National Sections of the L5I:


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...

From slavery to socialism: An action programme for women in the USSR and Eastern Europe

An action programme for women in the USSR and Eastern Europe

Working women in the USSR and the rest of Eastern Europe are faced with twin dangers. The collapse of the Stalinist dictatorships threatens both the restoration of capitalism and the possibility of a hardline bureaucratic crackdown. The restoration of capitalism would bring untold hardship for the vast majority of women in the degenerate workers’ states. But what, apart from the planned property relations, remains for working women to defend in the degenerate workers’ states? Read more...

Divided class, divided party: the SWP debates women’s oppression

Helen Ward critiques the debate going on in the SWP over women's oppression Read more...