Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/940/25027

From The Socialist newspaper, 15 March 2017

International Women's Day: taking action against capitalist oppression

Izquierda Revolucionaria, the Socialist Party's co-thinkers in Spain, joined half a million others to march in Madrid, photo by CWI

Izquierda Revolucionaria, the Socialist Party's co-thinkers in Spain, joined half a million others to march in Madrid, photo by CWI   (Click to enlarge)

International Women's Day (8 March) was celebrated with special enthusiasm this year by members of the parties and organisations affiliated to the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI), including the Socialist Party in England and Wales (see reports below). Millions worldwide were on the streets to denounce the reactionary views of US president Donald Trump, especially towards women.

It is also 100 years since women workers of Petrograd chose this day to take the action which sparked the historic Russian revolution.

From 'International Women's Day 2017: A century on from the Russian Revolution' by Clare Doyle (CWI). The article can be read on socialistworld.net


Spain: Hundreds of thousands in International Women's Day student strike

The call by 'Libres y Combativas' (a working class socialist feminist platform established by the Sindicato de Estudiantes and members of Izquierda Revolucionaria - CWI co-thinkers in the Spanish state) to strike against sexist violence and in defence of the rights of working class women brought out hundreds of thousands of students.

This is a historic strike, the first time ever that a strike of such dimensions has taken place on International Women's Day. Mass assemblies and protests took place in more than 1,000 schools and campuses.

Hundreds signed up to get involved in Libres y Combativas, to strengthen the ranks of working class, anti-capitalist, revolutionary feminism.

In the evening big demonstrations took place, including 500,000 in Madrid!


Republic of Ireland: Mass protests demand abortion rights

IWD was a major day of action by women and young people in Ireland to protest the archaic 8th amendment to the constitution which bans abortion.

The 'Strike 4 repeal' saw up to 8,000 gather in Dublin city centre in the afternoon. In the evening the 'March 4 Repeal' was 12,000 strong.

Socialist Party members supported the strike by assisting pro-abortion rights group Rosa in organising the 'Bus 4 repeal', which directly linked women to womenonweb.org - a group that posts safe abortion pills to women in countries where abortion is illegal.


Hong Kong: Solidarity with global mass protests and women's strikes"

Over 70 attended the Socialist Action (CWI) candle-lit demonstration in Hong Kong.

"Today, International Women's Day, we go to the streets - not to go shopping or organise dinners and ceremonies. We want a new, fighting feminism against the rule of the undemocratic billionaire 1%," said Sally Tang Mei-ching, Socialist Action (CWI, Hong Kong)


Pakistan

Female members of Socialist Movement Sindh arranged a workers' rally from the Socialist Movement Sindh office in Mirpurkhas to the Press Club.

They put forward demands that female workers and peasants working at home should be registered as industrial workers and given full social security facilities.


Leeds demo

A demo was held in Leeds Millennium Square marking International Women's Day. It was organised by socialist women and non-binary group (SWAN), and Leeds Socialist Party branch.

It was not just a celebration of IWD but a demo standing in solidarity with women striking for their rights across the world and, in particular, the continuing struggle for access to safe and legal abortions in Ireland.

The evening was rounded off by a speech from Amy Cousens from SWAN about the origins of International Women's Day, and how the Russian Revolution was kick-started by women workers refusing to accept their abysmal conditions.

Immediately after the revolution the Soviets adopted the Bolsheviks' policies on divorce, abortion and sexuality, which remain progressive even by today's standards.

Abigail Braybrook

Socialist Students Liverpool

University of Liverpool Socialist Students celebrated IWD with a debate and discussion on "what is the relationship between gender and class equality?"

We discussed events such as the peace and bread strikes which triggered the February revolution in Russia as well as events such as the Dagenham Ford sewing machinists strike in 1968 which was influential in securing the 1970 Equal Pay Act.

We later joined a demonstration held at the university in solidarity with the Strike4Repeal marches in Ireland on the right of women to take their reproductive health into their own hands.

The demonstration was met with some opposition from a group of male passers-by, who yelled profanities and misogynistic remarks. This clearly shows the congruence between harassment and the need for socialist feminism to fight the misogynist establishment which has been encapsulated with the rise of Trumpism.

We spoke to people at the demonstration about the link between fighting women's oppression and fighting the capitalist system and we informed the crowd of the Day X walkouts when Trump visits, and sold copies of the Socialist.

Afton McNamee

London - revolution past and present

In a room plastered in photos, displays and posters celebrating the Russian Revolution, nearly 100 socialists met on International Women's Day in London, organised by the Socialist Party.

The meeting explained the role of women in the February 1917 revolution and the gains made by the October revolution in attempting to liberate women and unburden them of domestic responsibilities through communal laundries, restaurants and child care.

Other Socialist Party members spoke on fighting sexism today, for abortion rights and women's equality in the workplace.

It was hard-hitting discussion because if the revolutionary movement in Russia had successfully spread internationally then women wouldn't still have to be campaigning for their rights today. But it was also inspiring to discuss with revolutionary women and men who continue to fight for socialism.

Helen Pattison

Kshama Sawant is a Socialist Alternative (US co-thinkers of the Socialist Party) councillor in Seattle, re-elected in November 2015. She has championed a $15 an hour minimum wage and measures such as rent controls to end the housing crisis. The following is an extract from her IWD speech to supporters.

We are fighting for a socialist world

Today is one of the largest ever celebrations of International Women's Day. In more than 50 countries around the world, women are marching, rallying, and going on strike. Many are protesting against Donald Trump. Because the 'Misogynist in Chief' and his vile right-wing agenda are not just threats to women in the United States, but to millions of working women everywhere.

While the protests today are much smaller than the tremendous Women's Marches just six weeks ago - the biggest single day of protest in US history - today is also historic.

Today's women's strike has brought forward the question of power, of our power as working women. Schools closed down in a number of cities today, and, around the country, thousands of women courageously took the day off, called in sick, or left work early.

We, as women, have begun a crucial discussion about what is really needed to defeat Donald Trump. And what is needed is the enormous potential power of strike action. To hit Trump and his billionaire backers where it hurts - by shutting down their profits!

But, to do so, we will need to get better organised. And we will need to build on a far larger scale.

Women's Day was originally called 'International Working Women's Day'. It began in this country over a century ago. And it wasn't about flowers or chocolate!

It was about working women standing up against their exploitation in their workplaces, for the right to vote and full civil rights, against sexual harassment, for the right to make choices about their own bodies, and for the right to equal pay for equal work.

And it was about capitalism. Because it is not only Donald Trump who is misogynist and racist. The capitalist system is deeply oppressive at its core - it has sexism, sexual violence, and racism written on its DNA. Capitalism relies on the brutal exploitation of women and other oppressed groups to divide and weaken the working class.

The women's marches in January and today's incredible events are a huge step forward for our movement. And we need to go further.

In order to fully tap into the power of working women and of the broader working class, we need to organise for broad strike action.

This is not only about an end to Trumpism or to corporate politics. We also have to demand fundamental change, and, for that, we will need a powerful movement independent of corporate politicians. We need our own political parties. We need a new socialist party, as a step toward a new mass workers' party.

Like the women in Russia a century ago, we are not just fighting for a less brutal system. We are fighting for a socialist world.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 15 March 2017:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Scotland 'indyref2' for socialist independence not the capitalist EU

State surveillance of unions: PCS assistant head demands inquiry

TUSC: SWP suspends participation in England/Wales


Save our NHS!

NHS: strikes and protests can stop cuts

Glenfield heart unit: "Children will die" angry parents tell NHS England


Socialist Party congress 2017

Socialist Party Congress 2017 reports


Socialist Party workplace news

2,000 workers on three rail networks strike against driver-only operated trains

Derby teaching assistants' all-out strike against Labour council

Unison HE conference: Delegates give the bureaucracy a lesson in democracy


Fighting racism

Fight racism and austerity


International Women's Day

International Women's Day: taking action against capitalist oppression


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Disabled workers deserve a living wage

'Nurses are angry and we are ready for action'

Women's struggles reduced to perfume sales and career ladder


 

Home   |   The Socialist 15 March 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Women:

triangleVital women's services under threat

triangleLambeth Socialist Party: Women's liberation and the struggle for socialism

triangleBBC yawning pay gaps revealed

triangleSchool students' remarkable tribute to workers' Spanish Civil War bravery

triangleWeakened Tories forced into Northern Ireland abortion u-turn

Socialist:

triangleCarlisle Socialist Party: Russian revolution 1917 - the role played by the Bolsheviks

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Venezuela - is the capitalist class preparing a coup?,

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Why do we need international socialism?

triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: Lessons from the Birmingham bin dispute

Strike:

triangleCoordinate the strikes to defeat the Tories

triangleBin workers say: Sack Suez, stop rubbish cuts!

triangleCrunchy guitar and poignant dialogue in alt-rock homage to south Wales miners

Revolution:

triangleSouth-East London Socialist Party: Art and Revolution

triangleMarx's Capital at 150: an unequalled analysis and critique of capitalism

Abortion:

triangleSalford Socialist Party: 50 years on from the Abortion Act

Socialist Party:

triangleThe role of the RMT in changing Labour

Trump:

triangleUS: neo-Nazi violence reawakens resistance

CWI:

triangleManchester Socialist Party: Building a socialist international

Ireland:

triangleBuilding workers' struggle and the forces of international socialism

Russian revolution:

triangleLambeth Socialist Party: Russian Revolution - the July Days

Donald Trump:

triangleTrump and the fossil fuel corporations - a lethal combination for the planet

Demonstration:

triangleFar-right thrown out of Newcastle

Students:

trianglePlans to bring A-levels back to Knowsley abandoned

Leeds:

triangleSupport for Socialist Party campaigns at biggest ever Leeds Pride

Hong Kong:

triangleLambeth Socialist Party: China - political repression and perspectives for workers' struggles

Socialist Students:

triangleAbolish tuition fees and student debt!

Sexism:

triangleLessons from the Russian revolution for LGBT+ struggle today

Oppression:

trianglePride 2017: we need a fighting, socialist movement for LGBT+ rights

Equal pay:

triangleUS: women ice hockey players' strike threat wins living wage

London:

triangleCentral London: Walk along the steps of Karl Marx

Liverpool:

triangleSupport the Merseyrail strikes against DOO

Socialist Alternative:

triangleSouth-East London Socialist Party: USA - The fight against Trump and the struggle for a socialist alternative

Seattle:

triangleInternational news in brief

Socialist women:

triangleThe Socialist Party and fighting women's oppression

United States:

triangleThe real origins of May Day

Civil rights:

triangleHow black women fought racism and sexism at Nasa

Bolsheviks:

triangleRussia 1917: how art helped make the revolution

Feminist:

triangleMass movements, not 'fringe cultures', can win feminist change

Dublin:

triangleVerdict in Jobstown case - All defendants cleared by jury!

Kshama Sawant:

triangleBuy your ticket now for the political event of the year: Socialism 2017

International

International

15/8/17

US

US: neo-Nazi violence reawakens resistance

9/8/17

Peru

Workers' struggles in Peru: eyewitness report

9/8/17

Venezuela

Venezuela: Capitalist offensive sharpens after assembly elections

26/7/17

CWI

Building workers' struggle and the forces of international socialism

3/7/17

Ireland

Jobstown victory: protest is not a crime!

28/6/17

Jobstown

Jobstown Not Guilty - verdict imminent

28/6/17

Climate change

Trump and the fossil fuel corporations - a lethal combination for the planet

21/6/17

Elections

French elections: Macron's win

21/6/17

France

French elections: time to build a fighting left alternative

14/6/17

France

France - Huge voter abstention belies Macron's 'landslide' election

14/6/17

CWI

International news in brief

31/5/17

Catalonia

Heroic socialist fighters who sang as ship went down - new memorial

31/5/17

South Africa

South Africa: burning anger

24/5/17

CWI

International news in brief

24/5/17

US

Trump regime faces deepening crisis

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Barts strikers, 15.7.17 demo, photo Paul Mattsson

triangle22 Aug Coordinate the strikes to defeat the Tories

triangle21 Aug The role of the RMT in changing Labour

triangle21 Aug Bin workers say: Sack Suez, stop rubbish cuts!

triangle17 Aug Bin workers - fighting back wins!

triangle17 Aug Vital women's services under threat

triangle15 Aug US: neo-Nazi violence reawakens resistance

triangle9 Aug Marx's Capital at 150: an unequalled analysis and critique of...

More ...

triangle22 Aug Manchester Socialist Party: What is anarchism?

triangle22 Aug Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Why do we need international socialism?

triangle22 Aug Derby Socialist Party: Israel/Palestine - one state or two?

triangle23 Aug Salford Socialist Party: Why Marxism opposes terrorism

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2