International Women’s Day was first celebrated on March 8, 1909 as National Women’s Day in the United States to show solidarity with striking women workers. This was a direct initiative of the Socialist Party of America. In 1910, the Socialist International declared March 8 to be International Working Women’s Day. The day was of great importance in the Soviet Union and other communist countries as a reminder that women’s equality is a chief task of socialist revolution.
In recent years, there has been an attempt by many to wash International Women’s Day of its revolutionary history. Even worse, some, like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, try to use the pretext of “women’s rights” as an excuse to carry out imperialism. Yet this cover for war is quickly exposed after studying the Afghan Civil War, the war against Iraq, and even more recently the war against Libya and the media campaign against Syria. Many of the imperialist targets are leaders in promoting women’s equality. Do not let “progressive” factions of the capitalist class try and disguise the class character of this day.
Let March 8 serve as a reminder that women are integral to the process of building socialism. Without them, there are no revolutions. And without revolution, the rights for women that have been won through struggle — especially reproductive rights — are always ready to be reversed when the political climate calls for it.