For women’s emancipation, social revolution!

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The 2020-2021 global economic and health particularly affects women, either because of the risk of contagion in hospitals, trading, cleaning up or manufacturing industry, or because of the decline in some activities and of the rising unemployment. 3.9% of men and 5% of women have already lost their jobs (ILO, January 25, 2021).

Everywhere, “honour crimes”, sexual harassment and rape mainly target women, especially during wars. 80% of the 42 million victims of forced prostitution are women, predominantly lower class girls. Each year, 1.5 million girls are married against their will. Each year, 4 million girls suffer sexual mutilation (excision or infibulation). In the imperialist countries, the systematic attack against public services conducted by governments has affected women workers especially.

All religious apparatus are trying to keep women under subjection. Reactionary political currents rely on religions for questioning women’s achievements, from the right to education to the right to abortion. IS in Syria and in Iraq, Morawiecki and PiS in Poland, Bolsonaro in Brazil, Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, the fascist party Vox in Spain, Modi and the BJP in India, Erdogan and the AKP in Turkey, Putin in Russia, the Talibans in Afghanistan … Nevertheless, in Poland, in Spain, in Argentina, in Arabia and many other states, working women and students have led the fight against the femicides and against the oppression they experienced, for social and political equality, for the control of their own bodies … For several years, reports on sexist and male violence have made it possible to publicize the heinous crimes women have suffered for too long, such as the rapes and murders of hundreds of young female workers in Mexico which have gone unpunished.

The fight against gender oppression cannot be left to the exploiting or intermediate social classes. Based on a few university departments, the petit-bourgeois feminism, under the label of “intersectionality”, adds up the oppressions without setting any real outcome, and tends to oppose women against all men. With the backing of mass media, the bourgeois feminism confines itself to the improvement of the situation of exploiting classes’ women by demanding more positions as political leaders or managers of capitalist companies.

In 1871 The Paris Commune saw working women taking part to the insurrection and to the workers’ democracy, to the defence against the bourgeois counter-revolution with the tricolour flag. They won the right to common-law union, the prohibition of prostitution, the separation of church and state and equal pay… The 1917 Russian revolution, which started with the female workers of Petrograd, once victorious thanks to the Bolshevik Party, did more, despite the economic and cultural backwardness of the country, for the emancipation of women than the legitimate movement of “suffragettes” started in 1860 in the United Kingdom. In Russia, the full legal equality, the right to divorce, the right to abortion, the equality of children born in or out of wedlock, the custody and protection of children … were decided in 1917-1918, while in Britain, the right to vote was only granted in 1918, while excluding women under 30 and women from colonies; equality before divorce was not achieved there until 1973.

Only the working class, because it is exploited, challenges capitalism, the class system and the bourgeois state which is the hasp of exploitation and oppression. The working class, by its place in the creation of wealth, its size, its international nature, can take the lead in the fight against all the oppression of which humans are victims (because of their class, their sex, their nationality, their ethnic traits, their sexual orientation, their atheism, their religion …). It can achieve equality between men and women and it can emancipate humanity as a whole. This historic task can only be carried out by revolutionary workers parties, within the framework of an international in the tradition of the League of Communists (1847-1852), of the Workers’ International (1889-1914 which launched the March 8, world with Clara Zetkin), of the Communist International (1919-1933), of the 4th International (1936-1951).

The struggle for the emancipation of women must be the concern of the entire labour movement. In order to unify the proletariat and to rally the female students, peasants, public servants … the workers’ organizations must fight machismo within themselves, they must recognize the right to self-organization for working women and engage actively in the defence of women’s freedom and equality in all areas, in the defence of the right to control their life, their body and their desire to have children, in the defence of all their demands, as workers who are particularly exploited and oppressed.

  • Full legal equality.
  • Distribution of work between all, by the reduction of the working day without reduction of wages, until the elimination of unemployment. Refusal of precarious work. Real wage equality between men and women.
  • Wage, benefits and pensions allowing all workers to live decently. Abundant free and quality utilities, provided by both male and female workers for transport, support of children, the sick and dependent people.
  • Decent housing for all workers.
  • Immediate elimination of any religion at school. Only one secular, free and mixed public school. Scientific sex education focused on love and respect for one’s own sexual freedom and that of others, regardless of its orientation. No direct or indirect funding for any religion.
  • Free abortion and contraception as part of the public healthcare system. Defence of the universal, free and secular public health service. Respect and adequate medical treatment of specifically female pathologies and diseases. Free menstrual kits.
  • Prohibition and criminalization of prostitution. Prohibition of surrogacy.
  • Right to freely and safely cross borders for all the workers, including young workers and people in training.
  • Against macho justice and media lynching of all kinds. Purge of all reactionary judges. Genuine democratic non-sexist justice where judges are eligible and revocable by workers’ councils. Women’s self-defense classes against macho violence.
  • For a government of workers towards a classless society, without exploitation and without oppression. For international socialism.
March 8, 2021
Permanent revolution collective (Germany, Austria, Spain, France, Turkey)