Saturday 23 February, 1pm – 5pm
- The attacks on women’s rights today
- The women’s liberation movement
Speakers: Susan Pashkoff (SR), Virginia Lopez Calvo, Terry Conway (SR)
Saturday 23 March, 1pm – 5pm
- The origins of women’s oppression
- What is socialist feminism?
Speakers: Jane Kelly (SR), Jane Shallice, Joana Ramiro (Anti Capitalist Initiative)
Venue: Community Centre, 62 Marchmont Street, WC1N 1AB, (Russell Sq & Kings Cross tubes)
Under capitalism, women are oppressed in two ways: as workers and as primary carers. The struggle of women to regain control over their bodies and their reproduction has been long. The fight for birth control, access to healthcare and control over their reproduction had been successful in much of the advanced capitalist countries, but it is only relatively recent and these victories have not been generalised throughout the rest of the world.
Many of the gains are facing attack; this is happening through legislation, judicial reviews and through social coercion under pressure of rising religious extremism.
The introduction of austerity is an attack on the welfare state, and this has hit women harder due to their dual exploitation. Their employment is concentrated in the state sector and they are losing jobs disproportionately. The push towards flexible labour means that women are being forced towards low-paid part-time jobs. And as primary carers in the family, women are especially vulnerable to cutbacks in social services and benefits.
The discussion and debate will address the complex tapestry of race, class and gender oppression, the current attack on women’s economic rights, attempts to normalise misogyny and sexism, and the attack on reproductive rights. The discussion on the resurgence of the attack upon women’s rights will centre the discussion on practice, and examine socialist feminism and how it sees the struggle for women’s liberation.