International Working Women’s Day was celebrated with tens of thousands of women from all over the world taking to the streets and demanding an equal and free life.
We asked communist women from different countries of the world about the most difficult aspects of being a woman in a capitalist society and how their lives will change in the future socialist world.
Lígia Fernandes, UJC–Brazil
The current crisis of capitalism, which is ignited by the Covid-19 pandemic, deepens social inequalities, misery, and violence against workers all over the world – and especially against women. Meanwhile, the concentration of wealth and profits of private monopolies, bankers, and mega-entrepreneurs are increasing. The offensive against the working class imposes a significant worsening of living conditions. More than 13.5 million Brazilians are unemployed and, within this percentage, the majority is precisely young women.
If the capitalist crisis reveals that the bourgeoisie’s profits can only be maintained by the destruction of a dignified future for the young workers, the pandemic also highlights another brutal face of this system: gender violence. Rates of femicide, rape, and aggression increased as we needed to remain confined. In addition to the explicit violence, there is also a deepening of the burden on care and domestic tasks in family or community spheres, given the time that women are supposed to dedicate themselves to others, such as relatives.
Any movement that aims to end gender-based violence, and does not have as its ultimate goal the destruction of capitalism, is predestined to fail. A dignified life, for men and women, will only be possible with the end of class exploitation. To guarantee our lives the task of building socialism is more than necessary: it is urgent.
Andrea Costa, EDON-Cyprus
The only way to effectively end the oppression of women is through the overthrow of the system that creates it. The struggle against all forms of inequality, oppression, enslavement, and exploitation will only be successful if it is class oriented. The intense rhythms of modern capitalist society in combination with the crises it brings, limit women to a more disadvantaged position. The problems of working women are not limited to workplaces but extend to the home and family. Any reforms that have taken place concerning women have been regulated within a capitalist society with all that entails, such as the lack of state support structures. In a qualitatively superior society, where human-to-human exploitation does not exist, such issues will inevitably be eliminated. The disappearance of social stereotypes will occur along with the transition to a society without classes in which all forms of exploitation will be abolished and every worker will be able to experience self-realization through her work while every family will have access to education, health and more broadly to necessities.
Inés Isasi, CJC – Spain
As a young communist, the main problems I face on a daily basis are uncertainty, fear and powerlessness. Uncertainty in a system that does not guarantee us any future perspective as workers and condemns us to higher levels of exploitation, temporary, partial and precariousness as women. The powerlessness of being aware that in this system women workers will always occupy a subordinate place and will never be free. The fear of knowing that we will live each of our days surrounded by male violence. The communist society
of the future will lay the necessary material conditions to make the real emancipation of women possible, to allow us to develop on an equal footing with our fellow men, free from all the chains and impositions that are with us today.
Afrodite Bamboli, Yunanistan Komünist Gençliği (KNE) Merkez Konsey Üyesi
Today, in modern Greece in the 21rst century, blatant discrimination against women have been formally removed from the law, while restrictions on social relations faced by women have been overcome. Nevertheless, equality in the eyes of the law does not mean equality in real life; since the lack of all sorts of social protection for the working woman taking into account her special needs of motherhood, taking care of household and having a family, remain more obvious than ever. The state and the employers consider these as a cost.
The inequality we experience in all aspects of our lives, extending to events of all sorts violence, is an expression of the greatest social inequality, i.e. the exploitation of man by man. We struggle for the revolution that will overthrow the system of exploitation, for the socialist society where women will be truly emancipated with their protection established, with equal relations of mutual respect between the two sexes.
Ekin Şen, TKG – Turkey
Today, there are many problems I have met in capitalism as a young communist woman. Although the intensity of the problems we face in every period of our lives decreases and increases, we are faced with some continuous realities arising from the system. From the very beginning, in a world of injustice starting since childhood, even preschool education is not a right that everyone can reach, but when we move forward, we find ourselves facing inequalities of opportunity. As an example of what I’m going through right now, as a woman who’s just finished college, the first thing that came to me right away was to face the reality of what we call uncertainty of future. Not being able to find a job, not being able to perform his profession, not getting the opportunity to do so… In the only job I found, it’s impossible for me to be self-sufficient with my salary, but I still had to take the job. In a world where independence and economic freedom are so essential to women, bowing down at the first step was my most painful confrontation.
And the biggest difference of socialist society will be a life where the whole society can reach its dreams with the awareness that even dreams are ideological, and there is opportunity and possibility for this. Not a handful of people, but all of us, especially us, working women have no future in this order. With socialism, we will start building future ourselves.