International Working Women’s Day has for over a century been an expression of the necessity of womens’ struggles in the overthrow of class society and the development of socialism. As Lenin said in addressing the First All-Russia Congress of Working Women in 1918, that “There can be no socialist revolution, unless a vast section of the toiling women takes and important role in it… It has been observed in the experience of all liberation movements that the success of a revolution depends on the extent to which women take part in it.” It is with this sentiment that the Revolutionary Communist Party calls on all working class women across Canada to join in the struggle to end capitalism, colonialism and imperialism, to root out the causes of gender oppression and exploitation.
Unfortunately, the ruling class has attempted to not only strip this day of its working class character, renaming it simply International Women’s Day, but also has attempted to give it the face of Bourgeois values by denying the core struggles of working women instead for the most shallow forms of representation and recognition. This only serves to distract the oppressed and working classes of an effective revolutionary politics that can, through solidarity and struggle, provide genuine social change and worker’s power, instead for false promises of liberation through passive forms of feminism that are palatable to the ruling order.
These deceptions of the bourgeoisie are in themselves attacks on working women, as the struggles of women in Canada remain dire despite bourgeois attempts to celebrate the progress of women uncritically. Here in Canada working class women face significant discrimination in terms of being less likely than men of similar education to attain stable employment, or employment at all – with 10% more men in the workforce than women while more than 3/4s of part-time positions are held by women; women bear the brunt of domestic work; and women and oppressed gendered people continue to be paid less than men at on average 87% of the hourly-wages, but in terms of annual salaries closer to 75% given the discrepancies of precarious work. While immigrant women, racialized women or women of oppressed nations, particularly Indigenous women, members of the LGBTQ community and the disabled face further worse conditions.
It isn’t only economic conditions that are a problem. 80% of sexual violence victims are women, and 57% of indigenous women and 20% of trans women have experienced sexual violence. Of course, the stats are only based on what is reported—and it’s estimated only about 60% of cases are reported. While the historic and ongoing violence against Indigenous women has halted the inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The Canadian government has only been capable of paying lip service to solving this issue as they have faced several resignations of those commissioned to carry out the inquiry based upon the Government’s own interference and restrictions to an effective investigation, while simultaneously the Canadian state protects racist police officers and sends the RCMP to depose Indigenous Nations from their traditional land. This is further exacerbated by several recent cases of forced sterilization of Indigenous women, a step not only on bodily autonomy but a direct act of genocide against the Indigenous populations in the prison house of Canada.
The rights women and other gender-oppressed people have secured themselves in recent decades have only been won as a result of mass organizing and significant sacrifice. However, the resurgence of fascism has brought with it the popularization of the most regressive positions against women’s autonomy and an aggressive reinforcement of patriarchal domination and violence, that sees women as little more than domestic slaves of men. This constitutes an assault on existing victories of women’s struggles and disproves the bourgeois myth that women’s liberation can be attained without struggle against reactionaries or that progress is inevitable.
It then must be understood that it is only for our capacity to organize and fight that we will be able to defeat oppression and the forces of reaction. As the conditions of capitalism have led us through several economic crises and now directs us towards the ultimate ecological and social crisis of fascism looming, the path to he liberation of women and the entire working class is dependent on our collective struggle to smash capitalism and its patriarchal order. That the womens’ struggle is fundamentally part of the class struggle and that a women’s place is in the revolution!
Join us at one of our many events:
5:00PM – 8:00PM (1700-2000)
Room C-101, Laurentian University
Surrey/Vancouver: March 8th, 2019 “International Working Women’s Day 2019”
5:30PM – 7:30PM (1730-1930)
7536 130th St Surrey, BC
Ottawa: March 9, 2019 – “Presentation on End the March for Life”
2:00PM – 5:00PM (1400-1700)
120 Metcalfe St., Ottawa ON