An important discussion took place about women’s oppression. Delegates discussed the fight against sexism. They also wanted to ensure that women were leading within the party.
Judith Orr, editor of Socialist Worker, introduced the session.
She said that women had been “at the forefront of some of the biggest struggles” in 2011, including the Egyptian Revolution and the mass strikes in Britain.
She stressed women were not simply victims but active “agents of change”.
Delegates pointed out that many women described themselves as feminists because they opposed sexism.
Judith cited the “slutwalks” as an example of this, and stressed that it was important to be non-sectarian while also arguing revolutionary politics.
Because feminist ideas can be a bridge into socialist politics, but they can be also be a bridge away from them.
Lots of delegates stressed that oppression doesn’t end on joining a revolutionary organisation.
Rita from Hackney, east London, said that she was “proud to be part of a party that fights all oppressions” but that party members didn’t exist in a “bubble”.
Others spoke of their struggles against oppression. Becky, a women’s officer at Portsmouth University, talked about a battle against a nude calendar last year.
“We did stand alone at times,” she said. “We stood up for our principles.”