Women's Fightback, Feminism

25 September call for Afghanistan

RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, is calling on supporters of women’s rights in Afghanistan to join action on the streets on 25 September. They say: “Women of the world and our allies stand with the women - and all vulnerable groups - of Afghanistan against imperialism, militarism, fundamentalism and fascism. None of us are free until the women of Afghanistan are free”. They call on governments to: • Refuse to recognize a Taliban government, which has no legitimacy beyond the brutal force it commands and which terrorises the people of Afghanistan, girls and women...

Women's Fightback: A new generation of Kyrgyz heroines

The kidnapping of brides has been banned for decades in Kyrgyzstan, an ex-USSR Central Asian Republic lying north of Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The law was tightened in 2013, with sentences of up to 10 years in prison for those who kidnap a woman to force her into marriage. Previously it was a fine of 2,000 soms, about £20. Despite that, the medieval practise of ala kachuu (“take and run”) persists to this day. The Women Support Centre in Bishkek has estimated that 12,000 forced marriages take place every year and very few perpetrators are convicted. About 80% of the girls kidnapped accept...

Where "incel" backlash comes from

The Plymouth shooting of 12 August which left five people plus the perpetrator dead is the latest in a series of incel-related mass shootings that have occurred since 2014 in the US, Canada, Germany and now the UK. Some have called for the killing to be described explicitly as misogynistic terrorism. That is certainly understandable. The murderer had had a history of posting misogynistic and homophobic comments online. Short for “involuntary celibate”, the word “incel” refers to an online subculture that has developed over the past decade where people (overwhelmingly male) dissatisfied with...

Women's Fightback: Support Afghan women against the Taliban

The Taliban continues to make rapid territorial gains in Afghanistan following the announcement that almost all foreign troops will leave by September. The Taliban has captured half of the territory of Afghanistan, particularly the rural areas, and several provincial capitals. Fighting has increased around the major cities of Herat, Lashkar Gah and Kandahar. Tens of thousands of Afghans have applied for visas to leave the country, fearing Taliban reprisals. The US and Afghan government have responded by airstrikes and bombing of Taliban positions. Workers’ Liberty has never supported the US...

Women's Fightback: Calling the military to account

Almost two-thirds of women in the armed forces have experienced bullying, sexual harassment, and discrimination during their career, according to a parliamentary report that says the UK military is “failing to protect” female recruits. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) lifted the legal restrictions that usually prevent serving military from contributing to such inquiries. Around one in ten serving women gave testimony. The report describes “truly shocking evidence” included gang rape and extensive institutionalised sexual harassment. Some women revealed how they were bullied for refusing sexual...

Women's Fightback: Your assistant may not be female

If you’ve updated the operating system on your iPhone recently you’ll notice Siri is no longer defaulting to a female voice. This is Apple’s response to criticism of the gender bias in virtual assistance. Digital sociologists Yolande Strengers and Jenny Kennedy argue that Siri, and other voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, have been developed in order to “carry out ‘wifework’ — domestic duties that have traditionally fallen on (human) wives.” They accuse tech companies of designing feminised digital assistants who are “friendly and sometimes flirty, occasionally glitchy but...

What we mean by socialist feminism

This is an excerpt from a speech at Ideas for Freedom, 10-11 July 2021 In Workers’ Liberty, we believe that the liberation of women can only happen with the emancipation of humanity as a whole, through the socialist transformation of society through class struggle. The working class is the vast majority of people — immensely diverse, but united by our dependency on waged labour to survive. Men and women both have this dependent relationship to waged labour, but it is differentiated by women’s historic and current role in childbearing, our ability to stitch together childcare, and the gendered...

Women's Fightback: Batman and “heroes don’t do that”

The internet is alive with debate on Batman’s sex life, specifically cunnilingus and the caped crusader. Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacher, co-creators of HBO Max’s adult animated series Harley Quinn, shared why a scene of Batman performing oral sex on Catwoman got removed. “It’s incredibly gratifying and free to be using characters that are considered villains because you just have so much more leeway,” they said. “A perfect example of that is in this third season ofHarley [when] we had a moment where Batman was going down on Catwoman. And DC was like, ‘You can’t do that. You absolutely...

"Questions of democracy are where to focus our energies"

Clive Lewis, Labour MP for Norwich South, spoke to Sacha Ismail in late March 2021. For an interview Clive did with us in March 2020, see here. There could still be another 30,000 deaths as we approach the end of lockdown, and maybe much more. Even with the vaccine program at full tilt, in the absence of a proper test and trace system, an isolation system and social support for people, it’s still potentially a dire situation and could still overwhelm the NHS. [This was even before the "Indian variant" of Covid was widely discussed.] NHS workers have launched their demand for a 15% pay rise. Do...

Women's Fightback: Combatting sexism through democracy

The Department for Education has promised more support for schools to tackle sexual abuse and has strengthened safeguarding guidance. This was in response to a review by Ofsted that concluded that sexual harassment has become “normalised” for young people, in school. The report, published on 10 June, concluded that school inspections by Ofsted and the Independent Schools Inspectorate were “sometimes not robust enough” on sexual harassment and there was not always appropriate cooperation between schools and safeguarding teams. It found that teachers “consistently underestimate” the scale of the...

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.