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Women's Rights

Votes for Rich Women

It has long been a socialist aim, first voiced by the Utopians, that men and women should be equal in the conduct of social and personal affairs. This was a direct challenge to the Christian doctrine that women were inferior and to the legal contract called marriage which made the wife the private property of the husband. This aim is expressed in our own Declaration of Principles: “the emancipation of the working class will involve the emancipation of all mankind without distinction of race or sex”. In other words, the establishment of Socialism would mean an end to all oppression and discrimination against women.
 
The heyday of the Suffragette movement was the decade before the outbreak of the first world war. During that period also, the Socialist Party of Great Britain was set up.

The Suffragettes

In January 1918 Punch signalled the end of the struggle for female suffrage, which had provided it with so much material, with one last cartoon. There was a woman, looking like Joan of Arc, holding a banner with the words “Women’s Franchise”. The caption read simply “At Last”.
 
In February that year an amendment to the Representation of the People Act gave the parliamentary vote to those women over thirty who held a £5 occupation qualification, or were householders, the wives of householders, or graduates.

Book Review: 'Women & Socialism'

August Bebel, the pioneer German socialist, is almost forgotten today. The reason for this is, perhaps, that the party he helped to found has long since degenerated into an instrument of German capitalism, indistinguishable from any other capitalist party. Despite this, however, Bebel’s life and work arc still worth recalling, not least because as a key figure in the workers’ movement as it developed in the 19th century he contributed personally to popularizing the idea of socialism and the theories of Marx and Engels, most notably in his major written work, Women and Socialism, first published in 1879.

To The New Women Voters

All the newspapers are vying with each other in giving advice to the new women voters.

Each paper is gravely urging the newly-enfranchised to give their vote to the Party it happens to support. Judging by the Liberal, Labour and Tory Press the future prosperity and happiness of this generation and the next is to be settled finally at the forthcoming election.

We want to give some sound advice to the new women voters, and it is the same advice that we have given to all the workers, men and women alike.

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