IS THIS AS GOOD AS IT GETS?
Women's lot under capitalism and the case for class struggle feminism
11.30-17.30, Saturday 26 November
University College London
A conference to debate the issues facing women in the era of capitalist crisis and cuts, learn from past battles and revive a class struggle feminist movement. Organised by women members and supporters of the Alliance for Workers' Liberty. People of all genders welcome.
We will also be organising a series of meetings in the run up to the conference, in towns, universities/colleges and union branches around the country - see here.
Tickets: £10 waged, £5 low-waged/students, £2 unwaged/school students.
Please pay by:
● Sending a cheque to AWL, 20E Tower Workshops, Riley Road, London SE1 3DG
● Doing an internet bank transfer to "AWL", account 20047674 at Unity Trust Bank, Birmingham, 08-60-01
● Pay in cash to an organiser (get in touch to be put in touch)
● Debit or credit card via PayPal, by clicking on a button below.
£2 unwaged/school student
Women’s lot under capitalism is, for most, that of low-paid wage slavery, with the double burden of the bulk of the responsibility for childrearing, housework and caring being placed ﬁrmly on our shoulders; then there’s the enormous pressures of how we should look, behave and act. The chances of achieving any real freedoms or reaching our individual and collective potential is impossible under capitalism.
The lot of working class women is made even worse at times like these when capitalism is in crisis. It’s working class women who are hit hardest when jobs are cut and services slashed.
The case for class struggle feminism is the case for a distinct feminism based on smashing the oppression of the majority of women - working class women. The liberation of working class women is the liberation of humanity. This conference is a space to discuss these ideas and organise action for freedom.
Class struggle feminists care little about glass ceilings that stop middle class women from becoming bosses and exploiting working class women and men. It's the class ceiling we’re out to smash!
11.30-12.15 Registration, lunch and stalls
12.15-13.15 OPENING PLENARY: Cuts against women, women against cuts
● Claire Locke, London Metropolitan University Student Union president
● Rosie Huzzard, Workers' Liberty and PCS activist and women's services worker in Sheffield
● Rose Anderson, Hull school student activist
● Theodora Polenta, Greek socialist activist
a. When working-class women fought back: Ford Dagenham, Grunwick, Women Against Pit Closures
● Jean Lane, Workers' Liberty and Unison activist in Tower Hamlets, East London
b. The fight for reproductive freedoms - in defence of abortion rights and sex education
● Education for Choice (www.efc.org.uk )
c. Introduction to Marxism and feminism
● Cathy Nugent, editor of Solidarity
● Sarah Weston, Workers' Liberty Merseyside
14.30: BREAK FOR REFRESHMENTS
a. Student women fight back!
● Jade Baker, NUS Women's Committee, NCAFC (www.anticuts.com ) National Committee and Workers' Liberty
● Cath Fletcher, UCU and Workers' Liberty, Durham University
● Claire Lister, Birmingham University and NCAFC National Committee
b. The lives of classfighter feminists - Eleanor Marx and Sylvia Pankhurst
● Jill Mountford, Workers' Liberty National Committee
● Alice Poppy Marshall, Women of Hull Against Cuts
c. Migrant women's struggles are everyone's struggles
● Marlene Jimenez, IWW cleaners' branch IU640 (http://iww.org.uk/ )
d. Women in the North African and Middle Eastern revolutions
● Lucinda Lavelle, British Libyan Solidarity Campaign (blsc.org.uk)
● Houzan Mahmoud, UK representative of the Organisation of Women?s Freedom in Iraq (www.equalityiniraq.com )
a. The unorganised get organised: the 1888 matchwomen's strike, New Unionism and the lessons for today
● Louise Raw, author of Striking a Light: the Bryant and May Matchwomen and Their Place in History (www.louiseraw.co.uk )
● Becky Crocker, Workers' Liberty and RMT activist on London Underground
b. Feminism and the rise of the new anti-capitalism
● Elaine Jones, Merseyside Women Against the Cuts
● Feminist Fightback speaker (www.feministfightback.org.uk )
● Occupy London activist
c. Fighting sexism in our workplaces and our labour movement
● Discussion led by RMT (rail workers' union) activists
17.15-17.45 CLOSING PLENARY
● With Gemma Short, Workers' Liberty and Rotherham National Union of Teachers
Followed by a contingent on the Reclaim the Night March.
Meet 6pm at University College London, Gower Street WC1.
More info: 07883 520 852 or email@example.com
The Revolting Women's Cabaret social to raise money for the Women's Fightback newspaper, with interpretive drama and feminist folk music.
The Old King's Head, Borough Market, 7.30pm
Suggested donation on the door £6 waged/£4 low-waged/students, £3 unwaged/school students
Free creche: please get in touch to register by 21 November
Free accommodation - please get in touch if you need it.
Map of UCL here
Nearest stations Euston/Warren St/Euston Square
Facebook event here.
After the "Is this as good as it gets?" socialist feminist conference, women participants in the conference will form a contingent on the Reclaim the Night march, marching together from UCL to the starting point in Whitehall.
We will be marching in solidarity with all women resisting violence - the fight against gender-based violence should be a central part of any feminist movement.
Our slogans for the march will be:
● For anti-capitalist class struggle feminism
● No cuts: tax the rich to fund jobs, a living wage and services for everyone
● For LGBT liberation: trans women welcome
● Solidarity with sex workers' struggles
If you want to take part in Reclaim the Night but on a clear anti-capitalist, trans liberation, pro-sex worker basis, come and join us.
Meet 6pm at University College London, Gower Street WC1 and come with us to join RTN.
More info: 07883 520 852 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be linking up with anti-capitalist feminists from different groups including Feminist Fightback as part of a Red Umbrella contingent.
After the march we will be heading to an evening of feminist entertainment and socialising: the Revolting Women's Caberet to raise money for the Women's Fightback newspaper. We will be meeting at 8pm at Charing Cross station (the march passes through Trafalgar Sq) to travel down together. Call us if you can't find us and want to come.