Women's Fightback 17, April/May 2013

Migrant women organising

Published on: Wed, 27/03/2013 - 16:36

Around the globe, migrant women’s labour plays an important role in developing capitalism.

Vicki Morris explores some of the issues this raises for socialist feminists. We welcome comments as we are developing a workshop around the topic — email wfightback@workersliberty.org.

Women make up around half of migrant workers and travel throughout the world to work in all fields.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that there are currently around 90 million migrant workers worldwide of whom about 15% have no legal status.

Migration can be within country, involving moving from the

Marxism and feminism

Published on: Wed, 27/03/2013 - 16:23

Workers’ Liberty have been organising a series of meetings to discuss Marxism, feminism and the fight for women’s liberation today.

In Britain and internationally there is a revival of feminist ideas and activism. In past women’s movements Marxist ideas have played an important role but this isn’t so true today. It’s time to renew the link! And it is time for Workers’ Liberty to renew its Marxist feminist ideas.

With that in mind this series of workshops discusses issues ranging from what a Marxist analysis can offer to our understanding of women’s oppression today; to the question of whether

Million Women Rise: challenging male violence

Published on: Wed, 27/03/2013 - 16:19

Million Women Rise (MWR) organises an annual, women-only, march in the West End of London close to International Women’s Day, with the slogan, “Together we can end male violence against women and girls”.

Migrant and BME women play a prominent role. The first march was in 2008; the sixth march in 2013 attracted around 1,000, down on previous years.

Explaining why the march is women-only, MWR says:

“Women have been socially, culturally and economically conditioned to defer to men, to take our lead from men, to behave in ways approved of by men. On this particular day, we want women to come and

The Tories, rape and the criminal justice system

Published on: Wed, 27/03/2013 - 15:56

In 2010 the Labour government commissioned Baroness Vivien Stern to oversee a review into how rape complaints are handled by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The review followed the catastrophic failure by police to take complaints against serial sex attacker John Warboys seriously, leaving him free to rape and sexually assault at least 85 women.

The review is worth reading because it shows how the “austerity regime” is impeding the possibility of real progress in helping the victims of sexual violence.

There is a consensus now (even in government!) that Sexual Assault

Rape jokes: it's not that simple

Published on: Wed, 27/03/2013 - 15:50

Rape jokes are generally considered, within the organised left and/or feminist movement to be bad.

They’re not something decent people tell. They reinforce rape culture. Every time I hear this it kicks me internally because I’m a rape victim, and I tell rape jokes.

Rape culture is reinforced every time a group of men make a joke about raping some other man or woman. Rape culture is reinforced with victim blaming attitudes regarding what you wear, or where you were, or what you drank. Rape culture is reinforced every time women’s bodies are objectified.

I realise how damaging rape jokes are,

Fight to save the NHS!

Published on: Wed, 27/03/2013 - 15:44

Since the start of the year hundreds of thousands of people have mobilised around the country to save the NHS.

• On 16 March 5,000 people marched through the streets of Islington to stop cuts — loss of 230 beds and 570 jobs — at the Whittington Hospital.

• On the same day hundreds of protesters gathered outside Lewisham Hospital to oppose the downgrading of the emergency and maternity services — cuts that threaten the long-term future of the hospital.

• On 26 January 25,000 people marched through Lewisham. That did not stop Tory Health Minister Jeremy Hunt from approving the plan to downgrade

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