WSF (1996): “Women’s Liberation And Anarchism: A Complementary Partnership”

WSF (1996): “Women’s Liberation And Anarchism: A Complementary Partnership”

From Workers Solidarity, magazine of the Workers Solidarity Federation, volume 2, number 2, third quarter 1996. Complete PDF is here

A comrade comments:

There is a mistaken view that women’s issues are no longer relevant. They are more relevant than ever.

It is unrealistic to claim that women’s oppression is no longer relevant in South Africa. If we are not concerned with women’s oppression we are ignoring 50% of workers and peasants.

It can not be denied that there has been an improvement in the status of women this century. For example, women have won political rights, educational opportunities; and some non- sexist laws have been implemented. But these gains are not enough! The violence against women has skyrocketed and women workers still earn a lot less than men.

The basis of inequality between men and women is not just about men disrespecting women, but is rooted in the capitalist system. The oppression of women divides the working class and ensures that the bosses have an abundant supply of cheap labour. Women also have to cook and clean and raise the new generation of workers at no extra cost to the state and the bosses.

Women are also generally less educated than men and because they are paid less they are also financially dependent on men. Men are paid more than women because many people argue that they are the bread winners. But many working class women work and are the main breadwinners of their families.

Nothing will change by waiting for the bosses to do things for us. The bosses are not working class women so they obviously don’t know what it feels like. Don’t expect them to sympathise with us.

We must fight our own battles. We can only stop discrimination in the workplace and violence against us by organising ourselves and engaging in a united class- struggle against the capitalist system which oppresses us and our daughters.