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.
This article originally appeared as chapter fifth chapter in Donna Goodman’s Women Fight Back: The Centuries-Long Struggle for Liberation, published through Liberation Media and available for purchase here. Liberation School has a study and discussion guide for the book here.
The early years of the 20th century saw political struggle in all areas of American life. The explosive growth of industrial monopoly capitalism of the late 19th century structured all the major changes of the era—urbanization, proletarianization, extreme inequality and instability, record immigration, and the dawn of U.S. imperialism stretching overseas. All of society looked out at a world that appeared to be in perpetual flux and crisis, rapidly transforming how people lived, worked, and interacted.
Women around the world celebrated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women by taking out protest rallies and marches. We take this opportunity to remember the three Mirabal sisters — Patria, Minerva, and María Teresa Mirabal, popularly known as “the butterfly sisters”. The date November 25 was chosen to pay homage to the “the butterfly sisters” who were murdered in the course of their heroic efforts to overthrow the brutal dictatorial regime of Leónidas Trujillo in the Dominican Republic.
The following article is a compilation from a number of sources, links to which are provided in the end.Read More »
A marcher dressed as a suffragette during the March4Women, in Westminster, London last Sunday
THIS year, we mark 100 years since the Representation of the People Act was passed, granting some women over 30 the right to vote for the first time in Britain.This landmark moment for women’s rights came on the back of tireless campaigning and self-sacrifice by suffragettes in the face of intransigence and belittlement from male politicians of the day.
It was a huge step forward and it is right that we celebrate the tenacious women who played a key role in achieving it.Read More »
Revolutionary transformation of movements
The human habitats in a particular geographical space remain confined to a particular social and production relation. The relation of human being with nature is also determined by this social relation. This relation is the basic premise of the system of expropriation of labour. Labour is, first of all, a process between the human being and nature, a process by which human being through their own actions mediate, regulate and control the metabolism between themselves and nature. The needs and capacities of humans as species being are mediated through conscious activities. These conscious activities come in confrontation with the constraints of the given social relation. The relentless social and class struggle against the system of expropriation continues at various dimensions and levels.Read More »
Cuban poster art marking International Women’s Day Photo:Oakland Museum of California
“Women may be bound twice in a nation struggling for freedom, but women in the struggle are women unbound.” – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
Celebrated across the globe, International Women’s Day is rooted in the working-class struggle for women’s rights.
Year by year, the importance of March 8 grows as a day marking the fight to advance working women’s rights. Across the globe, women continue to face human rights abuses including sexual assault, forced disappearances, human trafficking, modern-day slavery and the denial of reproductive health access. Plus, a culture of machismo and misogyny leads to tragedies such as domestic abuse and femicide that often go uninvestigated or unpunished.
International Women’s Day demonstration in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1917. (Fototeca Gilardi/Getty Images)
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. 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.Read More »
Leaving it to the bourgeois scholars to absorb themselves in discussion of the question of the superiority of one sex over the other, or in the weighing of brains and the comparing of the psychological structure of men and women, the followers of historical materialism fully accept the natural specificities of each sex and demand only that each person, whether man or woman, has a real opportunity for the fullest and freest self-determination, and the widest scope for the development and application of all natural inclinations. The followers of historical materialism reject the existence of a special woman question separate from the general social question of our day. Specific economic factors were behind the subordination of women; natural qualities have been a secondary factor in this process. Only the complete disappearance of these factors, only the evolution of those forces which at some point in the past gave rise to the subjection of women, is able in a fundamental way to influence and change their social position. In other words, women can become truly free and equal only in a world organized along new social and productive lines.Read More »