Defending our record of fighting women’s oppression

This article was first published by the England and Wales section of the Committee for a Workers International

On 18 August, an article suddenly appeared on the website of the Irish section of International Socialist Alternative (ISA), the organisation which split from the Committee for a Workers International (CWI) in 2019. This article, The CWI and Socialist Feminism – Redressing a Checkered History, is written by Laura Fitzgerald and claims to be an analysis of the CWI’s historical and current approach to the question of women’s oppression and socialist feminism, focusing primarily on the Socialist Party in England and Wales.

This issue was at the core of the debate that led ISA to split away from the CWI. So why, three years later, after an intense and exhaustive debate, have ISA decided to publish this article now? Could it be that in those three years members of ISA have discovered in practice that the criticisms the leadership of ISA made of the CWI’s approach were completely baseless? That they have seen clearly how Socialist Party members in England and Wales responded to the protests around gender violence following the terrible murder of Sarah Everard; the approach the CWI has taken to the protests at the overturning of Roe vs Wade in the USA and the solidarity movements internationally; our strategy in the universities for campaigning against gender violence and harassment and our fighting programme for women workers? That far from ‘underestimating’ or ‘dismissing’ the movements of women internationally around issues such as violence against women, sexual harassment, reproductive rights and sexism generally, as ISA claimed, we have been active in campaigning on these questions, providing a programme and strategy to both defend and extend existing gains and for ending women’s oppression?

Or could it be that rank-and-file ISA members have seen how the organisation which claims to support a ‘zero tolerance approach’ to sexism, harassment and abuse actually conducts itself when confronted with a concrete situation, as ISA in England and Wales has been in the public sector union Unison? In 2019 Paul Holmes, a left-wing member of the Unison national executive council (NEC), was accused of bullying and abusive behaviour by rank-and file members in his area, Kirklees, including by fourteen women, and was suspended by his employer and the union. Socialist Party members on the NEC argued that these serious allegations should be thoroughly investigated by the union and that, in the meantime, Paul Holmes should not be the left’s candidate for the then upcoming general secretary election (1). In contrast, the ISA continued to support his candidacy for Unison general secretary in the 2020 contest, and then his election as the union’s president in 2021. Nor did the two ISA members on the executive oppose the now left-wing majority NEC’s decision to summarily dismiss the case in March 2022 without a hearing, or any explanation or reasons being given, despite Unison’s investigating officer saying ‘there was a case to answer’.

Wealth of material

But whatever the reasons for publishing this article now, Laura Fitzgerald has achieved the impossible. She has managed to write an analysis of the CWI’s history on the question of fighting women’s oppression without seeming to have actually read the wealth of material that we have produced on this issue over the past forty years or more, the most important of which we list below. That is no mean feat. While she takes aim at the supposed theoretical weaknesses and “congenital deficiencies” of the CWI, and the “lack of a systematic, integrated and serious approach to our socialist feminist work over decades”, she doesn’t give a single concrete example of what those alleged theoretical deficiencies are.

What are the vital “revisions” of Marx and Engels that we have apparently failed to “engage with”. If they are so important, why does she not say what they are? And what are the practical conclusions that should be drawn from these revisions? Again, nothing. In reality, we have over decades analysed the roots of women’s oppression, updating the analysis of Marx and Engels based on anthropological and historical evidence that was not available at the time in which they were writing. This analysis was brought together in the book, It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This: Women and the Struggle for Socialism, published by the Socialist Party in 2010, translated into numerous languages, and widely read throughout the CWI (2). The 2016 reprint also has an appendix – based on an article that first appeared in the Socialist Party’s theoretical magazine Socialism Today in September 2014 to mark the 130-year anniversary of the publication of Engels seminal work, The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, which develops these aspects even further (3).

If our analysis is so incomplete, why is it that ISA in the USA is still promoting on its website the pamphlet, Socialist Feminism and the New Women’s Movement, when as they say in the introduction, Parts One and Two are based on It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This? Are there theoretical differences between the Irish and US sections of ISA on women’s oppression? Or is it that Laura has fabricated ‘theoretical weaknesses’ in the CWI’s material in order to try and justify ISA’s split to its membership?

Laura asserts that there was a “lack of political material” relating to women’s oppression produced by the International Secretariat (IS) of the CWI over decades. She uses as an example of a “low point” a draft world perspectives document for a meeting of the International Executive Committee (IEC) of the CWI in December 2017 which initially did not include specific reference to gender oppression. Yet she entirely omits that the 2016 CWI World Congress, the highest body of the CWI, had a separate discussion and IS document on Women’s Oppression which was unanimously agreed and to which Laura, and the other delegates from the Irish section, proposed no amendments.

Unbelievably, Laura criticises us for not “sufficiently highlighting” Clara Zetkin, the Zhenotdel (The Soviet Department for Working and Peasant Women) and the Stalinist counterrevolution in the Soviet Union. Even if Laura was not initially aware of the existence of our material on these issues, had she bothered to do a search of our websites – which anyone who was seriously intent on carrying out a review of the history of the CWI and women’s oppression would have done – she would have found a 7,500 word article on Alexandra Kollontai, which covers the life and writings of this female revolutionary, and the work of the Bolsheviks amongst women, including, yes, the work of the Zhenotdel (4). Or the article, Fighting For Women’s Rights and Socialism – Women after the Wall, which first appeared in Socialism Today in November 1999. In addition, there is the chapter, What Happened in Russia?, in It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This. Going even further back, in the Militant International Review (MIR), during the period that Laura criticises the lack of material on women, a significant article entitled Women and the Soviet Union was published (5). We should also add that the German section published a book by Alexandra Kollontai and pamphlets and books on/by Clara Zetkin (6).

During that same period, when the MIR was appearing just one, two or occasionally three times a year, not monthly as Socialism Today is now, as well as articles on women that Laura chooses not to mention (7), we also published a groundbreaking pamphlet on the question of positive discrimination (8), which Laura conveniently ignores, just as she makes no reference to Whose Choice: Working Class Women and the Control of Fertility, an important book on reproductive rights (9). Perhaps she thinks that these publications are insufficiently theoretical as they do not uncritically quote ‘Marxist academics’, as Laura does? Just using the term in this way is alien to our tradition. What is a ‘Marxist academic’ if not someone who divorces theory from practice? And what is the use of that for the movement? Of course, Laura makes no mention of the many theoretical articles on women that appeared in the Militant newspaper.

Even more incredible is the totally unfounded criticism that we have not sufficiently analysed how women’s oppression has been “reproduced and ingrained in different ways throughout capitalist history”. Chapters two, three and four of It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This do precisely that, explaining in detail how capitalism as a system inherited gender inequality and the family as an economic and social institution from previous class societies, which it then went on to exploit for its own economic and social interests. Throughout these chapters, and in numerous articles over the years, we have continually analysed the evolution of capitalism and how this has impacted on every aspect of women’s lives – including, of course, the effects of neoliberalism. We have in particular analysed how the historical gender division of labour within the family has benefited capitalism both economically and socially. And yet, our analysis is, according to Laura, without again giving any concrete examples, lacking compared to the more “precise” analysis of ‘social reproduction theory’, which she refers to completely uncritically in her article.

What practical lessons?

Even assuming that this was correct, which a genuine study of our material would show to be total nonsense, what are the practical lessons that can be drawn from the allegedly superior ‘theory’? Laura refers to the booklet, Feminism For The 99%: A Manifesto, that is informed by social reproduction theory and which we reviewed in Socialism Today (10). Is she saying that we should be calling for a ‘reproductive strike’, ie women refusing sex and doing the housework, as social reproduction theory supporters do in Feminism For The 99%, as part of a serious strategy for ending women’s oppression? Does ISA think that strikes by women in the ‘social reproduction’ sectors of the economy, ie the caring sectors, are a special kind of more radical feminist strike and not part of the general class struggle as the writers of the manifesto clearly do? The fact that ISA members have referred to the 2018 Glasgow care workers equal pay strike as a ‘feminist strike’, rather than a class struggle by predominantly women workers against gender inequality, and criticised us for referring to the solidarity support given to the strikers from mostly male bin workers who refused to cross their picket lines, would indicate that they do.

Most importantly, Feminism For The 99% clearly sees the ‘global feminist movement’ playing the guiding role in transforming society, with the organised working class as an ‘ally’. Is ISA saying that this conclusion from social reproduction theory is ‘more precise’ than our conclusion from Marxism that it is the organised working class that is central to the struggle to overthrow capitalism and end women’s oppression? Is that why Laura criticises a quote from the name change debate within the English and Welsh section in 1996 that emphasises the key role of the industrial working class, which she argues “denigrates” struggles on questions of oppression? It is absurd for her to write that this “implies” a view that the most powerful workers are white males! This is the same criticism that social reproduction theory supporters make in order to argue against ‘outdated’ Marxism!

In our review of Feminism For The 99% we write quite clearly that “for Marxists the central protagonist in the struggle must be the working class of all genders”. Again and again, in published articles over the past 40 years, we have emphasised the growing importance of women workers, how they make up half, and even a majority of workers in some more developed capitalist countries (11). As we wrote in the Socialism Today cover article, Covid, Capitalism and Women’s Double Burden (12), “even before Covid, women made up over half of trade union members… Looking at the sectors registering the biggest increases, such as teaching and social care, it is clear that women will have a crucial role in the vital task of transforming the unions into organisations capable of fighting to defend their interests and those of all workers”.

Laura grudgingly admits that the CWI took “a necessary stance in the 1990s of rejecting so-called ‘post-feminism’ – a neo-liberal concept that contended that equality was within the grasp of women if they strove to reach for it as individuals”. But if that is the case, and reading the vast amount of material we produced in the 1990s and the beginning of this century it will be clear that it is (13), why in the debate would we suddenly have abandoned our central analysis that women’s oppression cannot be ended under capitalism as Laura fantastically alleges we did? When we wrote during the debate three years ago that there was “a grain of truth” in the ideas of post-feminism, this was clearly referring to the material basis for the growth of post-feminist ideas: that in the 1990s more women than ever before were moving into the workforce; some were entering spheres previously the preserve of men such as medicine, law etc; girls were in general doing better than boys at school.

Processes such as these underpinned the false idea promoted by post-feminism, especially in popular culture, that ‘equality was just around the corner’ if women would just stop behaving like victims and believe in their own ability as individuals. All of our material has refuted this mistaken analysis, explaining quite clearly that despite some improvements in women’s situation over the decades, because of the organic crisis of capitalism real gender equality and liberation are impossible as capitalism continues to exploit working-class women as cheap ‘flexible’ labour in the workforce and relies on the unpaid labour of women in the home as austerity and privatisation decimate public services. All of this reinforces backward ideas around gender inequality that are at the root of violence against women, sexual harassment and sexism.

Equally absurd is the claim, based on Laura’s distorted interpretation of isolated quotations, that we have taken an approach of “crude economism”, separating “working-class issues” from “issues of oppression” and, as a consequence, “dismissed” struggles against oppression outside the workers’ movement. Anyone who took the time to read the articles and books listed below, which of course Laura has not done – or has read but chosen to ignore – would be in no doubt about the seriousness with which we approach both the economic and cultural oppression of women, our analysis of how both are the products of class society and inextricably linked, how capitalism reinforces and perpetuates both, and how and why socialism would lay the basis for the elimination of all oppression (14).

Of course, the publications of any organisations going back 40 years or more are bound to contain some language that would not necessarily be used today. There was a time, for example, when the proportion of women in the workforce was much lower than it is today, and when the working class was facing rampant inflation, that we talked about ‘committees of trade unions, housewives and others’ to control prices as a step towards socialist economic planning. Clearly that demand would not be formulated in that way today. Language evolves as circumstances change.

Criticising mistaken ideas

In the past we have also criticised the ideas and strategies of the middle-class leadership of movements against oppression, and will continue to do so where they exist today. To argue, as Laura does, that this equates to dismissing issues of oppression as “middle-class” is complete nonsense. We have written articles that draw the lessons from previous women’s movements, looking at how women from different classes experienced oppression and the methods and strategies they employed for fighting against it (15). In the chapter, Class and Identity in It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This, we anticipate the emergence of the recent movements globally around women’s oppression. That we should intervene in these movements where we have the forces to do so is clear. The key issue is not whether we intervene, but how we intervene: “Where movements develop today involving women from different classes and backgrounds, we would seek to orientate those towards the organisations of the working class, explaining the role that these organisations can play in taking individual struggles forward collectively, as well as in transforming society and ending the oppression faced by all women” (16).

That is why during the debate three years ago we raised the example of the Campaign Against Domestic Violence (CADV), the very successful broad campaign initiated by Militant Labour (forerunner of the Socialist Party) in the early 1990s. Regardless of how long ago the campaign was launched the methods that our party employed in that campaign remain valid for today; methods which, as we explained during the debate, the ISA in Ireland abandoned at the peak of the abortion referendum campaign in 2018. While in CADV we could have focused primarily on securing legal change for women experiencing domestic violence – an urgent necessity given that one in four women suffer from abuse and two women are killed every week by a current or ex-partner – unlike other organisations campaigning on the issue, we at all times stressed the importance of linking demands for legal reform with demands such as more funding for refuges and permanent public housing, a decent minimum wage, good quality affordable childcare etc; material changes that would allow women to take advantage of the law in practice and to leave a violent relationship.

As we have seen in the North of Ireland, where women gained the legal right to abortion in 2019, without the facilities being put into place to actually access abortions, 161 women were still forced to travel to England and Wales to end their pregnancies in 2021. That is one of the reasons why during the debate the CWI criticised the false separation that the Irish comrades in the South made in the main material they produced during the abortion referendum campaign between winning the legal right to abortion and the broader economic demands necessary to ensure that such a right could be exercised – such as free universal health care which is not available in Ireland – and linking those demands organically to the need for socialism to end women’s oppression.

Just as importantly, the CADV had a clear and consistent orientation to the trade unions and the workplaces, resulting in every major trade union adopting a policy on domestic violence. As well as giving support in the workplaces to women experiencing domestic abuse, we understood that if the potential power of the millions-strong trade unions could be harnessed to the campaign to raise awareness about the issue, secure legal change, and win the economic reforms needed to enable women to escape violence, then it would be enormously strengthened. What’s more, those women and men involved in the campaign would gain an understanding of the central role that the working class has to play in ending capitalism, fighting for socialism and laying the basis for eliminating women’s oppression.

There was no such orientation to the trade unions or the workplaces during the abortion referendum campaign in Ireland, a serious missed opportunity and miseducation of the members of the Socialist Party in Ireland and the thousands of people who campaigned for the legal right to abortion. But this is consistent with their uncritical praise for the proponents of social reproduction theory who elevate the role of cross-class movements against gender oppression and downplay the role of the organised working class in the fight to end women’s oppression. Why does Laura think it “interesting” that the campaign in Sweden ‘Refuse to be called a slut’, which was carried out in schools, had a different orientation? The reality is that any serious campaign waged in schools and colleges against sexism should not only orientate to students but also to teaching unions, whose solidarity and support would clearly reinforce such a campaign, and to the wider trade union movement to challenge the capitalist control of the education system.

Laura criticises the CADV because “this initiative emanated not from the IS or British EC but from women who were mostly outside the central leadership”. Alongside comments such as “throughout the CWI, there was never a uniform approach on socialist feminism”, this reveals a concept of building a revolutionary party that is totally alien to the CWI. Laura is, in fact, repeating similar references from the documents produced by what is now the ISA during the debate three years ago (17). They are, in reality, espousing the idea of a top-down party in which an ‘all-seeing’, ‘all-knowing’ leadership imposes on the membership uniform ‘campaigns’ and approaches irrespective of the concrete objective conditions on the ground.

How does Laura think the anti-poll tax campaign of the late 1980s came about – one the most successful campaigns the CWI has ever waged involving 18 million non-payers and ousting the supposedly invincible prime minister Margaret Thatcher? Does she imagine that the national leadership of Militant came up with the fully-formed idea of a non-payment campaign that was subsequently handed down like a tablet of stone to the comrades in Scotland, where the poll tax was first introduced, and then subsequently to England and Wales? What actually happened was that the comrades on the ground in Scotland, sensing the anger that existed against this iniquitous tax, and the inability of many working-class people to pay it, raised the possibility of a non-payment campaign. The demand of non-payment was then tested in practice and, when it got an echo, the national leadership developed the tactics and strategy to guide a successful non-payment campaign in Scotland and the whole of Britain.

It was this dialectical approach that was also taken with regards to the CADV. When Sara Thornton was jailed for life for killing her violent partner – in a court in which only a few weeks previously Joseph McGrail had been found not guilty of murdering his wife on the grounds of her ‘nagging’ – this injustice and double standard provoked outrage. A branch of Militant Labour in Bristol organised a public meeting on this issue that was packed out. Similar well-attended meetings were held around Britain. With a clear mood existing to campaign on the issue of gender violence, the CADV was launched nationally as a broad-based campaign, in which we had a leading influence, both in terms of programme and tactics, that were developed by the national leadership of our party in discussion with the national women’s bureau.

Record on LGBTQ+ rights

Laura’s mistaken entirely top-down concept of how a revolutionary party is built is also demonstrated by her attempt to attack the England and Wales section of the CWI’s record on LGBTQ+ rights. She hangs her critique on a quote from Helen Redwood, “a founding member of the LGBT caucus in Britain” who “went on to become the LGBT organiser”. Yet what she actually quotes Helen as saying is that “once LGBT comrades ‘took the bull by the horns’, in general there was no block to the caucus developing this aspect of the work”. What is wrong with that? Full support for the development of the caucus’s work by the leadership of the party was reflected in numerous articles in the Militant newspaper, including the back cover of the issue produced on 29 June 1990, with the headline Lesbian and Gay Rights: Stop The Attacks. It also included the publication of our party pamphlet, Out, Proud and Militant, in 1992. Laura argues that the CWI has an “unspoken attitude” that “anti-oppression struggles would be divisive within the working class”. Yet in the period Helen is describing we were fighting for LGBTQ+ rights when British Social Attitudes surveys still showed almost 70% of people believed that same sex relations were ‘always’ or ‘mostly’ wrong.

It is true, however, that unlike material on the oppression of women, which can be found in the pages of the Militant from its inception in 1964, regular articles on LGBTQ+ rights only appeared from the late 1980s onwards. As Laura has to acknowledge, Peter Taaffe and other comrades have openly recognised our weaknesses in this field in the early years of the organisation. Nonetheless, contrary to the impression Laura gives, even from the earliest days of the Militant we defended LGBT rights. Keith Dickinson, one of the first party full-timers, sold the Militant with other members on gay and lesbian rights marches in the 1960s, and on the first Pride march in 1972. In the early 1960s, he seconded a motion for gay rights at a North Paddington Constituency Labour Party meeting, moved by Alf Dubbs, now a Labour member of the House of Lords. The motion was defeated, demonstrating the widespread prejudice that existed at the time, but which our organisation fought against.

Laura uses a broadside against Ted Grant in order to attempt to undermine the CWI’s record on this issue. Ted was one of the founders of our political tendency. However, unable to orientate in a changed world situation, Ted was among those who split from Militant in 1992. Nonetheless, in an earlier period he made a major theoretical and political contribution on a number of issues. The only quote Laura can find from Ted is from an internal bulletin published in 1985. The article is taking up the mistakes of other forces which claimed to be Trotskyist but had not built any base in the working class, as part of a debate with a then Sri Lankan comrade. The section she quotes is badly worded, but Laura uses it as a cheap attack rather than engaging with the political point which is actually being made.

She quotes Ted’s article in a section on the US SWP which criticises it for emphasising, “such liberal political issues as ‘women’s liberation’ and ‘gay liberation’. It is, of course, correct to fight against any persecution of homosexuals and to work for equal rights for women. But it is necessary to fight for working class women’s struggles and to concentrate on working class issues as the main work of Marxism in creating cadres”.

Laura does not quote the following paragraph, which goes on: “In the same manner the American SWP stands for ‘black liberation’ thereby placing themselves on the right wing of the American black movement, and calls for the formation of an ‘independent black party’. The equivalent demand in Sri Lanka would be to call on Tamil workers not to join the Marxist Party, but to form a Tamil party with a radical programme”.

This makes it clear that the mistakes Ted Grant was laying at the door of the US SWP were not that it campaigned against the oppression of women, LGBTQ+ people, black people, or oppressed national minorities like the Tamils in Sri Lanka, but that it tended to tail-end the overwhelmingly petit bourgeois leaders of the ‘liberation’ movements, and denied the different class interests involved. It did not link fighting on these vital issues to the class character of capitalism, and the central role of the working class in achieving socialism.

While in our view there could be circumstances where the formation of a radical ‘black party’, for example, could be a step forward, it is never the role of Marxists to cheerlead such a development without putting forward a programme to develop the struggle further, including for it to have a clear socialist programme and the need for united struggle with other sections of the working class if that programme is to be achieved. The US SWP, in contrast with this approach, even criticised the Black Panthers for arguing in their debates with the cultural nationalists that class rather than race was primary.

Does Laura agree with Ted Grant’s criticisms of the US SWP, or does she think their approach was correct? Instead of engaging in a serious discussion on these issues she limits her comments to unjustified moral indignation. She attacks the quote from Grant for being “callous when you consider the historical context, namely the heart-wrenching discrimination and suffering that the gay community was being subject to during the Aids epidemic”. Factually, the article she quotes from was actually written in 1981, the year of the very first Aids death in the UK, when it was unknown by the vast majority of the population. In reality, Militant consistently campaigned on all the issues relating to Aids putting forward a programme that included: an end to harassment and discrimination against LGBT people, the scrapping of all discriminatory laws, an educational campaign on HIV and Aids to combat ‘gay plague’ propaganda which incites the persecution of Aids victims, a huge increase in NHS resources for research and treatment of Aids sufferers and HIV carriers, and nationalisation of the pharmaceutical industry.

But Laura’s article is not a serious analysis, contributing to a genuine debate. Her ludicrous claim that we are ‘coalescing’ with George Galloway, for example, is designed not to illuminate but to obscure the reality, which ignores our intransigent political criticisms of Galloway on a myriad of issues (18). Instead, in a mix of selected ‘facts’ and half-expressed thoughts, it is an attempt to justify her and the ISA’s retreat from the ideas of the CWI which underpin our proud record of struggle against oppression in all its forms and our fight for a new socialist society.

Footnotes
(1) See https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/33705/03-02-2022/socialist-party-statement-on-unison-president-paul-holmes/ and UNISON: A Reply To Attacks On Our Record Of Fighting The Right-Wing Bureaucracy at https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/txt/615.pdf

(2) It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This: Women and the Struggle for Socialism, Socialist Party 2010, reprinted 2016.

(3) Engels and Women’s Liberation, Socialism Today No.181, September 2014.

(4) Alexandra Kollontai: For Socialism and Liberation, Socialism Today, No.73, March 2003.

(5) Women in the Soviet Union, Militant International Review (MIR) No.38, Autumn 1988.

(6) Manifest-bueccher.de/Marke/zetkin

Manifest-buecher.de/product/clara-zetkin

Solidaritaet.info/2018/08/die-befreiung-der-arbeiterfrauen-kann-nur-sdas-werk-derer-selbst-sein

(7) Women in Revolt, MIR No.28, Winter 1985; For Labour and Women: A History of the League of Women 1906-18, MIR No.40, Summer 1989; Whose Choice? Readers Respond, MIR No.46, Summer 1991; The Child Support Act, MIR No.59, October-November 1994.

(8) The Way Forward for Women: Positive Discrimination or Class Action?, Published by Militant 1984.

(9) Whose Choice: Working-Class Women and the Control of Fertility, published by Fortress Books, 1990.

(10) A Manifesto to Change the World?, Socialism Today, No.228, May 2019.

(11) See in particular Chapter Four, The Family and Women’s Oppression Today, in It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This op cit.

(12) Back To The 1950s? Covid, Capitalism and Women’s Double Burden, Socialism Today No.241, September 2020.

(13) See in particular Genderquake: Is the Future Female?, MIR No.60, February-March 1995, and Chapter One, Liberal Feminism, in It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This op cit.

(14) See In Defence of Socialist Feminism, Socialism Today No.224, December-January 2018/19.

(15) See in particular Women and Rebellion: the Suffrage Movement Revisited, Socialism Today No.32, October 1998, and A Tale of Two Feminisms: the Fight Against Women’s Oppression Today, Socialism Today No.256, March 2022.

(16) Chapter Six, Moving Into Struggle, in It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This op cit.

(17) See In Defence of Trotskyism, Socialist Books, 2019, for some of the documents we wrote during the debate.

(18) https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/92577/07-03-2022/the-message-from-erdington/

Further reading
It is impossible to reference every article and publication on women’s oppression we have produced over the past few decades, so we have just included the most important ones.

Marxism and the liberation of women, Militant Education, Booklet No.5

Fighting for women, rights and socialism, Socialist Women pack

World’s apart: Women and the global economy, Socialism Today No.9, 1996

What should socialists say about prostitution? Socialism Today No.11 1996

Abortion rights 30 years after decriminalisation, Socialism Today No.23, 1997

New Labour’s family values, Socialism Today No.34, 1998

Women in the ex-Stalinist countries, Socialism Today No.43, 1999

The trouble with men: gender relations today, Socialism Today No.51, 2000

The new sexism, Socialism Today No.77, 2003

USA: how far can the moral backlash go? Socialism Today No.89, 2005

Violence against women unabated, Socialism Today No.99, 2006

The reality of raunch culture, Socialism Today No.89, 2005

Women’s right to choose, Socialism Today No.103, 2006

Global struggle for abortion rights, Socialism Today No.113, 2007

The fight for universal suffrage, Socialism Today No.120, 2008

Women in the recession, Socialism Today No.127, 2009

Still fighting for equality, Socialism Today No.136, 2010

The return of sexism, Socialism Today No.138, 2010

A global struggle, Socialism Today No.146, 2011

Women in the age of austerity, Socialism Today No.152, 2011

Refusing to accept sexism, Socialism Today No.153, 2011

Women and struggle, Socialism Today No.156, 2012

Women and the plough: the roots of women’s oppression, Socialism Today No.160, 2012

Fighting back against street harassment, Socialism Today No.161, 2012

Rape is no joke, Socialism Today No.164, 2012/13

Women on the front line, Socialism Today No.166, 2013

Making the labour movement a safer place for women, Socialism Today No.168, 2013

Identity politics and fighting oppression, Socialism Today No.192, 2015

Women and the early Labour Party, Socialism Today No.192, 2015

Eleanor Marx, Socialism Today No.186, 2017

Women and the Russian revolution, Socialism Today No.207, 2017

Women of the revolution, Socialism Today No.212, 2017

Women’s struggle for the vote, Socialism Today No.216, 2018

Sex and socialism, Socialism Today No.226, 2019

Women and the law, Socialism Today No.231, 2019

Socialists debate identity politics, Socialism Today No.236, 2020

Sylvia Pankhurst: A pioneer socialist feminist, Socialism Today No.245, 2021

A fighting programme for women’s rights and socialism, Socialist Party pamphlet, 2021

Debate with WPUK: How to fight sexism and change the world, Socialism Today No.258, 2022

Roe lost but the struggle goes on, Socialism Today No.259, 2022