Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 10 March 2010

Debate on women's oppression: Socialists propose solutions

PCS members marching through London during their two day strike in March 2010, photo Paul Mattsson

PCS members marching through London during their two day strike in March 2010, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Last week I addressed an International Women's Day anniversary meeting in the European Parliament. The meeting was called by the United Left group, of which Socialist Party MEP Joe Higgins (CWI Ireland) is a member, to discuss how the economic crisis is affecting women and what the left should be doing about it.

Sarah Wrack, Youth Fight for Jobs

The first session focused on the effects of the crisis. The way the whole structure of the economy works to keep women at a financial disadvantage was pointed out. For example productivity bonuses mean many women will inevitably earn less when taking time off during pregnancy. Many of the contributions mentioned class, socialism and capitalism.

The German delegation reported that there is still a 23% pay gap in Germany, supposedly one of the most developed countries in the world.

Women in essence now have two jobs, since they have been brought into the labour market but are also still expected to do the majority of housework. In Italy, for example, women spend an hour and a half more than men every day working, training or doing housework.

The second session centred on solutions to these problems. However, apart from the three members of the CWI who spoke, very few of the politicians present proposed anything concrete. In response to a point about the pensions crisis Joe Higgins argued that if the wealth in society were socialised, there would be plenty of resources to allow all men and women to retire comfortably at 55. Anja from Belgium called for the left to fight for a general strike of all workers to demand full employment and decent conditions.

Genuine feminism

I spoke on the need for a new electoral alternative in many European countries and spoke about the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in Britain. I pointed out that while there are women standing for TUSC, unlike the neoliberal politicians we don't argue that they are good feminists by virtue of being female.

Rather, all those standing for TUSC, men and women, are good feminists by virtue of their policies. They will fight every cut to childcare and the NHS, demand investment into facilities for abused women and use every resource at their disposal to fight for every job and ensure a decent wage for all workers, regardless of part-time hours or temporary contracts.

It is only these sorts of concrete demands that can begin to change the conditions which mean disproportionate suffering for women 100 years after International Women's Day was initiated.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 10 March 2010:

Fight the cuts, not union members

Don't let Unison democracy go up in smoke!

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Young voters need real change

Socialist Party feature

Michael Foot - the end of an era

Socialist Party news and analysis

Trades Council demo unites Brighton fightback

Riot cops attack peaceful Sussex students' protest

Police clear path for racist EDL thugs

Anti-war campaigner Joe Glenton gets nine months

Civil servants strike

Civil Servants Strike reports (updated)

Solid two-day civil service strike shows anger of PCS members

Socialist Party NHS campaign

Hands off our NHS!

International socialist news and analysis

Palestine: 'The Wall Must Fall!'

Chile earthquake: Natural disaster, state catastrophe

Socialist Party campaigns

Debate on women's oppression: Socialists propose solutions

Waltham Forest day of action: Socialists and trade unionists make a stand

Canvassing for support for socialists in Lewisham

Build solidarity with Sri Lankan Tamils

Solidarity with Yarl's Wood hunger strikers

National Shop Stewards Network: For undivided rank and file organisation

Justice for the Shrewsbury pickets

Socialist Party workplace news

London Underground signals victory

Leeds university rally

CWU to put Royal Mail deal to ballot of members

Socialist Party review

Tower Block of Commons


Home   |   The Socialist 10 March 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleSecret police infiltration of workers' movement exposed

triangleInternational Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleMass union mobilisation needed to counter anti-choice group

triangleBook review: She Said - Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement

Joe Higgins:

triangleIrish general election: fighting on an anti-austerity agenda

triangleInternational news in brief


triangleTata announces 1,000 job cuts - Steel unions must fight for every job!

triangleFighting for free education, jobs, homes, and a future worth living

trianglePay, jobs, pensions... Vote for a fighting general secretary

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Avenue of trees saved!



Latest podcasts



Undervalued gritters to walk out


Socialist Party

Come and discuss with us after the election



The Activist Issue 82 - for retail workers



Pay Deal: ACAS sides with management - a missed opportunity to fight



Swansea: Corbyn rally attracts turnout but many can't get in


Socialist Party

Fight for your future - join the socialists



Strikes: more determined than ever


Socialist Students

Students and workers united in struggle


South Western Railway

It's a strike to ensure the safety of the travelling public



Surrey firefighters to ballot on Christmas industrial action



Social workers lobby Hull City Council


Climate change

Climate strikes: Students and trade unionists protest together


Socialist Party

Why I joined: "Proud to be a socialist"

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019