Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/478/2173
Celebrating International Women's Day
Pictures of women in struggle and socialist demands from women comrades in India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Sweden were on display at the Socialist Party all-London public meeting to celebrate International Women's Day.
Claire Buddle Walthamstow
Hannah Waterson, a young member from Leyton branch, spoke on fashion and body image. She drew together issues of low wages and workers' conditions in the rag trade and advertising and young people's vulnerability combined with their economic power. She also outlined how cuts and privatisation in the NHS meant that it was failing to meet the mental health needs of young women affected by self-hatred and eating disorders.
The wide-ranging discussion touched on capitalism's commodification of every human impulse and need and how it distorts relationships between the sexes. Advances previously made by women through struggle have been rolled back, shown by the rise of "raunch" culture and the denigration of women in magazines like Nuts and Heat.
Marking the 90th anniversary year of the Russian revolution, Paula Mitchell spoke on the role of women garment workers in leading workers onto the streets on International Women's Day, to demand bread at the start of the 1917 February revolution (see pages 6 and 7). The meeting listened intently to Paula's excellent description, and we agreed that we needed more of these inspiring accounts of workers taking power and discussion on what we can learn from the events that truly shook the world.
Visit the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI) website (www.socialistworld.net), to read reports from women around the world fighting for socialist ideas.
Socialist Party women's day school: 17 March, 10am-6pm. Charterhouse in Southwark, 40 Tabard Street (off Long Lane), London SE1. £8/£4. Contact Eleanor Donne 01268 546438; Jane James 020 8988 8762.
In The Socialist 15 March 2007:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party news and analysis
Northern Ireland and Scotland
Marxist analysis: history
International socialist news and analysis
International Women's Day
Environment and socialism
Campaign for a New Workers Party
Workplace news and analysis