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Issue #1905      March 2, 2020

For a Revolutionary International Women’s Day

In this year 2020, the Communist Party of Australia is marking the 100th anniversary of the communist movement in Australia. Since its beginnings communists have been to the fore in struggles for women’s rights.

The first International Women’s Day (IWD) in Australia was celebrated in 1928, with a rally in Sydney’s Domain, organised by the Militant Women’s Group of the Communist Party. At that time, the demand was for equal pay.

I would like to recognise the hard work of women in the CPA and in all the struggles in our country and elsewhere. Women are fundamental for revolutionary change and without them we can’t make a revolution.

Today women are more than half of union members in the country and are at the front line of social change. Working men and women strive for a better world that is more than necessary today to save the mere existence of human beings on the planet.

However, on this IWD we see that a culture of domestic violence against women still thrives and continues to rob women and children of their lives. More and more services are defunded so that women find difficulty in escaping the perpetrators of violence, with no shelter, no safe place to go to.

Women are also more likely to experience precarious work, lower paid, and insecure jobs although this is becoming more and more a reality for all workers.

As a Party we declare: “Like men, women should be afforded the real value of their labour, and not simply the same wage as the opposite sex ... Capitalism cannot provide solutions to the problems that women encounter because the system as a whole is driven by the profit ambitions of private companies.”

I would like to acknowledge the female revolutionaries who have historically played a role in our Party, often leading roles, including one General Secretary. Many Party women have leading roles as well in the peace movement, as authors, trade unionists, in the women’s movement and more. They are present in all struggles of the working class in Australia. Happy International Women’s Day 2020.

The Communist Party of Australia calls for:

  • Equal pay for work of equal value
  • Permanent full or part-time employment with full rights to leave and other entitlements
  • An end to social security payments based on relationship status, which deny women access to an independent income
  • The enforcement of anti-discrimination and affirmative action legislation to economically assist Indigenous, migrant and disabled women
  • Publicly-funded free childcare
  • Paid parental leave
  • Legislation to guarantee women the right to abortion, and
  • The elimination of sexual harassment and violence against women.


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