The Manifesto for Equality
This text is the manifesto of the Equality which is women organisation of SEP (Socialist Labourers Party , Turkey) The pahplet in pdf format can be dowloaded via: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Yo3KkVIdWni_nIjZQ6Rt4aRM7l1lt2O7/view?usp=sharing
Who Oppresses Women?
History of humanity started with an equalitarian social order. For thousands of years, women and men have lived in an equalitarian society by virtue of collective social order. When human societies created class societies, private property, privileged minorities, “the historical defeat of women” have started. Societies without classes and privileges prove us, humanity can achieve equality again. But how?
For women, primary precondition of equality is social equality. And it’s possible only by disposal of class societies, privileged few and parasitic bourgeoisie, all around the world.
Why? Because we raise future worker generations for bosses without payment. We maintain basic needs, like cooking and cleaning, of worker for free, again for bosses, in order him to go to work next day! This is the fundamental reason of the oppression, women suffer today in capitalist society, we live in. To justify this oppression of women, all kind of conservative ideologies pump the lie that motherhood, being a housewife and obedience to exploitation is the nature of women, to society with impunity. These misogynists condemn millions of workers to lifelong slavery for benefits of bourgeoisie. And they exploit women twice. Hence, exploitation of all workers is the base of oppression of women. Socialism reveals the relationship between exploitation and oppression and introduces prescription for salvation of women: removing exploitation from the world is the first step to equality!
Woman and man to fights together
Oppressor of women is the capitalist system; The masters of this system and who impose their benefits to society as a moral code and sexist ideas. The life that is hell to us as women, cannot be a heaven for men.
While we are imprisoned in the houses or both exploited and oppressed in workplaces, men struggle to earn a living. This system, bosses construct, enslaves both women and men to increase capital. So, we as female and male workers should fight together to break common chains. Those chains are in the hands of capitalists. Our mutual enemy are capitalists and class societies. We, who are millions, can banish this parasitic capitalist minority by uniting against them. For this purpose, we must unite.
Today, capitalists’ newspapers, schools, ideologies, the way of explaining culture and history are imposed to society, in forms that serves their benefits. These thoughts contain all kind of reactionary and sexist ideas. We as women should fight against sexism. The ones who advocate these ideas are not only men. Many women adopt them, too. Being a woman or a man doesn’t make someone sexist or equalitarian, alone. What matters is being part of the equalitarian movement.
Women can change sexist thoughts by fighting for their rights with male workers. Carrying fight to separate areas and differentiating our ways make it impossible to change men and to solve women oppression problem. If salvation of women is not possible without changing society and achieving social equality, then fighting together is the way to success. And women should lead society to this fight.
Equality defends the united struggle of women and men.
Not sisterhood of women from all classes, but the class sisterhood
All women don’t have mutual benefits and it’s a lie to say all women are sisters. Every woman belongs to her class. The intensity of the oppression for capitalist women and worker women experience is strictly determined by their class position. Worker women’s demands conflict with capitalist women’s interests. Laborer women struggle with class related problems such as exploitation, housework, child care, poverty, low wages, workplace accidents. Bourgeois women who are few in numbers, adopt their classes’ demands against billions of worker women’s demands. For instance, women who fight for right to have access to day nursery, are intimidated, and women who are member of a labor union, lose their job! Access to day nursery which is a legal right is implemented almost nowhere in the country and childcare left to worker families. Nursing right, maternity leave with pay, free transportation right, right to work 8 hours, equal pay…
Working class women’s problems to access basic needs is the actual problems of millions who lives in this country! Bourgeois woman has a common responsibility with bourgeois men for the exploitation worker women that is a hell for them. Capitalists unite for their interest without differ based on their gender when it comes to exploiting. It is not possible to change the system and make way to equality without worker achieve class unity.
We, Equalitarian Women defend class sisterhood/unity. We position ourselves within our class, next to class brothers/sisters against the exploitation, inequality and injustice, we experienced. Workers interest against parasites is mutual. If same parasitic class oppresses women too, we will fight against them also for equality.
The color of the fight for the equality is red. Liberation of worker women is necessary for them to lead the fight for their class related demands and for equality. That is why, EQUALITY assumes worker women are the leading component of fight for liberation.
Don’t We Fight in Capitalism?
The fight for equalitarian society will be lost, unless women participate social struggle immediately. Struggle changes societies. When women give the struggle of their demands against oppression and inequality, they will take a step forward. This fight is necessary for building consciousness not only for women but also for men and eventually for social change. The best school is struggle and experience comes with it.
Until today, women won their rights with struggle. Every right, women gain in this system will liberate them a little more and make them stronger in society. For instance, women who have right to access day nursery, will have opportunity to work and participate social life and social movements, also gain self-confidence and be more decisive for the future struggles.
Although equalitarian society and capitalism are mutually exclusive, women should put a solid fight to gain power in the system, become more conscience and confident, to live in more humane conditions. Moreover, without these struggles, larger social movements, revolutions and major historical fights like the ones for socialist equality will be impossible.
Just as salvation of working class being its own doing, worker women reach their salvation by fighting on the front lines of class struggle. Equality will turn into reality only by this way.
Socialism for Equality
Women’s demand for equality can not be answered under these circumstances. Capitalism benefits from oppression of women. That’s why, none of the demands of women for equality can be achieved without fighting with capitalism. Bosses and their governments do everything they can to make a little more profit and every time we protest, they will send their police forces and misogynists upon us, to prevent us from stopping them. Because opposition and awakening of women in a society leads to great changes. We as women, have potential to change and encourage whole society. Only if we can see the way to fight together in this society.
While capitalism produces inequalities everywhere, we women can’t reach liberation, on our own. Only when social equality is achieved, then we can gain our freedom. In the basis of social equality is destruction of this exploitation by millions of workers who constitutes majority of this society and gain their life by their hard work. This is called socialism. The absence of exploitation is the primary condition for women liberation.
Let us explain with an example; Why housework which seems to be quite simple, is assumed to be responsibility of women? Why reactionary ideas like this is the women nature or mandatory duty as a part of gendered division of labor in society, are imposed? Because if women refuse to cook, there should be communal kitchens in workplaces and in neighborhoods. Since demand for socialization of childcare and housework means a reduction in capitalists’ profit, it’s only resolved by a revolution.
First time in the history kitchen and family was separated after October Revolution in Russia. Women are released from exhausting housework and reactionary atmosphere of the house by socialization of housework. Like many revolutions, women free themselves in October Revolution by leading revolution.
Socialism mean socialization of all the works which women are forced to do because of capitalist interests such as; nursery of children and elders, cooking, laundry, cleaning…Without socialization of all this works which capitalists refer to families and ‘private’ space, women’s position in society won’t change, reactionary ideas that justify inequality won’t be diminished.
Equality for LGBTI
The interests of capitalism passes through to show as if the gender roles are pre-given.
It imposes this as a moral code. This solid sexist reactionarism also shows us why the ruling class cannot provide freedom and equality to women. The sexist thoughts, under the service of capitalists dont oppress only women. All sexual identites are sacrificied including men. Not only women but also men are oppressed. The ones who says to women “shut up, and give birth” gives the burden to take care of their families to the men. Both sexes are chained through their gender roles.
The bourgeoisie moral codes see the women as a machine for giving birth and men as fathers. All kind of relations except heterosexual ones are seen as illness or abnormality. Other forms of human relationshipa are not useful for the system. Thus, such relations can cause questioning of “family” which the system has interest on it. Then, all sexual identities must be oppressed! LGBTI+ individuals are oppressed, are exposed to violence and killed for that.
Except from a few countries and a few provinces, the LGBTİ+ individuals dont even have the minimum rights. Massacres, hate attacts and to be pushed to live secretly are the realities of our region. It is impossible to create a humanely life for LGBTI+ in this system.
Purely and simply just far not being serving capitalism, LGBTI+ indivuals are being victims of the hate crimes. Against these infirm thoughts, socialist women fight.
Against homophobia and transphobia, EQUALITY calls the LGBTI+ individuals to the red color of the rainbow!
Struggle against AKP
Capitalist system is looking for a cure against the crisis by carrying the far right to the power. All around the world, the far right which take the power impinged the historical achievements of women. Governments act more freely and attack women rights more easily by disorganization and weakening of workers. An unorganized society makes women weaker as well.
There is a harsh change of regime in Turkey as a part of radical right atmosphere surround rest of the world. AKP is a result of neoliberal era that makes free- marketing and hatred of labor, a way of making profit. Women and men, every worker’s rights are under attack with the help of blows to organization of labor. The right of access to affordable and qualified daycare center take its share form these blows. The burden of childcare abandoned to private sector to be paid by families’ budget. Although there are many more women in Turkey relative to past, who have professional education and qualification, because of low budgets and burden of child care that are usually more expensive than those incomes, employment rates are not more than 30%. So many women are trapped to houses and are deprived from any opportunity of self-development.
AKP government which executive of this system that is run for benefit of bosses, by its hatred of women have been causing women’s problem to peak a dramatic level. This conservative point of view wants to leave women no option other than to be a mother and housewife. That’s why they oppose to every right that helps women to be self-sufficient and allows them to decide for themselves, such as abortion, divorce, alimony, widow’s pension etc. AKP government’s hatred against women becomes a state policy. This perspective legitimizes murder of women, violence against women and rape. Enemies of women are encouraged by state itself. As a result of imposition of government’s conservative understanding, marriage is turned into an association that should be maintained no matter what happens, for the sake of continuation of conservative structure of society.
Divorce process are being made harder, and right to have alimony that is an assurance for women after divorce is under threat. This tyranny spreads hostile ideas such that women have no place outside houses and can’t have an independent life, free of family. And violence against women rises; femicides, violence, harassment, rape make a peak in numbers. Regression of AKP government is necessary to make women hatred retreat and women to take a deep breath. Poor workers who vote for AKP should be cut free and be gained by left for the regression of AKP. Unless this is succeeded, more challenging conditions for women will emerge. AKP takes the advantage of the polarized working class. It rules workers by dividing them as Turkish-Kurdish, Sunni-Alevi, secular and conservative and developing a discourse based on hatred.
When we overcome the polarization, there will be nothing for AKP to hold on. To overcome polarization, class struggle is needed; the main conflict which divide society should be constructed based on labor and capital, poor and rich, instead of identities which makes AKP stronger. Poor people should separate their way from AKP that work for riches. We particularly need to gain poor conservative women whose opportunity to protect themselves and to raise their voice is being limited all the time, to the fight for equality.
Equality calls women to raise workers’ voice against polarization. That is the only way of making AKP downgrade. When AKP downgraded, policies against women, attacks to secularism and attacks towards workers will regress and public opposition will gain confidence. Women will take a deep breath.
Women should get rid of this government and its authoritarian, conservative order to take breathe!
Our, women’s agenda is workers’ agenda: bread, freedom and equality!
We will change this system!
We, women should not forget that, while we are forced to keep silent, oppressed and accept this hell; if this mess of violence, this world of cruelty is hell to us, it is heaven to no one. That’s why while we fight to abolish this hell, we stand for changing a whole society! Because women can’t be equal without SOCIAL EQUALITY.
Historical fight of women is the fight for equality.
Not only for ourselves, we want equality for whole society.
An equalitarian life is not possible without equalitarian society. The key to struggle that allow this opportunity is socialism.
We, women will be on the forefront in the fight by demanding social equality not only for ourselves but for all workers and oppressed people!
Equality calls women to organize and mix the mortar of a livable world with equality.
This regime, this system is a cage for women!
Women up front to rip of that cage and equalitarian system with fight for socialism.
Equality for women, socialism for equality!