Here is a practical programme to root out gender violence :
The profound consequences of the 1789 French revolution, with its disarming of the militant women and the refusal to grant women the right to vote nor to even grant price controls, demonstrates that even at the dawn of capitalist rule, the capitalist class is incapable of conceding the complete democratic demands, that it is in essence the violent rule of the rich men. The essence of the capitalist state is the protection of the interest of rich men. It follows that the full liberation of women and an end to gender violence can only come through the total expropriation of the rich (men) and the communal sharing of the wealth created by the working class, under its direct control. The capitalist state is the root cause of gender violence internationally.
‘...to emancipate woman and make her equal of the man is and remains an impossibility so long as the woman is shut out from social productive labour and restricted to private domestic labour. The emancipation of woman will only be possible when woman can take part in production on a large social scale and domestic work no longer claims anything but an insignificant amount of her time. And only now has that become possible through modern large scale industry, which not only permit the employment of female labour over a wide range but positively demands it, while it also tends towards ending private domestic labour by changing it more into a public industry’.
Thus it is not sufficient to expropriate the monopoly capitalists (the rich men) and place this wealth under workers’ control. We have to demand the socialisation of all so-called traditional tasks of women:
l State-funded creches in local areas as well as company-funded creches at workplaces
l Work for all
l Cheap, public laundries
l Cheap, healthy, public eating houses
l Free-quality education for all, from the cradle to the grave
l Shorter working hours so that men and women and couples that are non-binary, can share equally in whatever housework there is.
l Dismantling of all capitalist states and the setting up of direct democracy, Socialist workers’ states
How to start to fight gender-based violence?
1. There should be mass awareness campaigns in every classroom of every school (primary and high school), college, university, every workplace, at least once a week.
2. We should demand the socialisation of all so-called women’s work - see demands above.
3. Equal pay for equal work
4. For work where female workers get home after dark there should be paid transport to drop the worker at their front door
5. There must be adequate street lighting at night, for all
6. All unelected tribal chiefs should be abolished; any female should be allowed to stand for leadership of any communal land that still exists
7. There should be a revival of street, area and block committees that take on the task of patrolling and self-defence of women from any threat of violence, or acts against any gender-based violence. There should be a presence in the mornings and evenings when females are on their way to or from work.
8. There should be 24 hour places of safety in every ward.
Therefore, also, the above demands must be linked to the demands for the expropriation of the large commercial farms, the mines, the banks and other monopolies, without compensation and for these to be placed under workers’ control. Socialization of the wealth will create the basis for the thoroughgoing socialization of all that is regarded as women’s work. Only then will the woman step onto the political, social, cultural and economic stage as an equal.
FORWARD TO SOCIALISM!
To read the full article click here: http://www.workersinternational.org.za/index.php/perspectives/s-africa/gender-violence-sa