Women's rights and Feminism

Poland: "Expect a fightback"

Andrzej Duda of the radical right Law and Justice party has been re-elected as Poland’s president, defeating the liberal conservative opposition’s candidate Rafał Trzaskowski 51%-49% in the second round. Ana Oppenheim spoke to Sacha Ismail about the election and struggles in Poland. Ana is a Polish-born socialist who lives in the UK. She is a member of the Labour Party and the Polish left party Razem, an activist in the Labour Campaign for Free Movement and has just been elected to Momentum’s national coordinating group. Poland was due to have its presidential election in May, but with the...

57% of women support trans self-ID

Arguments against strengthening the rights of transgender people, on both right and left, are often posed through a false counterposition with women’s rights. Those making them frequently accuse trans rights advocates of ignoring “women’s views”, “women’s concerns” and so on. New polling by YouGov, commissioned by PinkNews, undermines these arguments even further. (See here for the full results.) Men in the UK agree that “a person should... be able to self-identify as a gender different to the one they were born in” 43% to 33% (the rest say they don’t know). Women agree 57-21. As you’d expect...

Abuse of Uyghur women

China is carrying out forced sterilisations of women of ethnic minority populations in the western Xinjiang region, according to research published on 29 June. More than one million Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim minorities are imprisoned in re-education camps. Uyghur women and other ethnic minorities are being threatened with internment in the camps for refusing to abort pregnancies that exceed birth quotas. Women have been involuntarily fitted with intrauterine contraceptives or coerced into receiving sterilisation surgeries, even were they had fewer than the permitted two children...

Say her name

The murder of George Floyd has sparked a global movement against racism and police brutality. The discussion of racist violence and police repression have again shone a spotlight on how dangerous it is to be a black man in America. But by viewing the criminal justice system as the frontline of structural racism and men as the primary participants, we risk ignoring the violence which is a day to day reality for black women. Black women’s interaction with the state, through law enforcement, is marked by violence. Black women are murdered by the police. They are assaulted and injured by the...

Tim Roache and the cabal system

On Tuesday 28 April, Tim Roache, general secretary of the big GMB union, which organises in many different sectors, stepped down, just months after his re-election. He cited ill-health. On Wednesday, following the circulation of an anonymous letter to press outlets, GMB issued a statement: “GMB received an anonymous letter, last Wednesday, in which a number of allegations have been made about Tim’s conduct whilst he held the office of general secretary.” The news of the allegations against Roach has reignited discussion of conduct in the labour movement, echoing previous incidents including...

Hollow declarations: a reply to WPUK's letter

The article below replies to a letter by WPUK, which in turn is a response to an article by Workers' Liberty activist Natalia Cassidy, 'Anti-trans feminists blinkered on Tories', and refers to a video by Workers' Liberty activist Zack Muddle, 'Fighting for trans rights in today's labour movement'. The article written by Natalia Cassidy entitled 'Anti-trans feminists blinkered on Tories' was not, in fact, written with Woman's Place UK (WPUK) as an organisation in mind. It was written after seeing swathes of people on social media responding in celebratory fashion at the statement made by Liz...

WPUK response to Natalia Cassidy article

Woman's Place UK wrote to Workers' Liberty requesting that we publish the letter below. It is a response to an article by Workers' Liberty activist Natalia Cassidy, "Anti-trans feminists blinkered on Tories", and refers to a video by Workers' Liberty activist, Zack Muddle, "Fighting for trans rights in today's labour movement". Natalia Cassidy and Zack Muddle replied to the letter below, here. Workers' Liberty champion open debate, and we publish WPUK's letter in that spirit. For more on what we believe on trans rights, see for example "Support trans people's rights!" passed at our 2018...

Anti-trans feminists blinkered on Tories

This article has been responded to by WPUK, which in turn has been replied to here. On 22 April, Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss addressed Parliament's Women and Equalities Select Committee, laying out her priorities. The Tory minister's comments and plans were met with much support from many from socialist feminist backgrounds on the basis that she thought single-sex spaces should be protected (a shorthand to communicate to the relevant audience that trans women will be excluded from accessing services and particular areas of public life). The feminists in question - who subscribe...

Women's Fightback: workers hit by café and pub shutdown

Young workers and women are likely to be the hardest hit by the coronavirus shutdown of businesses such as restaurants, hotels, pubs and retailers. Low earners are seven times as likely as high earners to work in a business sector that has shut down, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Their analysis found a third of the bottom 10% of earners worked in the worst-hit sectors, against one in 20 (5%) of those in the top 10%. Women are about one-third more likely than men to work in a sector that has been shut down, as they make up the bulk of retail and hospitality workers. One in six...

Domestic violence spikes

Nine people died in domestic killings in Britain’s first week of lockdown, following a global trend of increased domestic violence during coronavirus quarantine. The low level of reporting makes statistics on domestic violence unreliable, but domestic violence deaths and police reports are going up. The government has responded saying women can leave their homes to seek help at a refuge, which ignores that many refuges are already struggling to meet need and that many access domestic violence services through something like their child’s school, children’s centre, or library. Sandra Horley CBE...

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