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Contribution of Communist Party of the Workers of Spain

Feb 26, 2024

The Inequality of Women


Dear comrades,

The process of emancipation of the working-class women is inseparable from class struggle and the economic, social, political, and cultural transformations the revolutionary struggle introduces in the society. Therefore, the conditions of inequality women are experiencing in Spain cannot be decoupled from the capitalist system we are living in as well as the years of policies that have put working-class women in a position of inequality regarding our class-struggle male fellows.

The capitalist system takes advantage of the subsidiary position historically taken by women in the society —caused by the capitalist social relations and the sexual division of labor— in order to take advantage of them in all the spheres. This is why the working-class women constantly experience the largest exploitation rate, worse wages for the same work, less  labor safety when they become pregnant, part-time jobs, reduction of work time for care purposes, work leaves for caring children and/or dependent people, and so on. All of this is connected to the reproductive workload women still have at home. This makes it really difficult for women to live and struggle under the conditions set by capitalism.

Women do not constitute a social class, but a heterogeneous social group from a class-oriented point of view. This is why it is necessary to denounce and fight the fantasies about an alleged female community of interests. Likewise, in order to not make the struggle of working-class women materialize under alien interests, the Communist Parties should incorporate in their programs particular demands and proposals for this section of the class.

Furthermore, it is important to spread among the rest of the class the fact that whenever a section of our class —as it is the working-class women or the migrant working class— is living under worse conditions of exploitation, it is a long-term promotion of the downgrading of the general rights of the ensemble of the working class. Thereby, the struggle for the emancipation of the working-class women is merged into a single whole under class struggle and the leadership of the Communist Party.

Inequality and oppression do not affect the same way to all women. Working-class women do experience all kinds of discrimination all over their lives. Bourgeois women have achieved in most aspects of the social, economic, and political life the same shares of power than men belonging to their class. Many problems that, as they say, transversally affect women are easily overcome by bourgeois women because of their class condition. For example, reproductive tasks are systematically and effortlessly delegated to the working-class women they exploit. Working-class women still have to keep on struggling for equating their rights to working-class men. Regardless of how many more proposals and slogans are coming to us from bourgeois democracies and their lawmakers, we should make it clear — our full  equality and therefore our full emancipation will not come from this system.

Dear comrades,

There are plenty of examples in which it can be verified that working-class women experience all kinds of discrimination. In the labor sphere we can find, among others, the salary gap, part-time and temporary hiring, the sexualization of some jobs, discrimination due to maternity. A working-class woman experiencing abuse has less possibilities to move forward, because her economic and labor conditions prevent her from getting out of such situation of abuse and violence. The inequality in which women are living under the capitalist system can also be observed by analyzing the issue of prostitution. Estimations say there are around 120,000 prostituted women in Spain. Among them, 40% is in human trafficking. These women come from vulnerable environments, many times they are deceived with alleged debts and end up being sexually exploited and abused. They cannot call anybody because they have nobody to call, and this circumstance is totally alien to bourgeois women. Another example can be found in surrogacy: no bourgeois woman would “rent” her womb in order to give birth to the son or daughter of another person. Women with more needs will be the ones to choose to give their bodies so some unscrupulous people with money can buy newborns. Despite this practice is illegal in Spain, dozens of children are registered in our country every year.

These were just some examples —the most violent ones— of what inequality means for women.

In our Manifesto-Program, approved in the Congress of the Centenary, we stated that “the construction of socialism is a process of struggle of the new versus the old that giver birth to the new man and woman, equal in rights and duties, who will be the result of a society free from exploitation and oppression, in which the free development of each one will be the condition for the free development of everyone.”

This is a key point. In order to make the inequality of women disappear, in order to construct such new society assuring the emancipation of the ensemble of the working class and particularly the working-class women, it is essential to struggle for the overthrow of this exploitative system.

We know that the inequality of women will not disappear in just one day in the socialist- communist society. As history proves, the workers' power lays the foundations for rising the rights of the working-class women to a higher level. However, the weight of subjectivity is also something the Communist Party should work on in the future society. Likewise, we are currently making efforts everyday to make people understand that the struggle for the equality of the working-class women is not the struggle for the equality before the bourgeois law sold by the new and the old social democracies.

The task of the Communist and Workers' Parties is to lead the struggle for the equality of working-class women in every aspect of life, because it is us, the communists, who lay the material foundations through our organization and struggle in order to construct a liberatingfuture for the human being regardless of their gender.

Our hope and our future is to achieve that every struggle regarding the liberation of womenis not detached from the general struggle of the working class for the seizure of power. We still have much work to do and much to study. The PCTE is making our first steps in the organization of female workers in our country in a truly emancipating and class-oriented organization, in which every woman struggles, shoulder to shoulder and class against class, in order to conquer the socialist society she deserves.

Thank you, comrades.