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.
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. 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.
In the few weeks that have passed since the United States Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 24, stripping abortion rights from millions of women, the people of the United States have continued to fight back. Despite assurances, the response from the Biden administration to protect the fundamental right has been deemed resoundingly inadequate.
“The mass of the people will have to flood into the streets, and will have to remain in the streets,” Monica Johnson, a young organizer with the Party for Socialism and Liberation, told Peoples Dispatch. “We will have to do everything they can to let these politicians know that they will not be able to quietly and peacefully go on with their lives, trying to jeopardize the lives of so many millions of people.”
Johnson, alongside others, participated in an 18-hour protest in front of the Georgia Judicial Center in Atlanta, from July 4 to 5, in order to protest a pending Georgia abortion ban that would prohibit most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. This action is part of a growing movement in defense of abortion rights, rising up in states where politicians are doing everything in their power to eliminate this right. These states include Georgia, and South Carolina where, on June 28, around 150 protesters descended on the Statehouse to demonstrate against a six week ban on abortion and the threat by conservative lawmakers of a total ban.
The overturning of Roe vs. Wade in the USA highlights the precariousness of legal institutions and the necessity for continuous struggle to both push for and enforce social rights. It shows the limitations of legal and state apparatuses, that are themselves a reflection of existing power relations and vested interests, but also the ways that previous struggles and class forces are continuously inscribed within such institutions. While this decision clearly signifies a new intensity of attacks on women’s rights in the USA, it may also (hopefully) signify a heightened mobilisation and coordination of left-wing struggles.
This increasingly fractious relation between church, the capitalist state, and capital accumulation regimes, alongside increasing social struggles is not unique to the US. In a recent article in New Political Economy, entitled ‘A time of reproductive unrest: the articulation of capital accumulation, social reproduction, and the Irish state’, I analyse similar dynamics in the Republic of Ireland (herein Ireland) and argue that this is a time of Reproductive Unrest. The concept Reproductive Unrest captures two dynamics, first the way that economic crisis (in this case the repercussions following the financial crisis) were “resolved” by displacing it to the sphere of social reproduction (housing, water, healthcare, reproductive rights) and in particular, working-class communities. And second, the way that economic crisis and the dominant accumulation regime that caused it were contested by these communities on the terrain of social reproduction and increasingly the capitalist state. Economic crisis was displaced to the social and then the political, which left behind an increasingly uneasy and unworkable institutional and political constellation.
The Communist Women’s Movement (CWM), virtually unknown today, was the world’s first international revolutionary organisation of women. Formed in 1920, the CWM mapped out a programme for women’s emancipation; participated in struggles for women’s rights; and worked to advance women’s participation in the Communist movement.
The present volume, part of a series on the Communist International in Lenin’s time, contains proceedings and resolutions of CWM conferences, along with reports on its work around the world. Most of the contents here are published in English for the first time, with almost half appearing for the first time in any language.
Women occupy roughly one in three junior academic positions in economics and just one in four senior positions, according to an analysis of gender equality at the field’s top research institutions.
Most previous surveys examining equality in economics have focused on individual countries. Emmanuelle Auriol, an economist at the Toulouse School of Economics in France, and her colleagues compared gender representation around much of the world, although their data set includes few institutions in Africa or southeast Asia. The findings are published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1 this month.
165 years ago, when the women workers in the New York textile mills, on March 8, 1857, went on strike and demonstrated for “ten-hour work, bright and sanitary workrooms, wages equal to those of male textile workers and tailors”, they certainly did not imagine that in 2022 all these demands would still be demanded.
165 years ago, they certainly did not imagine that in 2022, with such advances in science and technology, in the conditions of the so-called 4th Industrial Revolution, women’s work would lead to flexible work hours, with split schedule and irregular working hours, underemployment, employment even during maternity leave thanks to teleworking and the development of computing.
165 years ago, striking workers could not have imagined that underage girls and boys would still be victims of sexual harassment, with decision-makers and politicians “shuddering” in horror at the revelations of the “me too” movement, while often being themselves involved in such scandals.
The challenge anyone can try on social media seems simple: Put your name in the Google search engine, or that of your sister, your mother or your daughter and, next to it, the word “found.” The result is in no way simple, but rather terrifying. It is enough to press a key to come across a list of horrors, the result of male violence. The search leaves no room for doubt: being born female involves many dangers, greater or lesser ones depending on the region or country where you were born, and also many challenges to overcome in the pursuit of equality.