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International Women's Day
International Women's Day (IWD) took place on 8 March. Socialist Party members and TUSC supporters took part in the global action around the day, bringing socialist ideas to the fight against the oppression of women. Below are brief reports of some of the many activities.
Reclaim the day
Christine Lagarde, head of the bosses' International Monetary Fund (IMF), spoke on a 'Women of the World' platform. Women of the World has the Duchess of Cornwall as its president, and is based on women who represent the super-rich 1%. Not quite the world you and I know!
Lagarde talked about making the workplace fairer for women. But her focus was how this can boost national economies, rather than how it could improve the lives of women and their families.
Not surprising really. As president of the IMF, her role is to defend capitalism and big business by making the poorest in society pay for the economic crisis.
IWD began as a socialist political event to promote equal rights and suffrage for women. It was founded to commemorate a strike of women textile workers.
In 2015, women in the UK and around the world still earn less than men and suffer from discrimination and sexual harassment.
But many are now reclaiming the day, and celebrating the true meaning of IWD. Women will be at the forefront of the struggle to overthrow capitalism and build a socialist future.
Million Women Rise
"Power to the women" was the slogan of the Million Women Rise march through London on 7 May.
Women from the 'Democratic Republic' of the Congo highlighted UK corporations profiting from forced labour and war in the region. Iranian women carried placards showing the effects of horrendous acid attacks on women who refuse to conform to the regime's dress and behaviour codes. A contingent of Turkish and Kurdish women from the Day-Mer group marched, as did a contingent of Sudanese women.
Many women on the march were survivors of violence, rape or child sexual abuse. The Million Women Rise movement has a number of demands we support. Safe houses for victims of trafficking. Abolishing the 'no recourse to public funds' rule for people from abroad. And proper funding of all services for women escaping violence.
Elaine Smith , TUSC prospective parliamentary candidate, said: "International Women's Day this year falls, once again, during a period of mass struggle by the working class against austerity.
"Working class women are disproportionately affected in government attacks on public sector jobs, benefits and attacks on services and there is more to come whoever is in government after 7 May."
Women's day school
Socialist Party members in Yorkshire celebrated IWD with a women's day school in Leeds.
We talked about how socialism is vital to feminism, held a workshop on public speaking and discussed Marxist philosophy.
Five branches were represented, including many newer members and potential members.
Lewisham Socialist Party visited Eleanor Marx's former house in Sydenham, south London. Eleanor was a leading 19th century socialist activist and trade union organiser.
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