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Left Archive: International Women’s Day – Unity Against Oppression and Imperialism, People’s Democracy, 1980s March 8, 2021

Posted by leftarchivist in Uncategorized.

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Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

This timely document was issued on International Women’s Day in the early 1980s by People’s Democracy. It notes that:

International Women’s Day represents the significance of women in struggle both for their rights as women and against politics, social and economic injustice. And we as women in Ireland both North and South, have many examples of women in struggle. March 8th is also a day of celebration of the women’s Movement Internationally.

It argues that:

It is honest to say that the movement as a whole is in decline. And that within it, the feminist layer, outside the small numbers of women organised in particular campaigns are unorganised demoralised and without direction. This is most true for the women’s movement in the South, especially in Dublin.

It proposes that women work together on a programme. And that the following areas be discussed.

National Unity within the women’s movement.

Austerity policies North and South and how they affect women.

The need for Seperation of Churches and States.

Democratic Rights: Divorce, Contraception, Abortion

Equality in the workforce – the right to work, equal pay. Unemployment and women.


1. Alibaba - March 8, 2021

On International Women’s Day, let us not forget the role played by a German Marxist theorist, anti-imperialist and communist activist, Clara Zetkin.

According to Wikipedia: ‘ Inspired in part by the American socialists, Zetkin, Käte Duncker and others proposed that “a special Women’s Day” be organized annually … on 19 March 1911 International Women’s Day was marked for the first time, by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. 
… In June 1921, the Second International Conference of Communist Women, which was held in Moscow and was chaired by Clara Zetkin changed the date of the International Women’s Day to 8 March. This remains the date of the IWD until today.

 … she stated: “Working women are absolutely convinced that the question of the emancipation of women is not an isolated question which exists in itself, but part of the great social question.”

 … She viewed the feminist movement as being primarily composed of upper-class and middle-class women who had their own class interests in mind … One of her primary goals was to get women out of the house and into work so that they could participate in trade unions and other workers rights organizations in order to improve conditions for themselves.’

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