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Women: Liberation will not come alone

The origin of International Women’s Day dates back to a period when the first workers’ struggles against the excesses of capitalism and the industrial revolution began to appear.

 

Claudio Chipana G.

 

It is a day that was born as a protest and proposal at the end of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th. It is part of the struggle against capitalism and at the same time is integrated as part of the socialist herald of an alternative society to capitalist exploitation. The 8th of March is the expression of this struggle.

Amongst the women that stand out in the generation of an International Women’s day are the socialists Clara Zetkin and Rosa Luxemburgo.

Today, after some significant achievements in women’s rights throughout the 20th Century (such as the right to vote), reality demonstrates that women’s difficulties have become more diverse, contradictory and complex.

Today, themes such as gender-based violence, the right of the woman to the use of her own body and of her own space, generic differences, transgender, etc. are dominant.

Themes that have not however overcome the big problem of equal salaries for equal work, equality of educational opportunities, economy, culture and other areas of society.

Without doubt the capitalist system, as it is presented, continues to highlight inequality even in the face of democratic advances in gender relations in many parts of the “developed” world.

In this sense, as a counterpart, there is still a lot do in order to overcome the high levels of poverty, illiteracy and discrimination that many women in the “third world” still suffer.

Gender gaps on a global level are enormous.

Many forums in recent years have put emphasis on the fact that it would take 100 years to achieve complete global equality between both genders in the most diverse areas like labour, economy, politics and culture.

Some countries such as Nicaragua, it is said, have made significant advances in closing inequality gaps thanks to political parity, that is to say, thanks to a greater level of women’s participation in politics.

In an ever more globalised and interdependent society, it is increasingly less clear that the liberation of humankind and the great wrongs that afflict it (such as economic crises, war and inequality) go through the liberation of only the man or only the woman.

The more men get involved in the liberation of the other half of humankind, the better the possibility of achieving the ideal of the universal equality.

The emancipation of women will first be the work of the women themselves. At best, men will be their best allies and at worst, their worst oppressors.

Flora Tristán said, “Workers of the world, unite”. Liberation will not come alone. It will be the result of the struggle for a better world.

(Translated by Sarah Claman) – Photos: Pixabay

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