For a class line in the Women’s movement!
The revolutionary movements of the Nordic countries greet working class women, women of the people in the oppressed nations, and all revolutionary women, on the occasion of this 8th of March. We are united under the same banner, and declare that we will join our efforts to combat and resist the oppression and exploitation of working class women, and create a revolutionary women’s movement.
The economic crisis has developed into recession. The ruling classes and their states are shifting the burdens onto the backs of the working class, with dramatic rising in prices, cuts in welfare benefits, attacks on salaries and working conditions and rising interest on loans. This cycle of economic crisis followed by depression is and has always been a part of capitalism. It is even more so in our age, after 1900, where capitalism is in its final, rotten and dying stage: imperialism. During 2022, the prices of food and energy have risen very fast. Many European countries have experienced faster rise of prices than in 40 years. This means workers can buy less with our old salaries. This functions so that the workers will pay to generate new capitalist growth. The capitalists make us pay for their crisis.
This February marked 1 year since the full scale invasion of Ukraine. Russian imperialism attacked the oppressed country Ukraine, but the war started in 2014 with the annexation by Crimea and parts of Eastern Ukraine. This war has killed tens of thousands, and millions have become refugees. The pretext of the war is especially the rivalry between imperialism of the USA and of Russia. The people of Ukraine are waging a just war of national liberation facing Russian imperialism. The war in Ukraine also greatly affects the economical and political situation in the whole of Europe.
Heavier burdens for women of the working class and the oppressed nations
The rising prices, welfare cuts and the imperialist war increases the burden on working class women. Poverty is rising and every working family can feel month by month and day by day how the pressure, stress and insecurity is growing. This especially affects working women with children. We hear more and more stories of how families struggle to pay their rent, how they cannot afford to pay for electricity or have to choose between rent, electricity or food. Working women are also very much affected in their workplace, with rising unemployment, with a heavier workload in schools and hospitals, and the continuing growth in stress and responsibility.
This context of crisis and imperialist war, directly affects the situation of women. There is an increase in patriarchal violence. Sexual exploitation is on the rise, especially with the cynical abuse of refugee women from the Ukraine. War, but also price increase and welfare cuts, drive more women into prostitution and the so-called «sex industry». This is facilitated by the ideological-cultural propaganda directed towards women and men, which is patriarchal and reactionary. It expresses itself in how it describes and views women’s bodies, women’s roles in the workplace and the family, women’s sexual activity etc. From “Left” and Right, women are bombarded by liberal identity politics and the theory of “sex work” or social-conservative male chauvinism. Both sides conform to the needs of imperialism, its marked place and its rotten individualism and self-obsessed egoism.
Imperialism enforces patriarchy, and has embedded this in its own economical and political structures. This especially affects the women in the third world. The last few years have seen an increase in violence against women all over the world. Women in the oppressed countries carry the double burden of imperialism and patriarchy. They are exploited by imperialism, and at the same time confined in feudal oppression. They are the ones that pay the highest cost in the wars of aggression and plunder, the ones that own the least property, get the lowest pay, and have the most responsibility for families and upbringing of children. They are the ones that are sold and bought in the despicable industry of “sex tourism”. Imperialism divides our world in two: oppressor and oppressed countries. A handful of imperialists oppress and exploit the vast majority of the nations and peoples of the world. In the oppressed countries, women, especially peasants and workers, are the most oppressed and exploited.
We need a revolutionary women’s movement based on a class line
Oppression and exploitation is one side of the coin. The other side is the fact that where there is oppression, there is resistance. For centuries, women have combated and resisted, against feudalism, capitalism, imperialism and patriarchy. In all major revolutions in this period, women have been at the forefront. This is the situation even today, both in imperialist countries and oppressed nations. Women take an active and often leading part in the popular struggle, and the people are the driving force that changes the world. Everywhere we see popular movements growing against crisis and recession, against welfare cuts and rising prices, against imperialist war and oppression of women. The people’s struggle will be victorious. Imperialism will fall, and a new world will be shaped by the oppressed and exploited masses of the world. The forward movement of history can be hindered, deviated or postponed for a while, but it can never be stopped and it will always win in the end.
Our enemy has always done everything in their power to stop progress. The ruling classes do not only try to drown revolution in blood, they use all and every open and covert method, to divert, disperse and eradicate popular struggle and organization. They have lackeys and useful idiots in the reformists and the bourgeois and petty bourgeois feminists. These forces spread the ideas of elections, pacifism and legalism, which holds back the struggle and turns it into its opposite: A toothless reformist movement that functions as a useful tool for the ruling class. These forces spread separatism, which separates men and women in the working class, and they spread the dangerous illusion that women can be liberated without revolution. They spread postmodern identity politics, “race theory” and chauvinism, reactionary theories that poison the minds of the masses. These forces, even when posing as “feminist” or “revolutionary”, are conserving and reactionary forces. They preserve imperialism and patriarchy and postpone progress and revolution.
The masses of women, the working class and all oppressed people, have a burning need for a revolutionary women’s movement, to develop in and for the struggle to transform society. This movement must be based on and guided by a class line, organizing the workers, the poorest, the most exploited and the most oppressed. The emancipation of the working class must be the work of the working class itself, and this truth also applies to women. The working class is the only class that will liberate all of humanity, by liberating itself. If the working class do not lead, the leadership will fall in the hands of bourgeois or petit bourgeois parties, groups or cliques, who objectively serve only themselves, their own class interests, and the interests of the current system. We call all working class and revolutionary women to unite with the goal of advancing the women’s struggle and organization, with the prospect of generating a revolutionary women’s movement.
Down with the imperialist war and the rising prices!
Wave after wave, blow after blow, against imperialism and patriarchy!
Forward for a revolutionary women’s movement!
Anti-imperialist League, Finland
Anti-Imperialist Collective, Denmark
The Struggle Committee, Norway