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From: The Socialist issue 938, 1 March 2017: Build a movement to save our NHS

Search site for keywords: Women - Strike - Socialist - Austerity - Cuts - Trump - Russian revolution - Revolution - Rape - Oppression - Maternity - Care Homes - Children

International Women's Day

Fighting for liberation and socialism

International Women's Day 2017

International Women's Day 2017   (Click to enlarge)

Tessa Warrington, Leicester Socialist Party

Women are on the move. They're on the move against Donald Trump in the US with millions on the 'women's marches'. They're on the move against attacks on reproductive rights in Ireland and Poland with a huge women's strike last year.

They're on the move against the legalisation of child rape in Turkey with massive demonstrations. And they're going to be on the move again on 8 March - International Women's Day.

This year's International Women's Day commemorates the 100th anniversary of the heroic struggle of women textile workers in St Peterburg who walked out in unofficial strike action in 1917, demanding bread and herrings to feed their families. That strike marked the start of the Russian revolution, a struggle against the oppressive monarchy but also against the capitalist system.

100 years later women are still suffering under capitalism. The impact of austerity has been disproportionate on women. We make up the majority of the public sector workforce facing job cuts.

We rely on child benefits, maternity pay and flexible working to maintain a degree of financial independence while raising our children, all of which are now under attack.

Cuts

Access to contraception, safe abortions and safe childbirth are all threatened with the massive 22 billion scheduled cuts to the NHS.

We are the most likely to take on caring for the elderly as public care homes are closed and privatised, and suffer increased domestic and sexual violence as women's refuges and rape crisis centres are shut down. We have many reasons to be angry, many reasons to move into action.

For the first time ever, women make up the majority of trade union members in this country. Making appeals to women that fighting austerity is necessary to fighting their own oppression is a key task for the trade unions.

The international movements clearly show that many women are open to methods traditionally used by workers' struggles, like strikes, and to socialist ideas. We need those women to join the Socialist Party to fight for an alternative in the struggles to come.


See also:

Lessons of the Russian revolution for women's struggle today

and

Protests and walkouts around the world for International Women's Day

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Finance appeal

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.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

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Article dated 1 March 2017

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