women's liberation

From militant suffragette at the beginning of the 20th century to campaigner against colonialism in Africa after World War II, British Sylvia Pankhurst dedicated her life to fighting oppression and injustice.

Communist and feminist Zelda D’Aprano became the symbol of the fight for equal pay when, in October 1969, she chained herself to the Commonwealth Offices in Melbourne, after becoming frustrated at the lack of pay equity for women.

D’Aprano was employed by the meatworkers union, which was involved in a test case on the gender pay gap in the meat industry before the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission. At the time, women’s participation in the workforce was 38% and they were paid 75% of men’s wages for doing the same work.

Seventeen people were killed and at least 15 other people were wounded on February 14 at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Florida, in one of the deadliest school shootings in US history.

The following statement by a group of international socialist feminists in solidarity with Iranian women’s struggles was initiated by the Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists on February 10.

The Socialist Alliance in Australia is among the signatories.

A Labour government would officially apologise and pardon the suffragettes for the miscarriages of justice they suffered in fighting for women’s right to vote in Britain, said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The statement below, “Message from the Women of Afrin to the Women of the World”, was released on February 3 by Kongreya Star Efrin, a confederation of women’s organisatons in Afrin (Efrin in Kurdish).

United Voice has lost a five-year equal pay case after the full bench of the Fair Work Commission ruled on February 6 that they had failed to show early childhood educators were paid differently to men performing work of comparable value.

Homemade signs and pink pussy hats abounded on January 21 as thousands of women rallied in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne as part of the international Women’s Marches.

As hundreds of thousands marched across Europe and the US, 1500 people — many of them young women — gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park to form a human chain in a symbol of global solidarity. In Melbourne, protesters marched from Alexandra Gardens and formed a human chain along the banks of the Yarra.

Radical Perth, Militant Fremantle
Edited by Charlie Fox, Bobbie Oliver & Lenore Layman
Black Swan Press
Curtin University, 2017
283 pages, $30.00

When we think of Western Australia, we generally do not think about left-wing politics or radical actions. WA’s unique history, demographic, natural resources and generally prosperous economic conditions had always shaped a strong sense of a place not especially inclined to serious challenges to the status quo.

"Last year it felt like a funeral. This year it feels like a resistance."

Those words--from one of the many hundreds of thousands of protesters who took to the streets on January 20 as part of the massive Women's Marches marking the shameful anniversary of US President Donald Trump's first year in office--summed up the political mood.

In two words: Pissed off.

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