Marxism and women's liberation

The socialist roots of International Women's Day

Submitted by cathy n on Mon, 25/03/2019 - 10:49

By the beginning of the twentieth century, the relatively-young capitalist system had thrown millions of women in industrially-developing countries into factories, domestic service and other work. Many occupations were gender segregated, and “women’s work” – such as textiles – was often in the most appalling sweatshops, with low pay, terrible safety standards, and long hours. But at least workers were together, rather than isolated in the home, so they were able to fight back. Women workers, both unionised and not, organised industrial disputes to win better conditions.

Introducing: social reproduction theory

Submitted by cathy n on Mon, 25/03/2019 - 10:40
domestic work

One of the key texts of early social reproduction theory was Lise Vogel’s Marxism and the Oppression of Women, published in 1983. Vogel’s aim in the book was to criticise the ‘dual systems theory’ that emerged from the 1970s, which saw (a) Marxism as an explanation for class exploitation, and (b) patriarchy as an explanation for women’s oppression: two linked but fundamentally separate systems.

A split in Iraqi socialist group

Submitted by SJW on Wed, 18/07/2018 - 10:54

Nadia Mahmood of the Worker-communist Party of Iraq spoke to Martin Thomas about a split within her organisation.

Nadia: The resignation of our comrades Muayad Ahmed and Yanar Mohammad was announced after the central committee’s decision to take away Falah Alwan’s membership of the party.

MT: There must have been some political issues behind it, like the referendum?

Stop the "anti-prostitute" vigilantes! (1994)

Submitted by dalcassian on Sun, 31/08/2014 - 02:53

LEAVE ASIDE for the moment the question of
whether or not they should do such a thing. What hap-
pens when you set a gang of men - any men - to roam the
streets as vigilantes, harassing, bullying, and intimidating
prostitute women?

They will soon be harassing, bullying, and intimidating
women who are not prostitutes - women who by their gait,
clothes, make-up, or behaviour, or where they happen to
be on a street or in a neighbourhood, look to the gang of
men "like prostitutes".

Marxist ideas to turn the tide: fighting for liberation

Submitted by AWL on Tue, 25/06/2013 - 17:53

The opening plenary of Ideas for Freedom 2013 explored key "Marxist ideas to turn the tide". Unite activist Elaine Jones discussed the idea of a workers' government, Unison shop steward Ed Whitby explained the meaning of "transitional demands" such as the call for the expropriation of the banks, and Greek revolutionary Theodora Polenta shared recent experiences of struggle and workers' control in Greece.

The Marxists on oppression

Submitted by Matthew on Wed, 10/04/2013 - 10:30

The fourth part of a review article looking at the themes of John Riddell’s new book of documents from the early communist movement.

The week Paul Hampton looks at how they debated women’s liberation and other issues of oppression.


The early Communist International’s focus was on working class self-liberation and this was reflected in the time spent on discussions on party building, work to transform the labour movement and on the specifics of class struggle strategy.

Marxism and feminism

Submitted by Matthew on Wed, 27/03/2013 - 16:23

Workers’ Liberty have been organising a series of meetings to discuss Marxism, feminism and the fight for women’s liberation today.

In Britain and internationally there is a revival of feminist ideas and activism. In past women’s movements Marxist ideas have played an important role but this isn’t so true today. It’s time to renew the link! And it is time for Workers’ Liberty to renew its Marxist feminist ideas.

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