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International Women’s Day—fight the system to fight sexism

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Issue 2494
Anger at womens oppression politicises generations of women to fight back

Anger at women’s oppression politicises generations of women to fight back (Pic: Guy Smallman)

International Women’s Day this week brought a slew of articles showing how women’s oppression is still a reality.

The International Labour Organization declared that women have only seen “marginal improvements” at work over the past 20 years. A survey for Women of the World showed that seven out of ten women in Britain had suffered unwanted sexual comments in a public place.

Those questioned said “society” was the biggest barrier to gender equality. They are right to see the problem as systemic.

Bosses still pay women workers less than men doing the same job. Women with children face particular discrimination at work. Men are more likely to be in top jobs and women still bear most of the burden of housework and childcare.

New figures showed that five women are killed every hour across the globe by abusive partners or family members.

The figures are a disgrace, but it isn’t all negative. Anger at women’s oppression repeatedly politicises generations of women to fight back. Struggles by ordinary women, and men, have won real changes.

These changes, such as more rights at work or increased access to abortion, also help challenge attitudes about women’s place in the world.

But ultimately women’s oppression is part and parcel of capitalism—and another reason why we need to fight oppression and get rid of capitalism itself.

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