Russia: from Moscow to Vavozh, this 8M the RSD defended the social rights of women.
We re-publish this article by the Russian Socialist Movement (RSD) about actions in Russia on International Women´s Day, originally published on March 9, 2019.
Socialists from six regions celebrated International Women’s Day, organizing rallies and protests, filming videos, projecting movies and holding debates. For the first time, there was a feminist action in the countryside: the town of Vavozh, in the Republic of Udmurtia.
The RSD, with activists of other left-wing social movements, organized an event for the rights of women and social justice at the monument of Nadezhda Krupskaya. The participants demanded wage equality, policies against sexual and domestic violence and the restoration of the “battering” article in the Penal Code; the increase of the governmental budget on health, education and other areas.
The brilliant rally “Feminism for all” brought together 500 people, turning into the biggest action for the liberation of women in Saint Petersburg in the last years. The manifestation was clearly of a social character: most slogans were supporting discriminated workers, victims of domestic violence, sexual exploitation and poverty.
RSD activist Valeria Kovalishina, who inaugurated the rally, emphasized that the oppression of women is inseparable from class inequality, the suppression of the civil liberties and discrimination based on national and racial characteristics. The political struggle against the system composed of patriarchy, capitalism and authoritarianism leads to the liberation of women. Socialist Rita Prudnikova dedicated her speech to the struggle against domestic violence and the shameful role of the State, that sabotages the adoption of a law on protection.
Spokespeople of different feminist groups spoke at the rally: the LeftFem movement, the popular vlog Feminist Explications, the community of lesbians and trans and music groups. The protest united several political forces, from the traditional communists of the United Socialist Party to the liberals of the Spring movement, which suggests that, against the resistance of the conservatives, feminism is becoming more popular in the opposition. After the manifestation, a festive evening took place at the Eve Ribs space, where there were reports on current issues, workshops, a charity auction and a concert. Socialists spoke about work discrimination, domestic violence and the increasing restrictions on reproductive freedom.
On March 8, an RSD group organized an open session in Ekaterinburg, where they spoke about the work of the leftist feminist Heidi Hartmann, called “The unhappy marriage of Marxism and feminism: towards a more progressive union” (Free Marxist Publishing House, 2016).
On March 8, the local RSD branch and activists of Solidarity of Women and the Communist Party of the Russian Federation organized a picket to remind the people of Irkutsk the real meaning of International Women’s Day. “For us, March 8th isn’t a festive day marketed with a bouquet of flowers, but a day of struggle for equality, against discrimination and gender-based oppression. As women, when speaking about our oppression, we must not forget about the class oppression of workers. Only the transition to a socialist society can completely free women”, explained our comrades. The activists spoke with the people of the town, some of which showed their support, while others suggested other slogans for the signs and others argued, but no one was indifferent.
For the first time, in the streets of the city the people talked about the labor and social rights of women. Activists from the RSD in Izhevsk organized a series of pickets and an open debate about International Women’s Day. The comrades also recorded a video about the problems that women face inside the capitalist system.
This March 8, members of the RSD made pickets in the town of Udmurt in Vavozh.
The RSD-Yakutsk organized a public viewing of the film Suffragist, honoring International Women’s Day. The film tells the story of the difficult struggle of women in Great Britain for the right to vote. After seeing the film, the participants reached the consensus that attacks on the rights of women in society continue these days and the struggle for the emancipation of women must continue.