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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 December 2008

Socialist women: Looking at the past to take action today

The Socialist Women weekend school, held in London on 29-30 November, started with a discussion on the Great Depression and a comparison to today's crisis.

Sarah Wrack, Brighton Socialist Party

It was recognised that despite the US government's attempts to introduce reforms in the 1930s, this had very little impact on the suffering of ordinary people, giving a glimpse of the short-term future difficulties now facing working-class people regardless of New Labour's turn towards neo-Keynesianism.

We later talked about the ways in which women will be hit particularly harshly by the recession as they are often in part-time or temporary work and are therefore likely to be among the first to lose their jobs.

Women will also be expected to pick up the slack as public services, particularly in childcare and health, are cut. It was agreed that these issues should be discussed in Socialist Party branches and with new people we meet who may be radicalised by such attacks.

However, it should also be recognised that these problems create yet more barriers to women getting involved in the fightback. Therefore, it is important to think carefully about the format and timing of meetings aimed at women who may have other commitments and to be patient if those who seem interested in the Socialist Party's work don't jump straight into regular activity.

Rosa Luxemburg meetings

Other sessions included 'women at work' and an update on the Abortion Rights Campaign. We also had a talk on Rosa Luxemburg and the leading role she played in the 1918 German revolution. A recommendation was made that all branches try to hold a meeting on Rosa's life in January, the 90th anniversary of her murder.

The weekend was a relaxed and informative chance to look at the progress of the Socialist Party's women's work and at opportunities for its development as a new layer of young women, angry at the failures of the capitalist system, turn towards socialist ideas as an alternative.

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In The Socialist 3 December 2008:


Job losses

Fight back now against job cuts

Woolworths jobs threat

Fighting the threatened closure of Hoover factory


Environment and socialism

Our planet not their profit


Socialist Party editorial

India and Pakistan conflict

Terror mayhem strikes Mumbai


Socialist Party campaigns

Judiciary challenged over the right to protest

Building a left wing political alternative

Southampton uni students fight fees

Liverpool: mobilising against the far right

In brief


Comment

Social workers demand proper resources

Secondary education: PFI's gloss soon peels away


Socialist Party LGBT

Fighting homophobia


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Crisis-hit capitalism fears prospect of revolution


International socialist news and analysis

Venezuela elections: Chávez wins victory but opposition gains ground


Marxist analysis: history

The Isle of Man general strike 1918: Workers' power paralysed government


Socialist Party news and analysis

Help fund the alternative to big business politics

Socialist women: Looking at the past to take action today


Housing crisis

Stop the repossessions

New Labour's housing crisis


Socialist Party workplace news

Vote 'no' to BT's pension cuts

A Christmas message from the Unite leadership

Dover docks strikes

Appledore shipyard


 

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