Women are confronting outmoded patriarch:

capitalist-imperialism and religious fundamentalism!

Women carry out 2/3  of the world’s labour, but obtain only 10% of its income and own less than 1% of its wealth. Seventy percent of the world’s poor are women. We are the main makers of the world and carry its load on our shoulders, but what is our lot?

Our lot is ever-increasing organized state violence, alongside the domestic and social violence which a third of the world’s women experience on a daily basis. There is  ever-increasing gender rape, murder, honour killings, prostitution, degradation, insults and threats and an unprecedented use of women’s bodies as commodities. Women’s “beauty” is presented as our only capital, and motherhood as the only source of our identity, with fighting over whether our bodies are to be controlled by being covered up or auctioned off by the state, religion, tradition and culture, by the demands of the market and even men’s personal tendencies, just as there is fighting over the right to control or terminate our own pregnancies. This is the context in which our bodies have become commodities and assigned a price day after day.

Our bodies are commodities that are mass advertised by a pornographic industry that gives training in their use.  They are used in human trafficking and are priced in the sex markets where they are traded for money. In marriage contracts, financial considerations are considered completely legitimate and are reinforced by law and public opinion. Ultimately this commodity is sometimes appropriated free of charge as women are raped either individually or by gangs.

Although women are the cheapest, most obedient and most profitable work force for turning the wheels of capital, they name us “housewives” and hide our super-exploitation. They justify our low wages and rob us of any possibility of organizing ourselves. In the third world they force us to leave our small plots of land in our villages and move to urban shantytowns in our millions, an “unofficial” work force in the service industry, forced labour, all while taking care of hungry and oft-abandoned children.

Unfortunately, repetition of our experience as women in Iran has clearly demonstrated that the ideological foundation, the outlook and specific feature of an Islamic regime, is the inferior position of women, our enslavement and deprivation of rights. Thirty-seven years ago, when this backward and anti-women regime rose, the religious fundamentalists tried to legitimise their rule and integrate Iran into the world capitalist system. Islamic zing the patriarchal system was their most important contribution to this effort. By utilising the full force of state power, the oppressive relations enchaining women were recast on the foundations of Shariah law. This was not some “eternal” culture of “Muslim women” being re-born, it was the culture and relations of Islamic patriarchy being given the full backing of state repression. The existence of these forces is directly related to the setbacks suffered by revolution in the world today. It is not a coincidence that one after another Islamic regime is being established either through the imperialist invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan or in the wake of the struggles of the people in the Middle East and North Africa. And at the centre of these transformations women are the first social force to be controlled and oppressed.

Because of all this, we as women can, through revolutionary internationalist struggle against these two outmoded and anti-women forces, succeed in getting rid of their blood soaked, male and “holy” hands from the lives of millions of women who are being crushed in homes, factories, fields, streets and brothels violently, mercilessly and without precedent. Only through this kind of struggle can women chart the course of their emancipation and achieve a society without exploitation and oppression.

Without the fight and overthrow of these two outmoded forces, there is no other clear prospect for the  emancipation of women and indeed of all humanity.

8 March Women Organisation (Iran-Afghanistan)-UK

May Day 2016