Women's Fightback, Feminism

Women's Fightback — latest and back issues

Women's Fightback is a socialist feminist publication produced by the Alliance for Workers' Liberty. See here for the latest issue — PDF and articles — from which you can find back issues, audio, and related tags.

A feminist speaks from inside Afghanistan

Demonstrations started in the first week of full Taliban rule, particularly in Herat in the west of Afghanistan and in Kabul and other major cities. In these cities at least women before the collapse of the old government had some basic rights, like having jobs and going to school and university.

Women's Fightback: Don't kick rape charges off the pitch

TW // sexual violence A banner supporting a woman who accused footballer Cristiano Ronaldo of sexual assault was flown over Old Trafford during his return game for Manchester United. The Level Up feminist group said they wanted to “remind crowds” of rape allegations against him and “disrupt the fanfare” around the player’s heavily-publicised return to Manchester United. The group’s co-director Janey Starling said they wanted to send “a message to football that rape allegations can’t be kicked off the pitch”. The banner above the Manchester United stadium read “Believe Kathryn Mayorga”. Kathryn...

25 September call for Afghanistan

RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, is calling on supporters of women’s rights in Afghanistan to join action on the streets on 25 September. They say: “Women of the world and our allies stand with the women - and all vulnerable groups - of Afghanistan against imperialism, militarism, fundamentalism and fascism. None of us are free until the women of Afghanistan are free”. They call on governments to: • Refuse to recognize a Taliban government, which has no legitimacy beyond the brutal force it commands and which terrorises the people of Afghanistan, girls and women...

Women's Fightback: A new generation of Kyrgyz heroines

The kidnapping of brides has been banned for decades in Kyrgyzstan, an ex-USSR Central Asian Republic lying north of Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The law was tightened in 2013, with sentences of up to 10 years in prison for those who kidnap a woman to force her into marriage. Previously it was a fine of 2,000 soms, about £20. Despite that, the medieval practise of ala kachuu (“take and run”) persists to this day. The Women Support Centre in Bishkek has estimated that 12,000 forced marriages take place every year and very few perpetrators are convicted. About 80% of the girls kidnapped accept...

Where "incel" backlash comes from

The Plymouth shooting of 12 August which left five people plus the perpetrator dead is the latest in a series of incel-related mass shootings that have occurred since 2014 in the US, Canada, Germany and now the UK. Some have called for the killing to be described explicitly as misogynistic terrorism. That is certainly understandable. The murderer had had a history of posting misogynistic and homophobic comments online. Short for “involuntary celibate”, the word “incel” refers to an online subculture that has developed over the past decade where people (overwhelmingly male) dissatisfied with...

Honour and learn from the Grunwick strike!

20 August 2021 was the 45th anniversary of the start of one of the most important struggles in British working-class history, the two-year strike by Grunwick film-processing workers in North West London. Below we republish an overview of the strike and its significance written by Jean Lane in 1998, with a short introduction from 2012. The kind of lessons Jean highlighted in 1998, from the strike's magnificence but also its galling defeat, were still relevant in 2012 and are relevant today. To honour this history, we are encouraging donations to the strike fund of outsourced cleaning and...

Women's Fightback: Support Afghan women against the Taliban

The Taliban continues to make rapid territorial gains in Afghanistan following the announcement that almost all foreign troops will leave by September. The Taliban has captured half of the territory of Afghanistan, particularly the rural areas, and several provincial capitals. Fighting has increased around the major cities of Herat, Lashkar Gah and Kandahar. Tens of thousands of Afghans have applied for visas to leave the country, fearing Taliban reprisals. The US and Afghan government have responded by airstrikes and bombing of Taliban positions. Workers’ Liberty has never supported the US...

Women's Fightback: Calling the military to account

Almost two-thirds of women in the armed forces have experienced bullying, sexual harassment, and discrimination during their career, according to a parliamentary report that says the UK military is “failing to protect” female recruits. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) lifted the legal restrictions that usually prevent serving military from contributing to such inquiries. Around one in ten serving women gave testimony. The report describes “truly shocking evidence” included gang rape and extensive institutionalised sexual harassment. Some women revealed how they were bullied for refusing sexual...

Women's Fightback: Your assistant may not be female

If you’ve updated the operating system on your iPhone recently you’ll notice Siri is no longer defaulting to a female voice. This is Apple’s response to criticism of the gender bias in virtual assistance. Digital sociologists Yolande Strengers and Jenny Kennedy argue that Siri, and other voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, have been developed in order to “carry out ‘wifework’ — domestic duties that have traditionally fallen on (human) wives.” They accuse tech companies of designing feminised digital assistants who are “friendly and sometimes flirty, occasionally glitchy but...

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