In the entire history of mankind the system of class exploitation from the start existed hand in hand with forms of political oppression (by the state) and the social oppression of specific groups. (e.g. women, youth etc.) The oppression of women is, therefore, deeply rooted in the history of class society and can only wither away with the elimination of the later. Therefore, the struggle for women's liberation is naturally closely connected with the struggle for socialism.
Contrary to the claims of the bourgeois and liberal writers only the form of oppression of women has changed in recent decades, but not the essence. Although now nearly 53% of all women are employed, capitalist exploitation affects women particularly hard because of their oppression. Worldwide, 60% of working poor and about 70% of the poor are female. While we women do on average 2/3 of all works, we get only a tenth of total income and own only one percent of the property.
In short, we receive less pay for the same amount of labour; we make the bulk of unpaid domestic work and child-care and in addition are also often victims of violence and harassment. Moreover, the reactionary state attempts to prescribe what we have to wear clothing and what not. In the Western imperialist countries and Turkey, Muslim women are disadvantaged if they wear a scarf or a burqa. In many Islamic countries, we are subjected to pressure and open terror if we do not respect the religious dress code.
A particularly obvious form of oppression of women is prostitution, to which globally more and more women are forced – whether because of financial hardship and/or through open physical violence. Due to the largely non-legal working conditions prostitutes are easier victims of exploitation and criminalisation by pimps and police. We support the full legalisation of prostitution, the unionisation of sex workers as well as state-sponsored training programmes to allow an exit from prostitution. As long as capitalism and thus also the oppression of women remains, there will be also prostitution. Only after the socialist revolution can prostitution be fought and abolished.
We women make half of the working class and the oppressed, and among the broad mass of their lower layers we even constitute the majority. But in the mass organisations, we play only a subordinated role. Why? On the one hand, this is because social oppression makes our participation in the class struggle more difficult. On the other hand, this is also because most of the mass organisations are controlled by a reformist bureaucracy and dominated by the upper, aristocratic layer. The bureaucracy is afraid of the massive and active participation of us proletarian and poor women, because particularly we have nothing to lose but our chains. This is why a strategy that is aimed at revolutionising the mass organisations, must hopelessly fail if it is not based on the broad mobilisation of the proletarian and poor women.
While reformism hinders the participation of women in the class struggle, feminism stands for a separation of the struggle for the liberation of women from the general class struggle. Such a separation is deeply regressive, because it means the artificial separation of one form of class struggle from the whole of the class struggle. But the oppression of women is an integral part of the whole capitalist class society, and only in the fight against this it can be overcome.
Feminism is also a tendency which reflects the interests of the petty bourgeois and bourgeois women. While these women also experience women's oppression, they have, in contrast to the women of our class, primarily the desire to be equal to men of their class within the system and have no interest to smash the capitalist class system as such. In the 19th century the petty-bourgeois and especially the bourgeois women, who could not legally perform most academic professions, complained that even a male worker (someone from the "lower class") is superior to them since he could have a job. This reflects the interest of these bourgeois women to keep the class oppression of the workers', but to overcome their own oppression as women in the limits of their own class. It is also true for the feminists that their usually (petty) bourgeois class position is the determining factor and not the phrases of "women's solidarity," which they preach so often.
Exactly therefore the Bolsheviks-Communists consider it as the urgent task of the vanguard, to build a revolutionary women's movement, and promote the massive organising of women in trade unions and other mass organisations. We also advocate the right to caucus of women and to build their own sections within the mass organisations of workers and the oppressed. Of particular importance is the role of us women in the revolutionary party: The party of the revolution must be the party that is fighting not only for women's liberation, but in which the revolutionary women also take a central and leading role.
* An end to all forms of legal discrimination against women - whether in the workplace, in access to education or at the polls!
* Equal pay for equal work!
* For the massive construction of free, well-equipped 24-hour child-care facilities! For a wide range supply of affordable and high-quality public restaurants and laundry facilities! Our goal is the socialisation of housework!
* Massive support for the conversion of part-time to full-time employment for women!
* For a public employment programme to create the conditions for the socialisation of housework and simultaneously eliminate unemployment among women!
* Free access to free contraception and abortion on demand regardless of age and no matter in what month of pregnancy the woman is!
* Fight against violence against women! For the expansion of public women safe houses, controlled by women's organisations! For the formation of self-defence units by the workers' and women's movement against sexist violence!
* Down with all laws and public campaigns on religious dress codes! For the right to wear religious clothing, independently whether it is a form of Muslim veiling, the Dastar of the Sikhs etc. is! But also against any compulsion to wear these garments!
* For the building of a revolutionary women's movement! For the right to caucus for women in the mass organisations of workers and oppressed!