Solidarity with the International Working Women’s Day Strike 2019

Today, for the third year running, women across the world are going on strike as part of a militant, joyful feminist international, against a world lurching towards barbarism.

With fascism on the march, emboldened by the ascent to power of far-right politics in the U.S.A, Brazil, Poland, India, and Italy, feminist movements in the past year have continued to occupy the front-line of the international fight against barbarism. Among these: the Ele Não movement against Jair Bolsonaro’s fascism in Brazil; the Marea Verde for free, safe, legal abortion in Argentina; the Keralan women who formed a 620 km long human chain to protest for equality in India, the Ni Una Menos movement across Latin America, the Ni Una di Meno movement resisting Salvini’s ‘Security law’ in Italy, and the Kurdish women’s revolution which continues to be instrumental in both the military and ideological defeat of ISIS.

Here in the UK, the past year has seen migrant women in precarious work organise strikes in London, and thousands of public sector working women on strike in Glasgow, as well as the growth of a new feminist anti-fascist movement, which in December led the march against Tommy Robinson and Fortress Britain, carrying a vast banner that read “The enemy doesn’t arrive by boat, he arrives by limousine.”

By withdrawing waged and unwaged labour today, the feminist international is making visible - and making connections between - the many forms of work women do: from the exploitative work of commodity production to the invisibilized work of social reproduction; from the struggle for bodily autonomy, to the struggle for anti-imperialist self-determination; from the fight against gender violence and femicide, to the fight against capitalist extractivism and ecocide. As the Feminist International says, this is a movement that is shaped by feminist movements in the South, and is unequivocally anti-colonial, anti-cisheterosexist, anti-racist and anti-capitalist.

It is a fight to change not only our conditions of work, but our world. In the words of Women’s strike UK: “We are not asking for our fair share under capitalism, we are seeking to destroy altogether a system that is designed to divide and oppress us.”

The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers stands in full solidarity with the International Working Women’s Day strike.

We call for donations to the UK Women’s Strike Fund, to help offset the costs to women leaving work and attending strike action and women’s assemblies.

Forward comrades, to a red feminist horizon!

Fighting trolls: Tackling online violence against women

Our next lecture, FIGHTING TROLLS: TACKLING ONLINE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN on 21 March 2017, will be addressed by speakers Dianne Abbott MP, and Olivia Piercy (Rights of Women).

The lecture takes place 6.30pm at BPP University, Waterloo Campus (137 Stamford Street, Lambeth, London, SE1 9NN).  Directions right.

 

 

 

Solidarity with the International Women’s Strike – 8th March 2017

This International Women’s Day, millions of women around the world are taking to the streets, reclaiming public spaces and collectively withdrawing our waged and unwaged labour in an international strike against gendered violence.

A joint statement by a group of prominent socialist feminist academics and activists – including Angela Davis, who was keynote speaker at Haldane’s ‘Women Fighting Back’ conference in 2015 – describes the invisibilized structural violence against women this global strike aims to denounce:

“In embracing a feminism for the 99%, we take inspiration from the Argentinian coalition Ni Una Menos. Violence against women, as they define it, has many facets: it is domestic violence, but also the violence of the market, of debt, of capitalist property relations, and of the state; the violence of discriminatory policies against lesbian, trans and queer women, the violence of state criminalization of migratory movements, the violence of mass incarceration, and the institutional violence against women’s bodies through abortion bans and lack of access to free healthcare and free abortion.”

Building on the momentum of the women’s strikes in Poland and Argentina at the end of 2016 and the Women’s Marches of January 21st this year, groups calling the strike have highlighted the radical origins of 8th March: the mass strikes of predominantly migrant women garment workers in Manhattan 1908 that inspired the first ‘Women’s Day’; the 1910 International Socialist Women’s Conference where the day acquired its international character; the women’s strike for “Bread, Peace and Freedom” in St. Petersburg on International Women’s Day 1917, which sparked the February Revolution in Russia.

100 years on, the 2017 international women’s strike comes at a time when Russia has just decriminalised domestic violence; when a billionaire man who boasts about sexually assaulting women with impunity is president of the U.S; and when one in three women will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Brutal neoliberal austerity policies hit women hardest – particularly women of colour, disabled women, LGBTQ women, working class and migrant women. All over the world it is disproportionately women who work in underpaid, precarious and dehumanising conditions, while simultaneously doing the unwaged, unacknowledged labour of social reproduction.

Collectively remembering the origins of International Women’s Day is a way of re-centring the feminist movement’s radicalism, what Davis and others describe as “a new international feminist movement with an expanded agenda: at once anti-racist, anti-imperialist, anti-heterosexist and anti-capitalist.”

The Ni Una Menos movements in Latin America have a chant that expresses both the desperation and defiance of this international women’s strike. “¡Vivas nos Queremos!” – “We want to live!”. It is a demand for a life free from violence, but also for another possible world.

Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women

The UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women recently sought submissions from bodies across the globe dealing with the need for a separate legally binding treaty on violence against women with its separate monitoring body. 

The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers and the Haldane Feminist Lawyers made detailed submissions which should assist the Special Rapporteur in determining how to proceed.

Download the submission.

Women's Revolution in Rojava: Free Seminar 7 June 2016

The Haldane Society invites you to join us for a very special seminar, 'Women's Revolution in Rojava', in association with the Kurdish Student Society and Peace in Kurdistan - Women Alliance.

Speakers:

  • Rahila Gupta, writer and journalist, and Jo Magpie, activist and writer. Both women have recently returned from a women's delegation to Rojava, the autonomous region of northern Syria which has, experienced a social revolution and the establishment of a new society based on gender equality, direct democracy and sustainability. Rahila and Jo will share their first-hand experiences of how the Kurds have put women's equality at the foundation of a successful, free society.
  • Also joining us is Margaret Owen, a UK barrister and human rights activist who has also travelled to the region. She will discuss the newly evolving legal system in Rojava and approaches to violence against women. 

The seminar will be held on Tuesday 7th June 2016 at 6.30pm, 
SOAS Brunei Gallery Building, Room B111, Thornhaugh St, London, WC1H 0XG

Free Public Lecture - Sex by Deception: The Case for Conditional Consent

Following the success of the Women Fighting Back: International and Legal Perspectives conference in November 2015 with its focus in part on the effect of deception on consent, and the impact of this on women, the Haldane Society is proud to announce our next human rights lecture, "Sex by deception: The case for conditional consent".

The speakers are:

  • Jane Fae, a writer and journalist with a long0time focus on the law and how it interacts with issues of sexuality and gender identity.
  • Julian Norman, a barrister at Dtystone Chambers with a practice in immigration, criminal and regulatory law.  She is also a trustee of Feminism in London.
  • Stephen Whittle, professor of Equalities Law at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The lecture will take place at 6.30pm on 25 April 2016 at the Basement Lecture Theatre, School of Law, London Metropolitan University, 16 Goulston Street, London E1 7TP.  Closest tubes Aldgate and Aldgate East.

There is no need to register (although you can RSVP to the Facebook event) and latecomers are welcome to enter quietly.

"Women Fighting Back: International and Legal Perspectives" Panel: Women in Work

Our final Conference session from the International Women's Conference 2015 is on the subject of Women in Work.  The speakers are:

  • Nadja Charaby
    Rosa Luxemburg Foundation
  • Yasmine Bennamanii and Zouzou Hadjer Zahida (Algeria)
    Lawyers
  • Bronwen Handyside (UK)
    Vice Chair of UNITE London and Eastern Region

"Women Fighting Back: International and Legal Perspectives" Panel: The State and Women's Bodies

The sixth of our conference sessions from the International Women's Conference is on the subject of the State and Women's Bodies.  The speakers are:

  • Gareth Peirce (Chair)
  • Helen Steel (UK)
    Police Spies Out of Lives Campaign
  • Sarah Ricca (UK)
    Solicitor, Deighton Pierce Glynn
  • Mara Clarke (UK)
    Abortion Support Network