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  • Writer's pictureMarina Kontara

Foundation of ROSA Germany : Sexism is systemic – organize & fight back!

150 years Rosa Luxemburg, 110 years International Women's Day – and again women* stand at the forefront of protests today. Feminist movements are loud, creative, and powerful, from the uprisings in Belarus, the struggle for abortion rights in Argentina and Poland, to the teacher protests in the UK and the climate protests in Germany.

We have good reasons for being radical

Even today, women* around the world are particularly disadvantaged. Women* from the working class pay the highest price for the Corona crisis. In Germany, two-thirds of the essential workers and low-wage workers are female. Poorly paid and understaffed for decades, even in the Corona crisis there is nothing for them but a bit of applause. On the contrary, in addition to tremendous stress at work and increased risk of infection and poverty, Corona also worsens the situation at home. The sexist division of domestic labor and care work becomes more solidified. The calls to women’s helplines are increasing massively. Many of us are at our limit!

Despite the progress we have fought for, sexism is part of everyday life - whether at school or at work. Each of us has experienced situations where our statements were differently assessed than those done by men, our appearance and clothes commented and judged, sexist remarks were made and abusive behavior was tolerated.

Paragraphs 218 and 219a, which significantly restrict the possibilities of abortion, continue to exist. In January of this year (!) the doctor Kristina Hänel was convicted for providing factual information about abortions.

We believe: Sexism is systemic

The examples mentioned are not isolated cases. It is the capitalists (including the female capitalists) who profit directly from working women* being paid poorly, working under bad labor conditions, and doing private domestic and care work. Women* in management and executive positions are also affected by sexism; however, they act first and foremost in the interest of their class and it is their interest to exploit both men and women* as efficiently as possible.

Sexist oppression (often combined with other forms of oppression like racism or homophobia and transphobia) also acts indirectly by contributing to the acceptance of inequality or alleged inferiority of women* and increases the division between women* and men.

The millennia-old inequality of women* and men - patriarchy - is inextricably linked to class society, which today is capitalism. Capitalism, that means control and ownership of society’s wealth, its banks and corporations, in the hands of a small minority - the capitalists - who produce for profit and in competition with each other. In order for this thoroughly unjust system to survive against the exploited majority (the working class), various forms of oppression have developed and solidified throughout the history of class societies, always serving the purpose of dividing us: women* and men, black and white, etc. Because the ruling class is aware that if the working class realizes that it has the same interests, and we manage to push back sexism, racism, etc., then we can build a united movement that frees us from capitalism. Consequently: in order to stop sexism fundamentally and permanently, we have to abolish capitalism!

ROSA: feminist - socialist - international

The international network ROSA (for Reproductive rights, against Oppression, Sexism and Austerity) is active in the strong feminist movements in many countries and is helping to build their socialist-feminist wing as much as possible - from Poland and Ireland to Mexico and Argentina.

Socialist feminism means for us to combine the fight against sexism with the struggle against all forms of oppression and for an end of the profit rule. We have to denounce injustices, but we also want to develop a vision of a society that is worth fighting for, together and internationally.

That's why ROSA stands for the common struggle of all workers and young people for a society, in which women* are not defined as sex objects, where parenting, education, carework, housework and paid employment are arranged collectively and in solidarity, in which not the profit but the majority of society decides democratically about the use of resources. Only such a society can offer us a future without discrimination and violence.

Join us!

Activists of the Socialist Alternative (SAV) and the International Socialist Alternative (ISA) have launched the initiative ROSA in Germany. Do you want to become active in the ROSA network against sexism and capitalism? Do you have questions, wishes, ideas what to do? Or do you just want to see who we are? Then we would be happy if you get in touch with us, drop by meetings, and/or check us out on Facebook & Co.

We advocate for an active feminism that does not engage in lobbying parliaments but seeks to build a movement in the streets, in schools, on college campuses, and in workplaces.

What connects us with men from the working class is the common interest of a united movement to overcome exploitation as a whole. Together and organized, we can build a movement that allies the entire working class and all the oppressed of this world and can abolish capitalism. The launch of ROSA in Germany coincides with the 150th birthday of the revolutionary socialist Rosa Luxemburg on the 5th of March. Let us make sure that she and all the other fighters did not die in vain.

ROSA Demands

ROSA fights internationally against sexism and all forms of discrimination and for a system that puts an end to oppression, inequality, and discrimination. The following demands are cornerstones of a program, which we would like to discuss with you:

  • My body, my choice, my freedom! Women* are not objects. No to sexist marketing of the body. For the right of women* to dress the way they want without being harassed. For a real choice: defense of the right to abortion (free, accessible, transparent information). Immediate abolition of sections 219a and 218. For the right to have children without the risk of falling into poverty. For accessible, free contraceptives and menstrual products for all.

  • Stop violence against Women*! We need a massive expansion of women's shelters, counseling centers & protection facilities instead of cuts. Immediate action: Empty hotel rooms should be converted into shelters for women*! Free of charge and anonymous, independent of residency title, origin and health restrictions. In order to be able to live independently and to have a future perspective, women* must be economically independent and for this, they need adequate and affordable housing.

  • With and without Corona Crises: Out of the poverty trap. Full wage continuation instead of short-time compensation for all those who take care of children at home during the lockdown or whose business is closed, guaranteed income and pension of 750 euros + rent, equal pay for equal work, right to return from part-time to full-time work.

  • Essential Workers are 75% female- women* and men together for better protection, work charge reduction, and salary increase now! 500 Euro more wages as a first step for all employees in these women-dominated sectors, massive recruitment, reduction of working hours to 30 hours with full wage and workforce compensation.

  • Care and Housework: Public not Private! Massive investments in a free, high-quality public health and education system for all- from the crib to the elderly- shopping services, neighborhood canteens, and much more. With workers’ committees to have democratic control over health protection and workload.

  • Make the rich pay! Heavy wealth tax and Corona fee on fortunes of more than one million Euro of 10% and 30% on fortunes of more than ten million Euro - instead of subsidies for Tesla and Eurofighter!

  • Sexism is systemic - abolish capitalism! The Corona pandemic has made the rich even richer and the poor (especially women*) even poorer. The reason is the capitalist profit system, which produces inequality and oppression - sexism, racism, homo- and transphobia - on a daily basis. In order to make the societal wealth and resources available to all, we must seize them from the control and ownership of a small minority and transfer them to public property under democratic control and management.

Contact ROSA Germany

Facebook and Instagram: rosa.germany

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