International Women’s Day 2022: War, gender violence, the soaring cost of living – Capitalism is crisis

Text of the Socialist Party leaflet for International Women’s Day 2022

We condemn Putin’s invasion and stand in solidarity with the suffering working people of Ukraine and the growing anti-war movement in Russia. This war, along with NATO’s militarism in Eastern Europe, is about boosting the power of capitalist states and the profits of the billionaire class.  It is workers, poor people, women and children who are forced to pay a horrific price for these conflicts, including the creation of another refugee crisis. 

Gender violence and systemic misogyny 

Globally a woman is killed by her partner or ex-partner every ten minutes. Sexual harassment is rampant on the streets, in workplaces, in schools and colleges: a recent study in Irish Higher Education Institutions showed that 34% of female students had experienced rape or sexual assault. 

Men’s violence against women is stitched into the sexist system: 

  • The culture of victim blaming in our courts and legal system. 
  • The health, social welfare and education system perpetuate backwards anti women and anti-working-class attitudes. 
  • The sexist objectification of women makes astronomical profits for big business including social media whilst having a detrimental effect on the mental health of girls and women.
  • The housing crisis, created by developers, landlords and successive governments, has ensured that many women cannot escape physically and emotionally abusive relationships. 

From the frontline to the breadline  

Returning to “normal” after the lifting of covid restrictions, women workers who were on the frontline during the pandemic are now facing a situation where they may not even be able to pay their bills. Low wages and the cost of living crisis are pushing single parents and workers into poverty; thousands are choosing between heating and eating. 

The system is guilty  

Capitalism, a system based on the ruthless pursuit of profit above all requires war, sexism, racism and division to exist. Its representatives the political and media establishment, reflecting the pressure from below, may introduce some measures in light the horrendous murder of Ashling Murphy’s, but like with the struggle for abortion rights, they have consistently dragged their feet on this issue, and they stand over a system that perpetuates inequality and misery on a daily basis. 

Building international solidarity 

The struggle to end war, to end gender violence and for decent living standards for all is a struggle to end all forms of inequality; it’s one that is in the interests of all working-class people. 

In the midst of the many horrors we see empathy, solidarity and action from working class people around the world. 

The ordinary people rallying to gather supplies and to help those desperately fleeing Ukraine; the communities who organised hundreds of vigils  after the killing of Aisling Murphy; the essential workers who kept society functioning through a global pandemic. These are all examples of the potential of working class people to completely change the way the world works. The pandemic has shown clearly that workers create the wealth in our society and make it function. The working class, not the backward capitalist establishment, is the only force that can bring about real change in our society. 

Socialist feminist struggle around the world 

This IWD Socialist Feminists will march and organise walkouts and strikes against imperialist war and oppression and exploitation. We need to build a global, active and organised anti war movement led by women, young and working class people, backed by the trade union movement. There are 770,000 workers on this island organised in trade unions, many of whom are women. Imagine the impact of a militant trade union movement. 

We do not have to accept the world as it is: systemic inequality, murderous wars and the destruction of our ecosystem. We have the power to build a humane, democratic and socialist society, one built on solidarity and equality where the collective, public ownership and democratic control of society’s wealth can allow each and all of us to flourish.

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