Radical Women on International Women’s Day

By Margaret Viggiani
Radical Women

Happy International Women’s Day!

One hundred years ago, at the Second International Socialist Women’s Conference, participants from 17 countries voted unanimously to create a day to honor the struggles of workingclass women. International Women’s Day was born, and it’s been celebrated in countries across the globe ever since.

Women now, just as they did one hundred years ago, hold a unique economic and social position in society – oppressed in the home and super-exploited in the workplace. Women suffer more frequently from poverty; they labor long hours at home, raising the young and nursing the aged and sick; and they often also perform double-duty outside the home, working for lower wages than their male counterparts. This harsh reality makes women the best and toughest leaders of movements fighting for social and economic justice. In other words, women always have everything to gain and little to lose by organizing for a better world. As the South African song proclaims, “When you strike a woman, you strike a rock!”

Rebellion by women against an unjust global economic order is very much alive. In Iran, women are revolting against a thoroughly bankrupt, oppressive regime; in Gaza and the West Bank, Palestinian women are organizing an international boycott of Israel; in Italy, France and Spain, immigrant women went on strike against xenophobic racism; in Australia, feminists convened a national conference to coordinate and re-energize the abortion rights movement; in Mexico, women staunchly defend striking mine workers who fight for basic labor and human rights.

In the United States, queers and their allies are agitating for equality in all aspects of life. On university and college campuses, young women are organizing strikes and conferences in answer to the draconian cuts and
tuition hikes that politicians of both parties are implementing to balance shrinking state budgets.

Radical Women in the U.S. and Australia is in the thick of these fights.

Over the past year, members have also campaigned for fully-funded health care and other human services; helped pass laws to tax the rich and corporate profits; defended clinics and protested for reproductive
freedom; organized to stop raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); raised money for our sisters and brothers in Haiti, who are rebuilding their homeland; and much more.

On this 100th anniversary of the declaration of IWD, the issues may have changed, but the nature of the struggle remains the same. Like the socialist women who founded IWD, Radical Women believes the movements for social and economic justice must be independent and anti-capitalist to realize their full potential. Independent because it doesn’t matter which political party holds power if they aren’t accountable to the workingclass majority. If women are ever to achieve equality, we must cut the ties to politicians who demand our votes and hard-earned money, but give little, if anything, in return.

Our movements must also be anti-capitalist and tackle head-on the bankrupt economic system that pits nations and peoples against each other in a dog-eat-dog race to the bottom so that a tiny minority can exploit the earth’s resources and human labor for private gain. The day the world’s peoples turn this “free” market pyramid upside down will be a great advance along the path of achieving full equality and quality of life for all of humanity.

So, on this March 8, Radical Women unites in solidarity with all our sisters and brothers around the world who are marching, protesting, and raising their voices to win a socialist future where all people have not only bread, but roses too!

Join with Radical Women in this exciting and fulfilling work of creating a just world. Check us out at www.RadicalWomen.org. Your ideas and talents are welcome and needed. Or, make a donation! Every dollar will be used to fight for the rights of women.

ĄAdelante!

One response to “Radical Women on International Women’s Day

  1. Pingback: March 12, 2010 COTO Digest « COTO Report

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