|Written by IWL-FI|
|Saturday, 10 March 2012 02:38|
|• From Tahrir Square to Syntagma, from Plaza del Sol to Occupy Wall Street, women are fighting
No to male chauvinism and to oppression
In defense of women’s rights, stop adjustment plans!
That the capitalists pay for the crisis!
One of the most striking images that toured the world was that of an Egyptian female activist being brutally beaten, dragged, trampled and his clothes being took off by Egyptian army soldiers.
A scene that marks the brutality, barbarism and injustice expressed in a raging capitalist sexist violence. But it also shows the strength, bravery and courage of the ones who fight. A scene, among many, who printed in the revolutions of North Africa and the Middle East, beyond the role of popular and youth movements, a woman’s face.
In Egypt it was the female workers of the textile industry who made the first strike that led to the worker rise against Mubarak. It was them who covered the remaining factories to convince their peers to join the strike. This same textile factory in Mahalla al Kubra called up the strike of April 6, 2008, when they were severely repressed.
The young people who started the protests in Tahrir Square decided to call themselves April 6 Movement in praise of the textile workers. Facing the dictatorship and oppression, women, veiled and unveiled, were in Tahrir Square and continued the fight, facing the government as well as sexism.
In Europe, across the ocean, the capitalist crisis and the subsequent adjustment plans, cuts and overexploitation on the working class, deeply affect women and their rights, won through hard struggle. It’s on women and other oppressed sectors, such as immigrants and youth, that first fall social effects of the war that the capitalists are carrying out against the working class. Along the destruction of the so-called Welfare State, they are attacking all the conquests the working women had achieved.
Given this, for years the capitalist governments seek to present a lie: that woman would be practically emancipated under this system, whose main characteristic is the exploitation and inequality.
The truth is that inequality and oppression are useful tools for exploitation. Even in countries where the working class and women got more achievements, we are far from equality: women earn lower salaries than men all around the world. These figures vary from 16% in Sweden and Denmark, 23% in Germany, 33% in Brazil and between 26% and 30% in Argentina.
Violence is another nightmare data that is increasing worldwide. Poverty and hunger affect women more deeply than men: 70% of those who are immersed in poverty are women.
Women, who in the years of economic growth are overexploited and incorporated into the labor market earning less in years of crisis, in general, are bearing the cost of adjustment and social cuts.
It is true that we women, especially as a product of the struggle of all workers, obtained a series of conquests. But all of them are permanently threatened.
In Europe today, for example, all governments implement adjusting plans demanded by the troika, the European Union and the IMF that are attacking all of the hard-won rights. Each cut on social policies results in unemployment, especially now, with layoffs in the public service, mass layoffs of women in sectors like education and health, for example; besides leaving for the households the tasks that were previously performed by the State, such as sick, elderly or children care or even the attempt to obstruct or reduce the period of maternity benefits. Beyond the practical measures, they add a conservative and reactionary campaign defending that the woman’s place is at home. The Church, in countries like Spain and Portugal, has made statements in the media through their bishops using these aberration terms.
There is also an ideological offensive against legal abortion and practical measures that make it more difficult, like cuts in health and in social services, such as in England and Spain. The laws that existed to promote equality, which were not effectively applied and didn’t assure equality, have been targeted, and will deepen inequality and oppression much more and, thus, the exploitation of the working class as a whole.
But also at the protests in Europe, women are fighting and, as in Egypt, stand out and have great importance, as in the last multitudinous demonstrations that occurred in Spain.
In Latin America women have a double workday, wage inequality, lack of child care, the growing violence against them and impunity of the murderers, as in Brazil, or starving, as in Haiti, or the terrible fact of women death by botched or clandestine abortions, because it is not legalized and, furthermore, it’s criminalized. Many women die from abortions in poor conditions.
In the same way that women are the first to suffer the consequences of injustice and attacks by governments, they are also among the first to come out fighting.
So it was with another photo published in social networks: that of a woman from Pinheirinho (neighborhood with more than 6,000 people built on the occupation of urban land in São José dos Campos, Brazil), with her children, surrounded by fire and bombs threw by the police during the violent eviction carried out in this neighborhood, an authoritarian action and flagrant violation of human rights, which impacted Brazilian people and reverberated worldwide.
The “iron ladies” do not represent us
Capitalism and many women’s organizations want to present the capitalist governments of Angela Merkel in Germany, Cristina Kirchner, Argentina, or even Dilma Rousseff in Brazil as achievements that would benefit all of us. As if bourgeois and working women were alike, being enough to gain more seats in the parliament for women under capitalism.
But the oppression felt by working women is different from that imposed to bourgeois women, because for us it means exploitation and double working hours. And every capitalist woman, even more the capitalist leaders, act in favor of deepening the oppression of women, insofar as they lead the cuts and exploitation.
All play an absolutely reactionary role. For example, the vice president of Rajoy’s government in Spain, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, who recently argued that women can have maternity benefits decreased to only 10 days after delivery, using herself as an example. It is so easy for her, because this conservative woman has conditions to exploit other women and make them take care of her children, besides revealing a profound ignorance about the needs of child care.
In full offensive against the working class and female workers, it is presented as a great film and model the life of Margaret Thatcher, the “Iron Lady”, as if one of the main proponents of exploitation and inequality in the world would mean an achievement of women’s emancipation.
Or even more Mrs. Rousseff – in whom the working class and women have high expectations – who, to ensure her alliances with the ruling class and the Church, does not oppose the reactionary campaign against the decriminalization of abortion, putting at risk of throwback the very little care that women have in this case.
We from IWL-FI clearly say: Those women do not represent us!
Workers united against capitalist governments and oppression
Equality is not possible under capitalism, since this system is champion in inequality.
Women have to struggle daily for the most minimal rights under this system, to conquer and defend them. But every achievement will always be at least threatened, because the raison d’etre of capitalism is profit and exploitation for the benefit of the financial system and capitalists. And the capitalists will use discrimination permanently as a weapon to increase exploitation.
So they keep under oppression more than half the world’s population, the women. Furthermore, oppression affects even more deeply the women who integrate other oppressed sectors by capitalism, such as the youth, black people, immigrants or lesbians.
In the global economic crisis in which we live, this perverse face is deepened and the attacks turn more brutal and endanger all the achievements hard obtained.
In this struggle, bourgeois women in general are sided with their class, defending the adjustment plans.
In some fights, bourgeois women can join in, as in defense of legalized abortion, but will always be limited in their activities, especially in times like this, where it is hard to deal with the capitalist governments and their exploitation plans.
The conquest of women’s emancipation can only occur under another system, under a system without exploitation that is only possible if we make the socialist revolution. And this struggle unites women and men of the working class.
Male workers need to take with us the fight against oppression, because the socialist revolution is impossible without women’s participation.
The working class as a whole, i.e., the men and women of the working class must carry the banner of women’s emancipation and liberation and fight for our rights.
Working men who advocate or practice sexism favor, consciously or unconsciously, the system, the bosses and their governments.
The fight against oppression and inequality needs to have its voice heard in the working class’ struggle, to make it even stronger now in the general fight so that the crisis will not be paid by us, the working class.
And because we must fight for a world free of exploitation, but also without oppression.
Women should continue to join the fight!
Each time there are more working women who join the struggle in defense of our rights, against the cuts and “adjustments”, against capitalism and its governments and for socialism. It is our duty as revolutionaries to encourage a greater participation of women in their organizations and incorporate them into the fight. This is strategic, because without the effective participation of women (half of the workforce in the world), there is no possibility to maintain or obtain new achievements, even less to get to socialism.
Therefore, in this March 8, The IWL-FI calls up all working women to organize, to fight back and to build with us, men and women, revolutionary parties as part of an International.
• That the capitalists pay for the crisis!
• In defense of women’s rights, stop adjustment plans!
• In defense of public services!
• Against Unemployment: reduction of working hours without loss of pay!
• Equal pay for equal work!
• End all violence against women!
• Exemplary punishment for murderers, rapists and abusers of women!
• Decriminalization and legalization of abortion, contraceptives to avoid abortion, safe and legal abortion to avoid dying.