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Statement of European Communist Action on International Women’s Day 2024

Mar 7, 2024

International Working Women’s Day symbolises the process of emancipation of working-class women. It is inseparable from class struggle and the fight against the ever-worsening conditions of inequality experienced by women, which cannot be decoupled from the capitalist system in which we live.

Their enduring exploitation and oppression continue to flow from a system of property relations based on the capitalist accumulation of wealth and the appropriation of labour.

Working-class women experience many forms of discrimination, including the gender pay gap, part-time and precarious work, employment recruitment and bias due to maternity and menopause. They receive lower wages, get worse jobs and lower pensions. In addition, women bear the brunt of the household and are more often burdened with childcare or family care. They face discrimination, sexism, violence, unequal treatment, sexual harassment in the workplace, in the family and elsewhere that often results in permanent damage and in some cases physical injury and death. At the same time, they have less opportunities to escape abusive situations because of economic conditions. The exponential growth in harassment and murder of women in their family and domestic social context is related with the capitalist exploitative system that gives rise to phenomena such as the cult of possession, the commodification of women and their bodies, and prostitution. The class profile of women subjected to violence shows very many are members of the working class who are employed or unemployed, and they are relatively poorer.

Recent years have been marked by the massive imposition of teleworking by the big employers, which has significantly worsened the situation for many working women with young families being compelled to work more without childcare being provided by the state. These unacceptable life and work conditions have a negative impact on women’s participation in trade union activity, in social and political life.

It is increasingly common for women to live in poverty, compromising their physical and mental health, facing the intensification of work, flexible working hours, poor housing, the lack of amenities such as child care, supplementary pension for mothers, etc., the absence of proper healthcare that meets women’s specific needs, as well as access to safe and free state abortion services.

The European Union and the governments of the Member States, through “market liberalisation”, deregulation of labour relationships and privatisation serve the interests of big capital and intensify the attack on the working class, seriously impacting on women.

The commercialisation of education, health, social security and care services, while reducing state responsibility, increases the burden on working-class women and women of the popular strata.

The task of the Communist and Workers’ Parties is to develop a strong class-based approach to those areas in order to lead the struggle for the equality of working-class women in every aspect of life.

Imperialism, with its sanctions, interventions and war, as witnessed by Israel’s genocide in Gaza and the imperialist war in Ukraine, have enormous implications for women, children, and families including the risk of death, injury, impoverishment, loss of livelihood, displacement, human trafficking and dangerous forced migration in search of safety to be met by the stonewall of EU mechanisms and repression agreements.

Gender inequality remains rooted in class inequality. Women do not stand apart from the class struggle. Some theories and political practices attempt to distance women’s inequality and oppression for exploitative relations of production and the class roots of women’s oppression. The core of women’s inequality remains because capital has an interest in exploiting discrimination against women to intensify capitalist exploitation.

It is the role of the communists to connect with women of a working-class and popular class background, to rally them around us in the struggle. It is only through the overthrow of the capitalist system which creates and perpetuates their oppression, the establishment of social ownership of the concentrated means of production and the construction of a socialist society where the working class is in power, that true equality, human emancipation and the genuine emancipation of women and equality between the sexes will be attained.

The Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917 established important rights for women, equality under the law, the right to divorce, and the right to free and legal abortion.

On International Women’s Day 2024 we intensify the struggle for women’s emancipation, against the EU and the system of capitalist exploitation and imperialist wars.