International Working Women’s Day 2023 – Statement of the Working Women Committee, adopted by the WFTU 2023 Precedential Council Meeting

WFTU Women demand Equity and Equality – Say no to wars

Now is the time for the spark to ignite again. Just like in the 19th century, when women workers rose up against the exploitation of early industrial capitalism, now again the time has come to take up the cudgels against the most barbaric system that boils in the cauldrons of neoliberalism.  Imperialism sacrifices the lives of the workers of the world for the sake of profit. Women workers are enslaved and subjugated within the working class which is already marginalized to the point of deprivation.

The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the gender gap even further as the 100-year estimation needed to close the gender gap has now been reevaluated to 136 years. Gender wage disparity has widened. Women’s work participation rate has plummeted. Capitalist economies shamelessly use the pandemic to deny and snatch away the rights of the workers.

Capitalism, in its greed for more economic and political power, has reached its highest form, that of imperialism. Imperialist rivalries have caused wars driving millions into destitution. Trade wars for economic hegemony spell further doom for the working people. Misery abounds in the world.  Poverty, terrorism, racism, refugee crisis, war – all at once – sharply affect women and women workers.   

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International Women’s Day

Alexandra Kollontai

First Published: Mezhdunarodnyi den’ rabotnitz, Moscow 1920;
Translated: Alix Holt 1972;
Transcribed: Tom Condit for marx.org, 1997;
Proofed: and corrected by Chris Clayton 2006.

Marxists Internet Archive

A Militant Celebration

Women’s Day or Working Women’s Day is a day of international solidarity, and a day for reviewing the strength and organization of proletarian women.

But this is not a special day for women alone. The 8th of March is a historic and memorable day for the workers and peasants, for all the Russian workers and for the workers of the whole world. In 1917, on this day, the great February revolution broke out.[2] It was the working women of Petersburg who began this revolution; it was they who first decided to raise the banner of opposition to the Tsar and his associates. And so, working women’s day is a double celebration for us.

But if this is a general holiday for all the proletariat, why do we call it “Women’s Day”? Why then do we hold special celebrations and meetings aimed above all at the women workers and the peasant women? Doesn’t this jeopardize the unity and solidarity of the working class? To answer these questions, we have to look back and see how Women’s Day came about and for what purpose it was organized.

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Engels and women’s oppression

Journal of People

by Ariane Diaz

Left Voice  | April 23, 2018

Family sitting in living room (Image by Lewis Wickes Hine)

Image by Lewis Wickes Hine

“The following chapters are, in a certain sense, the execution of a bequest” (1).

That is how Engels begins his book The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, published in 1884. After Marx’s death the previous year, Engels had taken up the task of developing and organizing part of Marx’s unfinished and unpublished work – much of which had been written in collaboration with Engels.

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Women’s liberation: The Marxist tradition

Journal of People

by Sharon Smith

International Socialist Review | Issue #93

If women’s liberation is unthinkable without communism, then communism is unthinkable without women’s liberation.1—Russian revolutionary Inessa Armand

The classical Marxists of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, Clara Zetkin, Rosa Luxemburg, V. I. Lenin, Alexandra Kollontai, and Leon Trotsky—developed a theoretical framework tying the fight for women’s liberation to the struggle for socialism. While their theory requires updating,2 their enormous contributions have too often been dismissed or ignored.

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Journal of People

WOMEN’S STRUGGLE 

On 5th Anniversary of First Women Workers’ and Peasants’ Congress

J. V. Stalin

Woman image in Soviet propaganda, poster 19

Written:1923;
Published: Women and Communism, Lawrence & Wishart, London, 1950;
Transcribed and HTML Markup: Sally Ryan.

Marxists Internet Archive

It is five years since the Central Committee of our Party convened in Moscow the All-Russian women workers’ and peasants’ congress. Over a thousand delegates, representing one million working women, gathered for the congress. This congress was a landmark in the work of our Party among working women. The incalculable service rendered by this congress was to lay the foundation for the organisation of the political education of our Republic’s women workers and peasants.

Some may think that there is nothing out of the ordinary in this, since the Party has always carried out political education among the masses, including women, or it may be thought that the political education of women can…

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Journal of People

REVOLUTIONARY VIEWPOINT ON WOMEN’S EMANCIPATION 

Quotations from Mao Tse Tung

31. Women

Quotations from: 1927 – 1964
First Published: 1966
Publisher: Peking Foreign Languages Press
Transcription/Markup: David Quentin / Brian Baggins
Online Version: Mao Tse Tung Internet Archive (marxists.org) 2000

Picture

A man in China is usually subjected to the domination of three systems of authority [political authority, family authority and religious authority]…. As for women, in addition to being dominated by these three systems of authority, they are also dominated by the men (the authority of the husband). These four authorities – political, family, religious and masculine – are the embodiment of the whole feudal-patriarchal ideology and system, and are the four thick ropes binding the Chinese people, particularly the peasants. How the peasants have overthrown the political authority of the landlords in the countryside has been described above. The political authority of the landlords is the backbone…

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Journal of People

STRUGGLE FOR WOMEN’S EMANCIPATION

Correspondence between Sylvia Pankhurst and V.I. Lenin

Compiled from Marxists Internet Archive

lenin and pankherst

Pankhurst, E. Sylvia (1882-1960)

Sylvia Pankhurst, and sister of Adela, above, were born in Manchester, the daughters of Dr. Richard Pankhurst and Emmeline Pankhurst. Both their father, who did political work as an attorney radical lawyer, and mother, were major influences on Sylvia’s commitment to socialism.

Sylvia was a talented artist by training but during her schooling also became involved in the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), founded by her mother in 1903, and in which her sister, Christabel, was also very active. In 1906 she served her first prison sentence for her political activities–in her life she would endure several brutal prison sentences involving hunger strikes and forced feedings. She also did work for the Labour Party and became and was closely associated with Kier Hardie, the leader of the party…

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Russia Declares Soros-Funded Transparency International Undesirable

Countercurrents | March 07, 2023

The Russian government on Monday has branded Soros-funded Transparency International (TI) as “undesirable,” effectively banning it from operating in the country.

The TI once blocked calls to help NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013.

An AP report said:

The Russian prosecutor’s office charged that while “formally acting as an organization fighting corruption around the world, it interferes in the internal affairs of the Russian Federation, which poses a threat to the foundations of the constitutional order and the security of the Russian Federation.”

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A communist heroine

ANGUS REID  examines the life and work of Gerda Taro, the woman who invented political photojournalism

Morning Star | March 08, 2023

COMMUNIST PIONEER: (L to R) Gerda Taro; Gerda Taro, Guadalajara front, July 1937 Photo: Pic: G Taro / Walter Reuter/CC
(L to R) Republican dinamiteros (explosives specialists), in the Carabanchel neighborhood of Madrid, June 1937; Training of militia women Photo: Pic: G Taro

GERDA TARO’s funeral on August 8 1937, which would have been her 27th birthday, was a moment of immense propaganda value for the left in a struggle that was not yet lost.

Pravda wrote: “Millions and millions of women, when they decide to take a stand against Fascism, will remember brave little Gerda,” and thousands turned out for the event.

It was organised by the fledgling French communist newspaper Ce Soir for which, as part of an 18-strong team reporting from Spain, Taro had been a photojournalist. 

In the Pere Lachaise cemetery a monument was commissioned by the PCF (French Communist Party) by Giacometti, no less.

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