Women's Liberation Movement
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX22823
A synopsis of the Women's Liberation Movement. From the Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of Events (Marxists.org)
All Communists worthy of the name have supported the struggle for women's emancipation to the limit of their understanding of the issue, which is something which is historically conditioned. Engels' Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884) makes an important contribution to the understanding of the source of womens oppression and how it may be overthrown. The book is limited by the social consciousness and historical knowledge of his times, but Engels' work points to a study of the development of the labour process to discover the basis for women's oppression. In this light, it is possible to understand how the age-old struggle of women, began in the 1960s, in the advanced capitalist countries, to gain strength and eventually became unstoppable. The domestic slavery and double-oppression of women was now as outmoded as was the plantation slavery of Blacks in the South of the United States. Nevertheless, no form of oppression ever leaves the historical stage just because it is outmoded. (See CLR James on The Historical Development of the Negro in the United States.) The words of Communist International: "The emancipation of the working class must be the act of the workers themselves", and the same is true of any oppressed people, including women. It is the duty of Communists to support all those who struggle against oppression.