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Towards the women’s international strike on March 8th

Friday 8 December 2017, by Julia Camara

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“The socialism that we fight for has to do with how we understand and develop our political activity. It also has to do with the development of women’s concrete struggles in defence of their immediate interests, the development of feminist consciousness among women and society as a whole. The feminist movement is the engine and the subject of change in the situation of women.... All this has clear implications for the party, as part of the revolutionary vanguard; because of its capacity to unify the demands expressed by the different movements in its global project of social transformation, it has the historical responsibility to place in its work, program and strategy, the historical perspective of the liberation of women”".

The lines that open this text are taken from theses 17 and 18 approved at the 7th Congress of the Liga Comunista Revolucionaria (Revolutionary Communist League, then the section of the Fourth International in the Spanish state) in 1989. I think that, despite the passing of time, they reflect well the way of understanding the world of those who believe that without emancipation of women there is no human emancipation and that, without socialism, there is no possible emancipation.

We come from a current that, with its errors and limitations, knew how to open Marxism and understood the strategic dimension of the women’s movement and feminism as a whole. It was not just that, as Lenin said, women had to “get out of slavery” because otherwise half of the class would continue in it, but to understand that we ourselves constitute a strategic political subject for the breaking of the existing social framework.

We are feminists, first of all, out of necessity. Because one day they raped us or because we survived a shit relationship, because we owe it to our mothers and grandmothers who left their lives in precarious and poorly paid jobs fighting for a future for us, because we cannot take it any longer that going to a party or even onto the street is synonymous with being harassed and because we are fed up with harming our bodies to try to look like those women on billboards that will never exist in real life.

But we are feminists, too, by understanding. Because we understand that Capitalism is a murderous system frontally opposed to life, which reproduces itself through the destruction of the planet and the exploitation of the working class, yes, but also through the expropriation of our bodies and the imposition of work of reproduction and care which is not recognized or remunerated, which is discredited and undervalued, without which society could not continue to exist.

Last March 8th, gathering the experiences of the women’s movements of the Spanish state (where, on November 7th, 2015, we achieved not only the paralysis of the counter-reform of the abortion law but also the resignation of Minister Gallardón), Poland, the United States with the “Women’s March”, Argentina or Italy with “Non una di meno”, women from different countries promoted an International Women’s Strike that would represent a qualitative leap in the fight against the oppression that we experience.

We are the women who move the world. We are the ones who give birth, who raise, who accompany our elders, who care and wear ourselves out physically and emotionally so that every day masses of workers leave the house clean, fed and healthy to produce for a system that devours them and return home exhausted, exhausted and unwilling to live.

We are the women who, when we go out, have the lowest paid jobs, the ones that nobody wants, the most precarious and unstable jobs and those that generate the most vital anxiety.

We women are the ones who, if we stop, have the capacity to stop everything.

Last September, compañeras from all over the state met in Elche, Alicante, in a General Assembly that began to prepare the legal, organizational and strategy issues necessary for what is to come. In just a month and a half they will meet (we will meet) again, this time in Zaragoza, to continue preparing the forms and the events of a day of historical struggle. Because next March 8th, women from all over the world are going to go to on strike.

As feminists, as revolutionaries, we have the historical responsibility to build this strike. In each institute, in each university, in each work centre but also in each house, in each kitchen and in each bed, on March 8th women stop.

As those responsible for preserving life, we refuse to continue supporting a murderous system that is determined to exterminate it. We need to be organized and conscious, because we have our horizon clear: to change the world and transform life, which are, after all, the same thing.


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[1This text is an adaptation of the intervention of the author at the public event “Being Anti-capitalist today?” at the “Back to the streets” meeting organized by Jóvenes Anticapitalistas