One hundred and five years ago, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated to focus on the call for peace issued by women in Europe prior to World War I. Already at that time, working women were becoming conscious of the need to coordinate their struggle and express unity for their cause worldwide. On February 28, 1909 women textile workers issued a call for an international day of action of women workers. A meeting of the Socialist International held in December 1910 reiterated this demand. In a short time, March 8 became the day when women of all countries would express their unity with one another in their struggle for emancipation.
Today, on a world scale women are participating in the van of society in unprecedented numbers. Everywhere, they are in the forefront opening a path for the progress of society. In almost all countries, women’s rights have achieved formal recognition and the need to provide women and children with all that they require to flourish is considered to be one of the most important problems of our times. This is because women themselves have always embarked on affirming their rights in a concrete way not as a mere policy objective. It can be said that the fact that women’s rights are on the agenda, even in international fora, is the greatest achievement to date of the women’s movement for emancipation.
In Canada, as elsewhere, women are in the forefront of the struggle against the anti-social offensive. At the same time they are involved in finding solutions for some of the most important problems facing society, whether of poverty and unemployment, education and health care, escalating social violence or specific women’s issues. The demand for justice for the families of Indigenous women and girls who have been murdered or are missing is one of the most significant in Canada today to advance the cause of the people against the continuation of colonial relations and the misery this causes. The involvement of women in the vanguard of the struggle is one of the most important positive developments in the effort to open the door for the progress of society. It is also one of the most important steps women have taken towards their own affirmation.
TML Weekly hails the women of Canada and the world on the occasion of International Women’s Day which is one of the most important occasions for the entire humanity to remind itself of all that needs to be achieved in the immediate future. Women’s rights must be recognized by providing the conditions they require, as well as constitutional guarantees in all countries, just as they must be put foremost in international covenants. Unless this is done, the emancipation of women will not become a fact of life. Only once women achieve their rights will the world be able to celebrate the emancipation of the whole of humanity.
Hail March 8 – International Women’s Day!
Women workers must lead the struggle for renewal
The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) greets March 8, International Women’s Day, with full confidence that women workers will continue to take the lead in the work to renew the political process and the society. Communist women have proven in this period, as in the past, that they take up the question of gender discrimination as a question of emancipating the working class. The mobilization of women workers for the renewal of the political process is a step in this direction.
The present period is one of retreat of revolution in which the working class has not lost its leading role. Far from losing its leading role, it is the working class which has to provide an alternative to the retrogression which is being imposed on the society. Women workers have a crucial role to play, first and foremost, by ensuring that they do not get diverted or dissipate their energies on issues which do not put them at the centre-stage of the developments. They must, as is the case with all the workers, be political, work out their program, and take the same to all sections of the society.
This year on International Women’s Day we call on all women workers to pledge their adherence to the cause of their class. In the course of the developments since the onset of the anti-social offensive in 1989, no women with positions of power and privilege have advocated for women in a meaningful manner. On the contrary, while women suffer the most in the war zones, the plight of oppressed and exploited women is used to serve the war agenda of the ruling class. In the name of opposing discrimination, religious persecution, rights, womanhood and any other high ideal, successive Canadian governments pick and choose which women and causes to support. The imposition of American-style democracy in the countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean has increased their enslavement. So too the working people in the former Soviet Union and eastern European countries are no better off as a result of this “democracy.” The so-called democracy movements are mere pretexts to increase the takeover of these countries and bring about regime change. Women workers must not merge with such movements and waste their energies.
Women workers must raise their own demands within the struggle for the emancipation of the entire working class. Only in this way can all women be emancipated. Advanced women workers should join the Party, organize basic organizations for the emancipation of women at the workplace, inclusive of all fellow workers, irrespective of gender, and excel in the taking up of political affairs under the banner of the democratic renewal of the political process.
CPC(M-L) takes this opportunity to express its full support for all women fighting for emancipation across this country and on the world scale and to hail the increasing participation of women in political affairs. The Party condemns the hypocrisy of the government of Canada that picks and chooses which women and causes to support but continues to cover up the treatment it reserves for women and in particular Canada’s Indigenous women. CPC(M-L) condemns all acts of oppression and humiliation of women, rape and other forms of brutality and terror which continue thanks to the conditions of capitalist exploitation and wage slavery and the vicious anti-social offensive that seeks to take away all vestiges of the right to redress for crimes committed against women. All those committing crimes against women must be punished.
Women Workers, Together Let Us Achieve a Society that Defends the Rights of All by Leading the Struggle for Renewal!