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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 January 2017

Socialist Party national women's meeting: Russian revolution and the fightback today

Some of the Socialist Party members who attended the national women's meeting, 7.1.17, photo by Sarah Wrack

Some of the Socialist Party members who attended the national women's meeting, 7.1.17, photo by Sarah Wrack   (Click to enlarge)

Lucy Nuttall, South and West Lancashire Socialist Party
Heather Rawling speaking on the Russian revolution at the Socialist Party national women's meeting, 7.1.17, photo by Sarah Wrack

Heather Rawling speaking on the Russian revolution at the Socialist Party national women's meeting, 7.1.17, photo by Sarah Wrack   (Click to enlarge)

Beginning with an important talk on the pivotal role of women in the Russian revolution and the lessons we can learn from this 100 years on, 50 Socialist Party members from around the country attended a national women's meeting in London on 7 January.

The revolution was triggered by a demonstration of women textile workers, and it transformed women's lives - freeing them from the drudgery of endless domestic work with communal restaurants, laundrettes and accessible childcare. Abortion and divorce rights allowed women to participate fully in society.

One of the workshops at the Socialist Party national women's meeting, 7.1.17, photo by Sarah Wrack

One of the workshops at the Socialist Party national women's meeting, 7.1.17, photo by Sarah Wrack   (Click to enlarge)

This was only made possible by a feminist movement that unified women in struggle on a class basis, recognising the fundamental cause of their oppression as the divisive capitalist system. Unfortunately most of these gains were undone under Stalinism.

There were also discussions on how we can encourage women to take leading roles within trade unions, in the student movement and in community campaigns.

The final session of the day, on abortion rights under attack and the fightback across the world, highlighted the growing radicalisation of women by movements for reproductive freedom.

Becci Heagney speaking at the Socialist Party national women's meeting, 7.1.17, photo by Sarah Wrack

Becci Heagney speaking at the Socialist Party national women's meeting, 7.1.17, photo by Sarah Wrack   (Click to enlarge)

Abortion

In Poland up to 140,000 marched in response to restrictive abortion laws, and in Ireland the campaign demanding the repeal of the Eighth Amendment - which the Socialist Party's sister organisation is playing an important role in - continues to grow.

Even in the UK, 50 years after the Abortion Act, NHS cuts seriously undermine abortion access. It is essential to continue the struggle for these basic rights and link up struggles internationally.

In the current political turmoil capitalism has shown it is increasingly incapable of providing even the most basic rights for women across the globe. Fundamentally, socialism is the only way forward for women's emancipation.

A plenary session at the Socialist Party national women's meeting, 7.1.17, photo by Sarah Wrack

A plenary session at the Socialist Party national women's meeting, 7.1.17, photo by Sarah Wrack   (Click to enlarge)

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 11 January 2017:


NHS in meltdown

NHS in meltdown

NHS in meltdown from spending cuts - demonstrate on 4 March!

Sustainability and Transformation plans - a repackaging of cuts

Worcestershire hospital deaths expose NHS crisis


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Football abuse scandal: Reclaim the game for justice and accountability

Book review: Spy drama gives insight into capitalist coup plot


What we think

Strikes show workers' power


Socialist Party news and analysis

'Cash for ash' scandal set to bring down Northern Ireland government

May slams 'economic inequalities' Tory policies created

Blair's multimillion plans to fight 'populism'

Bosses earn average salary in under three days

What we saw

Them & Us: 500k house party... 50p for rent


Labour Party

Haringey: pressure grows as Labour council cuts

Sick of sham consultations - give us a real fightback

Khan should attack bosses, not workers


Socialist Party workplace news

Tube strike solid in fight for jobs and safety

Support BA cabin crews' strike for fair pay

Sham Royal Mail pensions consultation - action needed

Unison legal battle looks into allegations 'Team Dave' broke rules during general secretary election

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Build the resistance against Trump

Socialist Party national women's meeting

2016: A record-breaking fighting fund year!

Closing of the children's centres could cost lives


International socialist news and analysis

Palestine/Israel: Everyday life under occupation


 

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