Mar 05 2013

A TRIBUTE TO INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

Our Emancipation & Liberation blog is posting our annual tribute to International Women’s Day. There are three articles. The first is by  Susan Dorazio, a committed socialist feminist and member of  the IWW, writes about the struggles of women care workers in the USA and Scotland. The second and third written by J. M. Thorn, come from the new March 2012 Socialist Democracy (Ireland) bulletin, dealing with the reactionary threats to the Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast, and the Irish Dail ‘public ‘apology’ for the horrors of the Catholic Church run Magdalene laundries.

 1. WHEN CHILD CARE WORKERS FOUGHT BACK: A HISTORY TO BE PROUD OF, LESSONS TO BE LEARNED, AND A TRIBUTE TO INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

Clara Zetkin

Clara Zetkin

In the first decade of the 20th Century, agitation by women in the industrial parts of the world for their civil rights and for their rights as workers was gaining momentum. Inspired by this increased militancy – and by the organizing in 1909 of National Woman’s Day by the Woman’s National Committee of the Socialist Party of America – the Women’s Congress of the Second International, meeting in Copenhagen in 1910, approved the call by German Socialist Clara Zetkin and other delegates to create a Women’s Day to foster international solidarity among socialist women.

In contrast to the liberal movements for woman’s suffrage and workers’ rights, and in opposition to war and social injustice, International Women’s Day would be firmly placed in the context of the global capitalist system, one that basically refuses to recognize, let alone heed, the needs and rights of women.

In the last decade of the 20th Century, another reawakening, also focusing on workers’ rights in the context of the range of women’s roles in society, was occurring in the United States. For the better part of the 1990’s, hundreds of child care workers, including myself, took part in a grassroots project called the Worthy Wage Campaign. Through fact-finding, consciousness raising, marches, rallies, street festivals, letter-writing, and media contact – and under the banner of ‘Rights, Raises, and Respect’ – we confronted what was called the staffing crisis, and were determined to reverse it. Of immediate concern was the revolving door of miserably-paid child care workers and the effect this had on children and families.

Continue reading “A TRIBUTE TO INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,