Jobs and housing for the poor in urban slums!
Half of the urban population lives in slums. Many of them are migrants from the countryside which flee the extremely poor conditions there to find a job in the cities. They can be an important force in the working class struggle for liberation. A particular focus for the mobilisation of the urban poor must be public employment program under control of the workers' movement and the organizations of slum dwellers. With such a program, on the one hand, unemployment could be fought. On the other hand, with such a program the basis could be created for the massive construction of high-quality houses, the building of infrastructure, the supply of clean water etc..
* For a public employment program under the control of representatives of slum dwellers and the workers' movement - paid for by the capitalists profits! For a large-scale state investment program for the development of housing, energy, sanitation and waste management, hospitals and schools, roads and public transport!
* For the formation of local committees of action and self-defence units of the slum dwellers!
Expropriate the landlords! Land to the peasants! Organise the agricultural workers!
Land is concentrated in the hands of a few. The official statistics are rather confusing the picture since many landlord families have formally distributed their land amongst individuals of their clan so the real family control does not become visible.
Nevertheless one can see the dark picture even from the official statistics. The top 2.5 percent own 40% of the land and nearly half of the rural households own no land at all. Amongst those who have land the distribution is very unequal. In 1990, smallholders with less than 2 hectares of land made up 96% of the landholders but owned only 55% of the land.
Many peasants – at least a quarter - are tenants. It is common for tenant farmers to be in debt to landowners. Roughly 67% of Pakistan’s tenant-operated land was sharecropped in 2000, and 48% of sharecropper households fell below the national poverty line. Sharecropping arrangements usually provide the landowner with half the production from the land; arrangements vary regarding provision of inputs. Most agreements are unwritten. The exact number of landless wage-labourers is not known. Many of the rural poor also depend on non-farm activities for income.
But the peasants have shown that they are ready to resist. In March 2010, landless peasants marched toward Lahore to demand land, and in April 2010, the Punjab government announced a program to provide 255.024 plots to landless peasants.
The struggle for the liberation of the poor peasants must be directed primarily against the big landlords, banks and monopoly capital. It is therefore a struggle that has to be conducted internationally and must be directed against the foundations of capitalism. The poor peasantry must therefore, for the sake of their own fundamental interests, enter the road to socialism together with and under the leadership of the working class.
An important slogan is the struggle for breaking the rule of landlords, banks and monopoly capital and, ultimately, their expropriation. The land must be distributed to the poor and landless farmers. At the same time we are fighting for a radical and lasting transformation of agriculture - away from the depletion by monocultures dictated purely by corporations and export-orientation and toward a diversified and sustainable agriculture.
The class struggle in the country-side requires that militant and revolutionary organisations of the poor and landless peasants are built, which should seek a close alliance with the working class.
Especially important is the independent organization of agricultural workers. They can play a vanguard role in the fight on the country-side, if they lead the class struggle against the big land and plantation owners consistently.
* Immediate confiscation of all non-agricultural used land owned by large landowners! For the expropriation of the big landlords, the military and the multinationals!
* For the nationalization of the land under the control of workers and poor peasants! The land to those who cultivate it! The local democratic actions council representatives of the poor and landless peasants have to decide the question of the allocation and use of the land! Promotion of voluntary agricultural cooperatives and the formation of larger state production units!
* Debt cancellation and abolition of rent for the peasants! Nationalization of the banks! Interest-free loans for small peasants!
* For a radical change of direction in the agricultural economy. Away from the monoculture! For sustainable cultivation methods in agriculture! As much international transport of agricultural product as necessary to supply the world's population as necessary and as much supplies of agricultural goods on the spot as possible!
Joint struggle for women's liberation!
A people striving for liberation can never be free if it tolerates oppression in its own ranks. The oppression of women, misery as unpaid work force, and their reduction to semi-slaves, wives to be raped and beaten up – all this must be eradicated. Free people require free women!
While officially the labour participation rate of women is only a fifth, in fact all the working class, peasant and urban poor women are working hard every day – albeit often as unpaid family worker. If they receive an income it is a third or more below that of men. 67% of women have never attended school, 32% higher than for men. They have to organize bringing up the family, organizing food and water, working hard but without possibility to achieve independence.
A particularly ugly form of women oppression is the so-called Karol Kari (honour killing). This coercive and black tradition is present in Pakistan mostly in Baluchistan, Sindh and Southern part of Punjab. In this reactionary tradition women are mostly made target of killing on the plea of “honour” and “respect”. It is a central task of the workers movement to raise the banner of women liberation! Karol Kari must be fought by any means necessary and branded as a sign of slave mentality unworthy for a people fighting for liberation.
Given this massive discrimination it is not surprisingly that women make only 1,5% of the trade union members.
The RWO says:
* 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 socialization of housework! As a first step we advocate childcare facilities und collectivization of the housework through the voluntary association of toiling people’s families.
* For a public employment program to create the conditions for the socialization of housework and simultaneously eliminate unemployment among women!
* For a special education campaign to overcome illiteracy amongst 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 organizations! 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! Against any compulsion to wear this!
* For the building of a revolutionary women's movement! For the right to caucus for women in the mass organizations of workers and oppressed!