women’s rights.

Marxism has always been at the forefront of the cause of women's emancipation. The 8th of March (International Women's Day) is a red letter day for us as it symbolises the struggle of working class women against capitalism, oppression and discrimination throughout the world. In this article, we outline the first steps given by Marxism to fight for women's rights, what the first successful revolution meant for the emancipation of women, conditions of women under capitalism both in advanced and Third World countries and pose the question of how to eliminate inequality between men and women for good. Originally published 8 March 2000.

The history of Bolshevism from the very early days right up to the Russian revolution contains a wealth of lessons on how it is the class struggle that provides the final answer to the women’s question. In this article Marie Frederiksen looks at the approach of the Bolshevik Party to the women’s question from its early days, right through to the revolution and after taking power. Originally published 8 March 2017.

The rise of femicides and violence against women in Mexico is evidence of a sick, oppressive system that must be transformed, root and stem, through class struggle.

To mark International Working Women's Day - 8th March - we publish a talk from the 2018 Revolution Festival, where Ellen Morton and Fiona Lali of the Marxist Student Federation discuss the modern struggles taking place internationally against women's oppression.

In February 1918, the UK Representation of the People Act was brought in, giving the right to vote to women with property over the age of 30. In November of the same year, women in the UK were allowed to stand for parliament for the first time. In December, women voted for the first time in a British general election.

This document, after a thorough discussion at all levels of the International Marxist Tendency over the past year, was approved unanimously by the IMT World Congress held at the end of July 2018 with the original title Marxist Theory and The Struggle Against Alien Class Ideas. Its aim is to draw a line between Marxism and a set of idealistic and postmodernist alien class ideas, which have affected for some time a layer of activists in academic circles and are also being used in a reactionary manner within the international workers' movement.

50 years ago, women at the Dagenham Ford Factory began a strike that became a turning point in the fight for equality. It was not the first such strike, and it would certainly not be the last. However, by standing up against bosses, union officials, and even other workers, they would send a message that has stood the test of time and inspires still.