To celebrate International Working Women's Day 2015 (on 8th March 2015), Natasha Sorrell from the Sheffield Marxists discusses women's role in revolution throughout history. Alongside Natasha's talk, below we reproduce several quotations from Lenin, Kollontai and others on the same subject.
"No party or revolution in the world has ever dreamed of striking so deep at the roots of the oppression and inequality of women as the Soviet, Bolshevik revolution is doing."
- Lenin, International Working Women's Day, 1921
"However, the class consciousness of the women workers, once aroused, was sufficient to compel them to grasp the hand of friendship held out to them by their male worker comrades and adopt the path of open and stubborn resistance. The involvement of proletarian women in the common class struggle, and their growing solidarity have shaken the usual self-confidence of the bourgeoisie and spread alarm in place of its previous tranquillity: the increasing organisation of the female proletariat removes the last defenceless victim of capitalist exploitation. The ground is disappearing from beneath the feet of the bourgeoisie, and the light of the approaching social revolution glows ever more brightly."
- Kollontai, International Socialist Conferences of Women Workers, 1916
"Only the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of soviet power will save them from the world of suffering, humiliations and inequality that makes the life of the working woman in the capitalist countries so hard. The “Working Woman's Day” turns from a day of struggle for the franchise into an international day of struggle for the full and absolute liberation of women, which means a struggle for the victory of the soviets and for communism!"
- Kollontai, International Women's Day, 1920
“We have come to the supreme moment, when we must be able to die for our Nation. No more weakness! No more uncertainty! All women to arms! All women to duty! Versailles must be wiped out!”
- Nathalie Lemel, The Union of Women for the Defense of Paris and Aid to the Wounded, 1871
“We have suffered the taste of teargas, but we are not afraid. The women who are afraid to leave the house, even they see us and gain courage”
- Riham Muntaz, English teacher in Egpyt, 2011