Social Scientist. v 4, no. 40-41 (Nov-Dec 1975) p. 9.


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MANORAMA SAVUR

Women^s Liberation And Productive Activity

To effect her (woman's) complete emancipation and make her the equal of the man, it is necessary for the national economy to be socialized and for women to participate in common productive labour.

V I LENIN

THE STRUGGLE for women's liberation perse arises only in a class society. It holds no relevance in a primitive subsistence level society, nor in a future classless society of plenty. Today a large part of the world has class societies, where due to uneven development, women as workers are relatively more exploited than men at almost all levels. Further, due to patriarchal traditions or its, influence, oppression of women is projected even in the household. Struggles by women for their rights become im-perative.1 But they can be rendered either pernicious if levelled against all men, regardless of class, as is often the case in the west; or turn futile and even self-defeating if initiated from above as in the case of India.

The United Nations, an imperialist-controlled organization, declared 1975 as the Women's International Year.2 The Third World faithfully fell in line with it. The declaration was a mere ritual and was in no sense intended to initiate a fresh movement for women's liberation. On the contrary, it was a reaction to the growing power of a widespread movement started by American women in the late sixties and rapidly spreading in Europe. One must note that sociologically, the major function of a ritual is to buttress the status quo. The status quo in western capitalist countries was not threatened by the local proletariat which had been 'appeased' and safely 'promoted'; at least for the present, to the rank



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