March 8, 1925
Source : Works, Vol. 7, 1925
Publisher : Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1954
Transcription/Markup : Salil Sen for MIA, 2008
Public Domain : Marxists Internet Archive (2008). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit «Marxists Internet Archive» as your source.
There has not been in the history of mankind a single great movement of the oppressed in which women toilers have not participated. Women toilers, the most oppressed of all the oppressed, have never kept away from the high road of the emancipation movement, and never could have done so. As is known, the movement for the emancipation of the slaves brought to the front hundreds of thousands of great women martyrs and heroines. In the ranks of the fighters for the emancipation of the serfs there were tens of thousands of women toilers. It is not surprising that the revolutionary working-class movement, the mightiest of all the emancipation movements of the oppressed masses, has rallied millions of women toilers to its banner.
International Women’s Day is a token of the invincibility of the working-class movement for emancipation and a harbinger of its great future.
Women toilers—working women and peasant women— are a vast reserve of the working class. This reserve constitutes a good half of the population. The side that it takes—for or against the working class—will determine the fate of the proletarian movement, the victory or defeat of the proletarian revolution, the victory or defeat of the proletarian power. Consequently, the first task of the proletariat, and of its advanced detachment — the Communist Party, is to wage a resolute struggle to free women, working women and peasant women, from the influence of the bourgeoisie, to enlighten them politically and to organise them under the banner of the proletariat.
International Women’s Day is a means of winning the reserve of women toilers to the side of the proletariat.
But the women toilers are not only a reserve. If the working class pursues a correct policy, they can and must become a real working-class army, operating against the bourgeoisie. To forge from this reserve of women toilers an army of working women and peasant women, operating side by side with the great army of the proletariat—such is the second and decisive task of the working class.
International Women’s Day must become a means of transforming the working women and peasant women from a reserve of the working class into an active army of the emancipation movement of the proletariat.
Long live International Women’s Day!
Pravda, No. 56, March 8, 1925