Women's Liberation

Women on the Front Line: Altered Images

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

As the media panic about a 'nation of fatties', Hazel Croft looks at the pressures on women to conform to an ideal shape.

It's hard to pick up a newspaper or watch the TV news without being told that we are all getting too fat. Obesity has become the major health issue in both Britain and the US. Food, diet and body image are political issues. Whether or not we're overweight or get a nutritious diet is not down to our personal quirks of choice or our own culpability when we choose to eat a cream cake rather than an apple. On the contrary, our diet and how we feel about our bodies are intimately bound up with the structures and organisation of the capitalist world we live in.

Women on the Front Line: Rage Against the System

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Sally Campbell explains why women lead the fight against Blair and New Labour, while Tash Shifrin spoke to some leading activists.

Further down the page are just some of the women who are on the front line against Blair, war and capitalism. Recently we have seen movements arising with an unprecedented level of involvement by women. One of the most enduring images in the last few years will be the school students in Parliament Square on the day the bombing of Iraq started - young women, in their school uniforms, being dragged along by police because they refused to move. Women have been prominent at the World and European Social Forums that have taken place throughout the world over the last few years.

Mind the (Gender) Gap

Issue section: 
Author: 

Shocking new figures have put equal pay back on the agenda.

A batch of recent statistics on the role of women in the labour market highlight the fact that widespread discrimination has not gone away - even though women now make up virtually 50 percent of the workforce in Britain. The figures on pay discrimination are particularly scandalous given that it is now more than 30 years since the Equal Pay Act came into force and - despite all the ballyhoo about 'Blair's babes' - there has been hardly any shift in the gender pay gap since New Labour came to power.

Women and Work: Balancing Act

Issue section: 

Sally Campbell investigates claims that 'time is the new money' for women workers.

The wildcat strike by British Airways (BA) check-in staff at Heathrow Terminal One in July was a fantastic example of workers refusing to accept that we have no power over the multinationals. The unofficial action sparked media frenzy. There was a general agreement that this dispute was new and different from the strikes of yore because it was about time and life issues rather than money.

Haven in a Heartless World

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

The third volume of Tony Cliff's selected writings is now available and contains this extract on the family, first published in 1984.

The family does not serve as a safe haven insulated from the world of work. Work intrudes into every aspect of the worker's life. Lasch writes [in 'Haven in a Heartless World']: 'The same historical developments that have made it necessary to set up private life - the family in particular - as a refuge from the cruel world of politics and work, an emotional sanctuary, have invaded this sanctuary and subjected it to outside control. A retreat into "privatism" no longer serves to shore up values elsewhere threatened with extinction.'

European Social Forum: A New World for Women

Issue section: 

Like war and the rebuilding of the European left, the question of the role of women in the fight for a different world ran through the European Social Forum. At least half the delegates were women, mainly younger women.

At the first of the massive conferences on the war a majority of the speakers were women. The impact of war on women and their role in the anti-war movement were addressed by several speakers. Lindsey German's support for young Muslim women in the anti-war movement wearing headscarves as a symbol of resistance drew huge applause.

Women: Give Us a Break!

Issue section: 

The number of women at work may have reached record levels but they still have a long way to go to achieve equality with men--let alone genuine liberation.

It's a man's world, as the saying, the song and women's direct experience all testify. It shouldn't be, of course. The old imagined world of 'femininity', where women were supposedly put on pedestals, where they waited at the hearth for men to come home, is long gone. Women are expected to work outside the home as well as in it. Their work has expanded at a truly terrifying rate. Around 65 percent of women with dependent children go out to work, including a majority with under 5s.

Middle East: The Light on the Horizon

Issue section: 
Issue: 

The Egyptian writer Nawal El Saadawi spoke to Wael Fateen about women, globalisation and the Middle East.

How do see you the anti-capitalist movement at the moment?

In Porto Alegre the slogan was 'Another world is possible'. I believe this is true because the majority of the people are now against the system and they are now organised regardless of religion, gender or colour. The movement has a very politicised agenda. This is what I call unveiling the mind against the mainstream media. I was in the US on 11 September, and I could see the role the media played in brainwashing Americans by using the word 'terrorism'.

Can Men and Women be Equal?

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Report from a Marxist Forum in Tower Hamlets, East London.

Brick Lane is not the place it used to be. The hot bagel shops are still there but its proximity to the City of London and spiralling house prices have led to a proliferation of yuppie wine bars and the like. But how pleasant to come in from the cold to a trendy and neon-lit cafe to debate with an assorted company of some 50 people on whether women today have equality with men. This is the regular meeting place for the Tower Hamlets SWP Marxist forum.

Choice over the Future

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Women are fighting for the right to choose in Ireland's abortion referendum.

As the politicians yet again drag the abortion question into the political limelight, it is worth reflecting on the startling contradictions confronting women in Ireland in 2002. The Celtic Tiger was virtually built on the contribution of vast numbers of working women. The resulting financial independence, albeit poorly paid, has brought independence in all sorts of other areas.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Women's Liberation