09.02.2011: March 8th 2011 - Let us set a signal for the liberation of women in the 21st century!

"Women's Day is an excellent demonstration for the equality of women and the rebellion against capitalism." (Clara Zetkin) With these words Clara Zetkin, the socialist and pioneer of the liberation of women, substantiated the necessity of International Women's Day 100 years ago.

This year it will be celebrated for the 100th time. Women, girls - half of the sky is yours! Make International Women's Day to your own cause in the factories, trade unions, in the schools and universities, with diverse activities in the streets. Support the first World Women's Conference of rank-and-file women which is taking place in Venezuela from 4th to 8th March! Boys and men - make International Women's Day your very own concern!

The MLPD is proud of the socialist roots of this international day of struggle for the liberation of women. After the decision of the Second International Congress of Socialist Women in 1910, more than one million people took to the streets for the first time in 1911. The women's movement gained this day in struggle! Right-wing social-democrats defamed it as a "special treatment" for women, and the government banned rallies; but all this could not hold up its victorious march. The anti-communist prophecy of doom of Alice Schwarzer, who demanded last year to abolish it on grounds of its socialist tradition, also went unheeded. Indeed, it was Karl Marx and Frederic Engels who for the first time scientifically proved the inseparable connection between the exploitation of wage labor and the bourgeois family system. Yes, it was the socialist August Bebel who caused a worldwide sensation with his bestseller "Women and Socialism". They realized something completely new: The liberation of women is necessary - and possible only in socialism! It is in this spirit that the revolutionary world organization ICOR decided to actively support March 8th as a day of struggle for the liberation of women.

March 8th is a "holiday" - but also a day of struggle! Where would we be today without committed and militant women's movements and revolutionary women? 100 years ago the demand for women's suffrage was at the center of interest - in 1918 it was won in the struggles of the November Revolution. Without the militant women's movement the legal gender equality in Germany would not exist as it does now either. The women's movement in the whole world has achieved a great deal! However, the women's issue can only be solved with the question of the system. The socially based double exploitation and oppression of the masses of women remains an integral part of the capitalist system until its downfall. It is sheer mockery when the "Women's Secretary" Schröder (CDU - Christian Democratic Party) never tires of announcing the good message of the "equality of women" in capitalism that has been almost fully achieved.

We are presently experiencing enthusiastic signals of a new awakening of the international women's movement. After decades of brutal oppression, the courage and self-confidence of the girls and women in North Africa and Arabia is making headway in democratic people's uprisings. They have our international solidarity! In Bangladesh hundreds of thousands of female textile workers went on strike and demonstrated during the past months against the starvation wages of adidas and other companies. Their hard struggle is an encouragement for all female workers. In Venezuela delegates from all countries in the world are expected at the first World Women's Conference of rank-and-file women. This is the correct response to the attempts of the UN to put an end to the struggle for the liberation of women after the last World Women's Conference in Peking in 1995. The women of the world are "planting the sun in the dark woods", as they said in the final declaration of the 9th Women's Political Counsel 2010.

Women are not the victims of history, but courageous protagonists of the future! The strength of the militant women's movement is based on its independence and own strength, as well as on the solidarity with the working class, people's and youth movement. Let us set a signal for the liberation of women in the 21st century on March 8th!

Demands and slogans of the MLPD for March 8th 2011:

  • Fight all forms of the special exploitation and oppression of women!

  • Fight sexism! Banning and prosecution of violent and child pornography!

  • Active promotion of women in social life!

  • For economic, social and cultural equality of women!

  • Higher wages and salaries! 30-hour workweek with full wage compensation!

  • Relief for families from the tasks of the reproduction of labor power and child care!

  • Free and qualified all-day care of children at nurseries, kindergartens, daycare centers and all-day schools!

  • Save the environment from the greed for profit!

  • Defend and extend democratic rights and liberties!

  • Struggle for the liberation of women in socialist society!

  • Workers of all countries – unite!

  • Workers of all countries and all oppressed – unite!


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