International Women's Day

International Women's Day


International Women's Day Reading List

For more than a century, 8 March has been the day to commemorate and celebrate the fight of working class and revolutionary women for a better deal and a socialist society.

Its origins are in the struggles for equal pay and decent conditions amongst women in the USA in the 19th century. On 8 March, 1857, garment workers in New York City marched and picketed, demanding improved working conditions, a ten hour day, and equal rights for women. Their ranks were broken up by the police.

Fifty-one years later, 8 March, 1908, their sisters in the needle trades in New York marched again, honouring the 1857 march, demanding the vote, and an end to sweatshops and child labour. The police were present on this occasion too.

A conference in 1910 of women involved in the Second International, adopted a proposal of the German revolutionary fighter, Klara Zetkin, to establish an International Women's Day. Russian women began to observe this on the last Sunday in February, according to the pre-revolutionary Julien calendar.

In 1917 this was the day the working women of Petrograd literally started a revolution. In protest at rising prices and food shortages, they filed into the centre of the city, calling on all fellow workers to join them. This was actually March 8th according to the (Gregorian) calendar used elsewhere in the world.

The listed books discuss the origins of women's oppression and the struggle against it

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What consequences will the economic crisis and its aftermath have for women?

£5.99 *

Articles from the Socialist

£1.00 *
In July 1888, fourteen hundred women and girls employed by the matchmakers Bryant and May walked out of their East End factory and into the history books.
£16.99 *

Unrestrained by convention, lion-hearted and free, Eleanor Marx (1855-98) was an exceptional woman.

£25.00 *

Fair-minded and often revelatory, Nine Parts of Desire is an extraordinarily rich tapestry of the different lives women lead under Islam, and a captivating and diverse portrait of a little known world.

£9.99 *

Classic biography of the leading figure in German Communism, Rosa Luxemburg

£12.99 *
In a series of revealing interviews Jacklyn Cock exposes the truth about the triple oppression of South African domestic workers: of colour, class and sex.
£6.95 *
From the end of the Civil War until her death in 1930 at the age of 100, Mary Harris "Mother" Jones was a tireless fight for the working class.
£25.00 *

Alexandra Kollontai inspired generations of socialists in Russia with her pioneering views on sex and the family. A revolutionary activist and writer, she was the only woman in the first Bolshevik government in 1917.





£20.00 *

Campaigning for the Vote: Kate Parry Frye’s Suffrage Diary. Edtd By Elizabeth Crawford ISBN 9781903427750 £14.99 Francis Boutle 225 pg Paperback

£14.99 *

Sarah Boston recounts the story of women workers from the early nineteenth century to the present day

£20.00 *
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