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International Working Women’s Day

Published Feb 29, 2012 8:59 PM

People all over the world are in motion in response to the global economic crisis. They are refusing to be ground down under the heel of the capitalist boot.

Women in many countries are actively leading and organizing struggles — from the Philippines to Palestine, Honduras to Greece, Spain and Portugal. The same goes here too — from Detroit where women take the lead in stopping foreclosures and evictions to Los Angeles and New York where immigrant women workers are organizing for rights and dignity.

This year how will women observe March 8, International Working Women’s Day, with its focus on ending the oppression of women?

We hope they’ll continue to ramp up their struggles against the capitalist beast. The origin of women’s oppression — private property — is central to the inequality and injustice built into capitalism.

The ruling class of capitalists owns the means of production, from which it extracts profits created by and stolen from the workers. That owning class is increasingly desperate to maintain control of their property and wealth. They perpetuate male supremacy so they can exploit women workers even more than men and keep working-class men and women divided — with low wages for everyone.

The capitalist system is in crisis because private ownership is on a collision course with the urgent needs of the world’s working class. That’s why more women are in struggle today than ever before.

Women in the U.S. will continue to be in the forefront of many battles — opposing U.S. wars and occupations while demanding funding for human needs, defending collective bargaining in their unions, demanding wages that allow their families to keep up with the cost of living, stopping foreclosures so they can stay in their homes, demanding contraceptives and other free preventive health care, and fighting for basic rights to affordable education, quality health care and housing, and good-paying jobs.

Women in public sector jobs — who are a majority women of color — are coming under heavy fire now as they defend their right to belong to unions. And they are rising to the challenge. Immigrant women are blazing ahead despite obstacles and organizing new unions for domestic workers.

On International Working Women’s Day 2012, we remember the women garment workers in New York City who marched for better working and living conditions on March 8, 1908, and the socialist women who founded IWWD in 1910 in their honor.

And we salute the millions of women all over the world fighting to overthrow capitalism’s many chains and hasten the birth of a better world.