This issue celebrates women’s participation in the class struggle and the fight to end the oppression and abuse of women and children. We salute and support the millions of women who daily fight to bring dignity and care to their communities against a state that seeks to ignore their role and increase their burden.

Capitalism is determined to divide the working class and the oppression of women is an integral part of the system to maintain control. Reports over recent months reveal that the institutions of the state are riddled with sexism and male-chauvinist ideology and practices: in Parliament, the media. The catholic church, the police and the justice system.

It is from the tolerance or encouragement of sexism that violence and the abuse of women and children gains a hold in a world where over 50 per cent of its population is subjugated and violently oppressed. The fight for women’s rights is an integral part of the struggle of the working class against oppression and for socialism. Other oppressions such racism and homophobia are also central to capitalism and women face double or triple oppression.

Cameron’s government is driving the working class back into pre-welfare state and pre-NHS conditions. The Labour leadership and Labour councillors are betraying the working class at every step because they only understand compliance with the government’s wishes, while at the same time openly acknowledging that “cuts kill people”. But none are prepared to stand up and fight, pathetically asking, “What else can we do?”

What else can they do? They can stand on the side of the working class along with the women and the men who are taking to the streets instead of being a slave to the dictates of a Parliament that does not care for the poor, the sick, the vulnerable, but only for the richest.

Socialism or Barbarism

One of the first rank of women we salute is Rosa Luxemburg, who devoted her life to the revolutionary international movement and the revolutionary wing of the second international. She was murdered in 1918 after the Social Democratic leader Friedrich Ebert ordered the armed state force, the Freikorps, to destroy the left-wing revolution that was threatening capitalist rule.

Rosa said, “Bourgeois class domination is undoubtedly an historical necessity, but, so too, the rising of the working class against it. Capital is an historical necessity, but, so too, its grave digger, the socialist proletariat.”

She said on the eve of the First World War that the future for humanity was either socialism or barbarism. Since then 99 years have passed, 99 years of the bloodiest period in the history of humanity.

{module Propaganda 30 anos – MORAL}Today the working class faces the same issues of inhumanity, brutality and degradation, and women are in the front line fighting alongside men and youth. From the bedroom tax revolt to the Syrian revolution working class women are rising.

There are many inspiring examples of women who have played a leading role in the struggle against disgusting capitalist policies: the women of the waterfront were an integral part of the struggle of the Liverpool dock workers in 1995 to 1998; the Tameside care workers fought for one and a half years from 1998 and were led by a committee of six women; the Grunwick textile workers’ strike from 1976 to 1978 in London; the women Ford sewing machinists’ strike in 1968 in Dagenham who fought for equal recognition and pay; the miners’ wives fought in the strike of 1984 to 1985.

The miners’ wives built new networks and formed support groups in every mining village, forging a national group, Women Against Pit Closures.

On 11 August 1984, 23,000 working class women marched through London against Thatcher’s attacks and pit closure programme.

One of the great songs of the miners’ strike was “we are the women of the working class”. It built on a long tradition, including “Which Side are You On?”, written by Florence Reece in 1931 during a bitter miners’ strike in the USA.

The only way to end the increasing oppression and abuse of women is to join the struggles of the working class and build a revolutionary party. The International Socialist League is part of a living international, the International Workers League, which has many revolutionary women fighters and leaders. If you want to build a party to put an end to capitalism, join us.


Source: Socialist Voice nº 10, March 2013