For over 100 years, International Women’s Day (March 8th) has been a day to recognise and celebrate the struggle for women’s rights and equality.
Under capitalism women are treated as second-class citizens. Women still make up the bulk of low paid, casualised and insecure workers. Often industries that are dominated by women, like teaching and nursing, contain some of the most over worked and underpaid staff.
Capitalism is also a system that objectifies women and uses their bodies to sell things for profit. Over the last few years we have seen movements in a number of countries develop against the objectification of women. In Australia, many women have taken to the streets to protest violence against women and victim blaming.
This is a great step forward but the struggle should not stop there. Women will be disproportionately affected by recent budget cuts which slash vital services to areas such as healthcare, welfare, public housing and women’s shelters. The fight against budget cuts is a fight against discrimination.
The true liberation of women will only happen when the profit driven system of capitalism is overthrown and is replaced with a democratic socialist system that prioritises people’s needs and equality for all.
By Aishwarya Ramji