Marxist Feminism in the 21st Century
The Young Communist League is the political organisation for a new generation of Marxist feminist youth, uniting the entire working class in the struggle against the continuing oppression of women.
Women constitute half the working population in Britain. Nevertheless, women still earn less than men and have inferior representation in government as well as organisations like trade unions. One in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. The situation is still worse for young women.
The oppression of women is linked to the whole oppression of the working class. Under capitalism, women have always been super-exploited, paid less (or not valued at all) for their essential contributions to society, burdened with the upbringing of children (capitalism’s future workforce), and economically and legally dependent upon men.
Women are also the main victims of imperialist violence and warmongering perpetrated by the United Kingdom, United States and other monopoly capitalist states abroad.
In a socialist society where the needs of people — such as education, goods, housing, jobs and public services — are met, where there are no capitalist property relations and exploited labour, between capitalist and worker or man and woman, there will be no economic basis for the oppression of women.
The experiences of the socialist countries show that prejudices and discrimination are also social issues that survive the abolition of capitalism. However, in the process of building a new society, a socialist and Communist society, the potential of all working people can be fully developed and prejudices and discrimination eliminated.
The YCL is affiliated to the National Assembly of Women and, alongside many trade unions and women’s organisations, endorses the Charter for Women. The Charter for Women is a campaigning programme that aims to give direction and new life to the fight for women’s liberation in 21st century Britain, where that fight is still not won.
It brings together key principles of our movement such as the following:
- Full social rights for women, including access and rights to affordable childcare, abortion and educational and work opportunities, and support for lone mothers, carers and women subjected to domestic and other violence.
- Full working rights for women, ending the pay gap, job segregation, bullying and sexual harassment and improving maternity leave and pay, including paid paternity leave.
- The extension of women’s representation, including women’s committees, women’s courses and other measures to ensure that women’s voices are heard.
- An end to the feminisation of poverty and ideologies and gender identities that reinforce the inequality and oppression of women.
- An end to the oppression of LGBT+ women.
In addition, the YCL has its own Women’s Commission, which is a space for our young Communist women to advise the League on policies and coordinate essential campaign work.
You can read our latest statements on the cause of women here: