New Communist Party of Britain
Class society makes Women a form of property, depriving them of self-fulfilment and downgrading their role as mothers. Under Capitalism, this exploitation of women becomes teat economic exploitation.
Two thirds of women in Britain today go to work and many more are only prevented by the lack: of either jobs or nurseries for their children. At Work they are exploited by being paid only about two-thirds of male wages by rarely getting promotion beyond the most dead-end jobs and by facilities not being made available for them to fulfil their other job as mothers.
Discrimination starts at school with discouragement from technical and academic subjects and continues with the majority of women being; denied access to higher education and training.
Not only does this system exploit women, but men as well, In Britain the ruling class has succeeded in depressing male wages until women have to go to work to maintain family living standards. So the tight for equal pay is essential for the defence of male as well as female workers.
But the equal rights battle cannot be won by legislation like the Equal Pay Act which merely intensifies the division between low paid ""women"s work” and higher paid “men’s work”. It must be fought for by mass struggle. Discrimination in the trade unions themselves must be destroyed.
Alongside the equal pay battle go the battles for crèche and nursery facilities, maternity leave, training and an adequate family planning service. This struggle will only succeed if men and women together participate in it.
The emphasis of some sections of the women’s movement on “personal liberation” tends to obscure both the paramount importance of the economic struggle to working women and the fact that, while limited economic advance can be won in the course of that struggle, real liberation can only be achieved under socialism. This false emphasis denies the class nature of the equal rights struggle and therefore divides it from other sections of the labour movement.
The equal rights struggle is an essential part of the struggle for socialism, for unless they are drawn into the labour movement, women will continue to be alienated from socialist ideas. Until substantial sections of working women can be won over, socialism will not be won. Women can win freedom only through the class struggle but the whole question is complicated by the personal and ideological issues involved: the relations between men and women in society? in the home, in marriage. It therefore needs more study and 3’ clear line of policy on all aspects worked out.
It is therefore proposed that the Party should set up a Commission on Women which should work on this between now and the next Congress such a commission to be composed of equal numbers of men and women comrades.
The achievements of women in the socialist world are plain to see. With child care, training and equal pay problems solved, women under socialism are now gaining true equality and self—fulfilment. Their liberation is the strongest argument for the development of the women’s movement in this country.