International (Working) Women’s Day Print

“Down with the world of property and the power of capital! Away with inequality, lack of rights and the oppression of women – the legacy of the bourgeois world! Forward to the international unity of working women and male workers.” -Alexandra Kollontai

The radical history of International Working Women’s Day (March 8th) has been systematically watered down to remove class struggle from it’s name, hence the removal of the word “Working.”  It appeared as early as 1909 in New York with some 15,000 women marching through the streets demanding shorter hours and better pay and safer working conditions.

In 1917 women workers of Petrograd had organized a mass of 50,000, comprising their fellow male comrades in demanding for “bread, peace and land” and to end the imperialistic world war. All this history is well laid out in Saswat Pattanayak’s article International Women’s Day: Anti-War, Anti-Capitalist Movement to Emancipate All Workers!

I love her ending declaration in the article which reads:

“If history teaches us any lessons, then the International Women’s Day teaches us a few: that, women will not be emancipated anywhere without women’s liberation everywhere; that, without the recognition of the ways race, class, gender and other social locations intersect, there is no way to bring the historically oppressed women to the same platform that has been achieved by the privileged women; that, the radical history of working women’s movements to liberate women and men must not be diminished by those eager to erase the history of struggles and replace them with history of charities. That, the month of March, the week of March 8th and the Day of the International Women instruct us this: the working women (and, men) of the world must unite in cause, because they have nothing to lose. And, everything to gain.”

For this International Working Women’s Day I created a new print which will be an annual series celebrating working women. This years piece celebrates women writers. I highlighted the erasure of the word “working” from the day by using a writers editing symbol to insert the word back into the title. This piece is a lino-cut and letterpress.

March8thSmall

Happy International (Working) Women’s Day everyone!

 

Here are the authors featured:

 


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