National Sections of the L5I:

Women

Clara Zetkin and the struggle for a working class women's movement

The period of the 1880's and 1890's in Germany was a period of rapid industrialisation carried through under the guidance of the repressive German state. It saw the birth and growth of German Social Democracy as the mass workers party. It drew women, and children, into industry on a large scale.

It was in this situation that women within the SPD-particularly Clara Zetkin struggled to lay the basis for a socialist led, working class based women's organisation. In 1891 the first issue of Die Gleicheit, subtitled 'for the interests of working women' appeared. It was an independent paper, with its own editorial board, led and coordinated by Social Democratic women, themselves disciplined party members. Read more...

From reserve army to frontline troops: women in the global workforce

When the early socialist campaigners talked about women’s liberation they saw the right to work, access to an independent wage and integration into the collectivity of the workplace as key steps to freedom from subservience and family drudgery.Today, more women do paid labour than ever before: but what does that mean for women’s liberation? Read more...

Women, work and family

Women carry out unpaid work in the home and growing numbers also labour outside the home for lower wages than men. But is there a contradiction between the state’s policy on the family and the bosses’ plans for the workforce? Helen Watson investigates. Read more...

SWP and women’s liberation - Economism versus feminism?

Over the past few years the SWP leaders have been arguing over whether working class men benefit from women’s oppression. The answer seems fairly straight forward. Yes. They have higher wages than women, are more unionised, have more valued skills, they don’t have to do much housework, and don’t face problems of sexual harassment and assault. Read more...

Abortion under capitalism

Christina Duval examines why women are not allowed to control their own fertility. Read more...

The fight for a Working Class Women’s Movement

Workers Power supports the Campaign against Domestic Violence (CADV), launched and politically led by Militant. We believe the campaign can carry out practical work to achieve measures to alleviate a real problem faced by many women. It also opens up the possibility of a political debate about the general struggle against the oppression of women. Read more...

Women's emancipation: The communist tradition

To achieve women’s liberation we have to fight for socialism. The two things are inseparable. Read more...

Breaking the chains of Stalinism: women in the Eastern Bloc

“In the last decades only the surface signs of tradition were destroyed. Traditional structures, like the slave-life of women in the family, remain.”1

These words from a Soviet woman worker show the reality of women’s “liberation” under Stalinism. For decades women in the USSR and Eastern Europe were told that they were equal and free, and that the “woman question” had been solved. These lies, together with the claim that socialism had actually been established, are being cruelly exposed as the regimes crumble one by one. The danger now facing women is that they may exchange one illusion for another. Instead of the bureaucratic chimera of “socialism in one country” and women’s liberation, they are now being offered an equally fantastical picture of what the market economy and mass consumerism can do to lighten the crushing burden of domestic toil. Neither of these alternatives can advance the condition of women workers. Read more...

Navigation