Across the world for more than 100 years, March 8th has been a day to honor the contributions of women to the people’s struggle. International Women’s Day is a day to build resistance to gender-based oppression. Freedom Road Socialist Organization will take this celebration into the streets with marches and protests to build this struggle. We call upon all progressive people to join us in celebrating International Women’s Day.
Women’s and reproductive rights are under attack
Last year saw a big attack on women’s and reproductive rights when the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade. Thousands across the country protested in response, and a new mass movement is growing to defend reproductive rights and fight for women’s rights. This is in the best tradition of International Women’s Day: organizing to fight our oppressors.
A history of struggle for justice
International Women’s Day started to honor the struggle of working women in New York City. In 1908, there was a determined battle by garment workers to improve their working and living conditions. Women were also fighting for the right to vote. Inspired by this, the outstanding German revolutionary Clara Zetkin proposed to the socialist movement a worldwide celebration of women’s struggles against oppression.
Resist oppression and inequality
While reproductive rights are currently under fierce attack, the inequality women face is more than this. Women workers, on average, only earn 77% of male workers in the work force. Black women earn about 77% of the average income for all women, and Chicana and Latina women only earn about 70% of the average for all women. Sexual violence and intimate partner abuse is tolerated and taken lightly by the U.S. legal system. It’s no accident that the vast majority of victims of these crimes are women.
The overturning of Roe is part of a systematic right-wing, billionaire-funded campaign to erase the gains of the women’s, LGBTQ, and civil rights movements. Their vision for the country is shaped by a backward, religious worldview. They want to ban abortion, marginalize trans people, and get rid of any teaching about racist inequality in schools.
The question of reproductive rights is one of basic bodily autonomy. A person who does not have final say over what to do with their own body is not free. This also applied to the right of trans people to medically transition, which the right-wing also wants to restrict. Almost two-thirds of abortions are obtained by African-American, Chicana, and other oppressed nationality women. This attack on abortion rights has worsened national oppression in the U.S.
We will fight back
However, with every attack, the ruling class recruits their own gravediggers. They expose how unfit they are to run the country, how morally bankrupt their leadership is. The fact that half the country cannot access a safe and legal abortion has provoked righteous anger across the country. We must channel this feeling into mass organizing. We will build a movement strong enough to smash their system and break the chains of oppression.