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If the Women Want, the World Stands Still!

(From the International Bulletin of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party Turkey/Kurdistan February 2019)  25 February 2019

With the initiative of a women's strike in Argentina and Poland, the call for an international women's strike on 8 of March has spread in more and more countries since 2017 (1).

With the women's strike, an old means of working class struggle is claimed and applied by the women.

Drawing on the experiences of previous historical strike actions by women, the women's strike is one of the symbols of the rise of a new international women's movement. The masses of working women are using the means of strike for their most basic rights on the streets: right to abortion and any decision about one's own body, equal pay, the right to physical integrity, an end to violence and feminicides are just a few common ones in addition to numerous concrete demands.

These demands, as well as the resistances of women against sexist, fascist elected state representatives such as Trump and Bolsonaro (2), have gained an incomparable mobilizing power.

In the 21st century, the achievements of all past struggles for women's liberation have raised gender awareness to an unprecedented level. Women's movements are increasingly becoming the engine of social struggles and are more and more taking the lead in them. The gender of women is re-forming as a social and historical force. We can compare this phase with the time of the First International (3), in which the working class has formed itself as a historical force. A similar meaning is given to today's phase for the role of the female gender in the social revolution. Together with the women’s revolution in Rojava (4), as a concrete experience and guidepost to the women's liberation struggle, today's mass movements reiterate that this century will pave the way for women's freedom as a precondition for communism.

Women's Strike in Turkey

More and more countries are forming nationwide assemblies of women, which develop into new movements based on common demands and slogans. Also in Turkey, the women's movement has developed to a strengthened women's front through a nationwide meeting. This is all the more important as women are one of the most important dynamics in the fight against political-Islamist fascism and its attacks on the lives and political freedoms of the people.

Under the slogan "Women are strong together" over 1,000 women gathered on 5th to 6th January in Istanbul, following the call of 165 women's and lgbti+ organizations. Workshops have discussed ways to strengthen cooperation and proposals for future actions. The will and the need for common struggles were emphasized there, because the attacks of the political-Islamist fascist dictatorship (5) require a determined resistance.

Once again, attacks by the state for the legitimacy and promotion of child abuse and child marriage are the order of the day. After the women's resistance has prevented a law on impunity for men marrying the child they abused in 2016, this law is again being debated. Against this law, there will be a wide resistance of women.

The women's strike was also well received in this meeting. The possibilities for a first women's strike on 8th of March were discussed and it was seen that the socialist women are the driving force of the women's strike and mobilize the women to the streets with common symbols, such as colorful bows.

The women's strike will become a long-term means in the women's liberation struggle, and preparations for the women's strike in Turkey are also seen as a year-round task. The women's strike expresses the growing anger and rebellion of women against the patriarchal system in various forms.

The international character of the strike strengthens the women’s revolution in its attack on patriarchy. Communists have the responsibility to take their place at the forefront of this internationalist action and give this movement a revolutionary perspective, because the women's strike and the rising women's movements have to be understood as a source of strength and inspiration for the women's revolution, as half of the social revolution.

(1)  The International Women's Strike, also known as Paro Internacional de Mujeres, is a global movement coordinated across over 50 countries. It began with International Women's Day, on 8 March 2017, developed further in 2018 and is being planned in various countries in 2019.
(2) The ultra-right wing President of Brazil.
(3) The First International (also known as the International Workingmen’s Association) was established by Marx and others in 1864 to unite workers on the basis of a commitment to class struggle.
(4) Rojava, the Kurdish region of Syria, is one of two Kurdish frontlines in the war with ISIS.
(5) The Turkish government under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Further reading: See more articles by the MLPK here

 

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