Across the world, March 8th honors the contributions of women to the people’s struggle. This year, Freedom Road Socialist Organization will hold events to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD).
IWD was founded to honor the sacrifices of heroes named and unnamed. Some capitalists have tried to sanitize and co-opt International Women’s Day. The origins of this day are clearly anti-capitalist. Our celebrations will carry forward that spirit.
Long History, Global Reach
International Women’s Day originates in the struggle of working women in New York City. In 1908 there was a determined battle by garment workers to improve their lot. There was also an intense agitation for the right to vote. Inspired by this, the outstanding German revolutionary Clara Zetkin proposed to the socialist movement a worldwide celebration of International Women’s Day.
Women’s Rights are Bound to Reproductive Freedom for All
The main reason to celebrate International Women’s Day is not because it is 114 years. The main reason to celebrate IWD is to build resistance against gender-based oppression. Sexual violence and intimate partner abuse continue to be tolerated and taken lightly by the U.S. legal system. It’s no accident that the weight of these crimes falls most heavily on women, both cis and trans and also non-binary folks.
Systematic attacks on reproductive freedom being carried out in Texas and Mississippi are attacks on bodily autonomy. They are also an attack on democratic rights more broadly. The attempt to subject the people’s bodies to the control of a state, guided by a religious worldview, is not just oppressive to people who bear children. The legal foundation of modern LGBTQ rights in the U.S. is the right to privacy of the Fourth Amendment. The reversal of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court, which seems likely, threatens four decades of progress for women, non-binary folks as well as LGBTQ people, no matter our gender.
Oppressed nationality folks will be most impacted by abortion restrictions. In Mississippi, African Americans make up 80% of people having abortions but 44% of the population. The abortion rate is closely linked to Mississippi’s level of poverty and access to health care. Mississippi has an infant mortality rate that is twice as high for Black infants. There are currently no proposals in their legislature to cut infant mortality, only to control people’s bodies.
Women Hold Up Half the Sky
On March 8, 2022, join Freedom Road comrades to celebrate, commemorate and continue to pull struggles forward in celebration of International Women’s Day. Check social media pages for details on local events. Get involved and join us.