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March 8: Celebrate International Women’s Day 2005

By Freedom Road Socialist Organization

March 8, 2005 will be the 95th year that International Women’s Day has been celebrated worldwide since Clara Zetkin, a German revolutionary, proposed it in 1910. Zetkin was inspired by working women in the United States. In 1908, women, mainly from the garment industry, came together in New York City’s Rutgers Square to demand a strong union in the needle trades and the right to vote. Today, it is a holiday celebrated by working people worldwide.

In the U.S., we must remember and celebrate this important holiday, which is rooted in the struggle of working women. Our task today is to continue to unite the struggle of the working class with the women’s liberation movement. The important fights that affect all women – for equal rights, equal pay for comparable work, affirmative action, full reproductive rights and quality and affordable childcare – must be continued and reaffirmed.

Women make up half the population and anything that limits the participation and leadership of half a population will hurt all of the population. The demands of working-class women and women of color are a part of the demands of the multinational working class. The women’s liberation movement can only achieve its objectives through the full participation and leadership of all working-class women, independent of nationality, sexual orientation, ability or age.

In recent decades, the women’s liberation movement in the United States has been led by upper and middle class forces that have marginalized the struggles of working-class and oppressed nationality women. To achieve true liberation for women, the women’s liberation movement should unite with the struggles of the multinational working class, and all working and oppressed people should champion the demands for the emancipation of women.

International Women’s Day, along with May Day – International Workers Day – are the two great days of celebration and struggle that were born in the U.S. and have been taken up by working people everywhere. We urge every reader of this paper to participate in the celebrations being held in your city.

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