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.

With the rise of the feminist movement and the struggle against women’s oppression, sections of both the left and the very same feminist movement have revived the idea of “wages for housewives”. They classify housework carried out by women as “unpaid” work, claiming that capitalists cut costs by relying on this unpaid labour. Where does Marxism stand on this issue?