It calls us, first, to recognize that women suffer disproportionately from every aspect of capitalist exploitation and oppression, from poverty and austerity to environmental degradation and imperialism—just as they have borne the brunt of inequality in every class-based society.
But International Women’s Day also calls us to celebrate—and to advance—the leadership of women in the fight for a better world. Today, women are leading major struggles for democracy and equality–from the movement for Black lives, to the teachers’ and fast food workers’ strikes that are redefining the labor movement; from the Water Protectors of Standing Rock, to the Women’s Marches against the Trump regime; from protecting the rights of immigrants, to joining the ranks of progressive candidates, to breaking the silence on rape culture and violence against women.
“When the men kill,” wrote German revolutionary Clara Zetkin, “it is up to us women to fight for the preservation of life.” She wrote those words in 1914, when the leaders of the Socialist International had betrayed the working-class cause by joining in the war effort alongside the capitalists of their nations.
Today her words resonate in a larger sense. Amidst a deepening capitalist crisis, escalating imperialist aggression, and the rise of the fascist right, women are leading the struggle for an equitable, sustainable, socialist future for the human race.
The fight for equality is the basis of all progress for the working class. The neoliberal policies and reactionary political forces that are the main obstacle to equality for women, are also responsible for the worldwide assault on the rights and dignity of workers. The same system that subjugates working people to the whims of the rich, also perpetuates male supremacy and misogyny to divide workers and cement the profits and power of the capitalist class.
The Communist Party USA joins with all democratic, progressive, and revolutionary forces in celebrating International Women’s Day.
To all women in the fight for equality, democracy, peace, and socialism, we salute you!
To all workers, we say: listen to women, and join them where they fight, because this is your fight, too.