The Guardian • Issue #1952

IWD Greetings from CPA President

On this important date in which the world marks International Women’s Day, we reflect on the contributions made by women in the transformation of society.

As revolutionaries, we can’t ignore that without the contribution made by women, we cannot make a revolution. Women have been present in social change since the beginning of time. In the CPA, women have played key roles alongside men, and together they have helped to build the Party of the working class.

During the pandemic, women have been heavily affected across the globe. In Australia, women have been in front line jobs directly dealing with those affected by the pandemic and its consequences.

The Morrison government left many people behind in dealing with the pandemic. It introduced JobKeeper, JobMaker, increased the JobSeeker rate and also introduced free child care. The reality is that to keep the economy going workers were put at risk because their job was essential. Many jobs were kept going either face-to-face or from home for the sake of profit-making. At the first opportunity, the government set about ending free child care and reducing JobKeeper and JobSeeker. Women were the most affected by these measures.

In other societies, for example, in socialist Cuba, women play an extraordinary role in fighting against the US blockade and defending the revolution. Women make up the majority of scientists in the country and have been leaders in their own right since the beginning of the revolution in 1959. They are on the frontline in education, defence, health and have leading roles in trade unions and government. In the Communist Party, women also play leading roles and discrimination in the workplace and in the home is currently being fought against.

In Australia, there are way too many instances of domestic violence against women, and recently allegations of rape and other gender-based abuses in and around Parliament House have shone a light on them. These must be investigated and perpetrators dealt with. Most importantly we need to build a different type of society in which women are free from discrimination and violence.

The Communist Party of Australia is committed to gender equality and together as working-class men and women we will work on our strategic aims of changing capitalist Australia into a democratic, dynamic and just socialist society for all.

Capitalism is not the end of history. Socialism is a next step in the development of society but gender equality like many other things will not come automatically. Instead we must all, men and women, fight for it.

On this 8th March we pay tribute to the many great communist women who have dedicated their lives to building a better society for all.

The CPA Central Committee elected Hannah Middleton in February 2009 as its first female General Secretary. Many other women in the Party also play leading roles in Party branches around the country.

I take this opportunity to welcome all the women who have recently joined the ranks of the Communist Party of Australia and who have committed to work tirelessly building the working-class party to fight for a better world. Happy International Women’s Day!

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