Women's Fightback 19, January/February 2014

The things we do for love

It's impossible to discuss women's experiences of work without considering childcare. In England in 2011 78% of families with children under 15 used some form of childcare, ranging from nurseries and pre-schools; childminders; breakfast and after school clubs; to holiday care - we can't live and work without it. But for many families these arrangements aren't working.

3 Cosas: "We need your support"

An interview with Sonia Chura of the IWGB about women's role in the 3 Cosas struggle.


What are the issues facing women workers specifically? How do you tackle them?

Issues facing women workers include excessive workload, especially on Mondays and Tuesdays. Women finish work with spinal pain, kidney pain and sore hands. In summer it's even worse. There's a lot more work in halls because of conferences. We take out the trash, make the beds, clean the closets, vacuum, and change the linen. It's very hard work in the summer.

Class Struggle and Women's Liberation

Published in 1984, Tony Cliff’s book Class Struggle and Women’s Liberation set out the SWP’s theory on women’s oppression and how to fight it.

This was a couple of years after the SWP had shut down its inconveniently independent ‘Women’s Voice’ paper and organisation, and Cliff’s cliched tale of “good” revolutionaries putting the class struggle first and “bad” bourgeois/radical feminists was clearly aimed at members of his own party.

Women in the labour market

Over the past 40 years there has been a rise in the percentage of women in employment and a fall in the percentage of men.

In April to June 2013 around 67% of working-age women were in work, an increase from 53% in 1971. For men the percentage fell to 76% in 2013 from 92% in 1971.

The big story here is the long-term restructuring of UK capitalism, away from manufacturing and towards service industries (which as they were lower-paid and more “flexible” tended to be “matched” to female workers by capitalists).

Finland's transport industry ‘Not a paradise for working women’

Women working in Finland’s transport industry face similar issues to their UK sisters.

The largest party in the Finnish government is the National Coalition (the equivalent of the UK Conservatives). The Green Party is also part of the government, and holds the position of Minister of Transport. It is selling the state-owned transport companies.

All public sector companies are up for sale. This is in line with European Union anti-trust laws, but the right-wing government seems to be going along with it willingly, rather than being reluctantly forced by the EU.

Narrowing the Gender Pay Gap

7 November 2013 was Equal Pay Day in the UK: the day on which, due to the gender pay gap, women in effect stopped being paid for the rest of the year.

In the same week, European trade unionists gathered in Vilnius, Lithuania, for the final conference of the European TUC’s 'Bargaining For Equality' project. The Project sought to address inequality in men's and women's wages, and to identify ‘collective bargaining’ strategies that trade unions could use to tackle these inequalities.

What is the Gender Pay Gap?

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