View here a presentation by author Mary Davis introducing the main points in the new edition, updated and revised, of the best-selling Women and Class. Buy it here!

Welcome to the first Women & Class course. Please have a look at this short video which will give you some information about how the course will be organised. In addition please ensure that you read the course materials on the Party website and above all ensure you have a copy of the book (women and class) on which the course is based.

PLEASE NOTE: this first series is for women only.

Course dates

  • Tuesday 1st June 7 PM to 9 PM
  • Tuesday 8th June 7 PM to 9 PM
  • Tuesday 15th June 7 PM to 9 PM

  • Tuesday 22nd June 7 PM to 9 PM
  • Tuesday 29th June 7 PM to 9 PM
  • Tuesday 6th July 7 PM to 9 PM

Accompanying course materials below.


Register for the course here.


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Session 1ReadingQuestions

THE ORIGINS OF WOMEN’S OPPRESSION: THE MARXIST VIEW

M.DavisWomen & Class pp1-8
F.EngelsThe Origin of the Family, Private Property & the State   Chap.2       
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1884/origin-family/ch02.htm
A. Bebelhttps://www.marxists.org/archive/bebel/1879/woman-socialism/ch02.htm
C.Zetkinhttps://www.marxists.org/archive/zetkin/1896/10/women.htm

What is biological determinism?

Was Engels a biological determinist?

How & why did the family develop?

Why does women’s oppression coincide with the origin of class society?


Session 2ReadingQuestions

RIVAL THEORIES

Read

M. DavisWomen & Class pp 9-19
Lisa Vogel

Watch

What is the main argument against the Marxist view of the origins of women’s oppression?

Which of the rival theories do you find: least convincing / most convincing?

Say why you think ‘self-identity’ is anti-Marxist?

Do you think gender self id is detrimental to women’s liberation?


Session 3ReadingQuestions

THE MARXIST RESPONSE

M. DavisWomen & Class pp 20-28
The Union Makes us Strong http://www.unionhistory.info/
M. DavisComrade or Brother?

What is oppression?

How and why is women’s oppression linked to capitalism?

What is ‘super-exploitation’?

What is discrimination and is it the same as oppression?

What is ideology and why and how does it function in relation to women in a capitalist society?


Session 4ReadingQuestions

WOMEN, CLASS, CAPITALISM & THE LABOUR MOVEMENT: HISTORY

M. DavisWomen & Class pp 29-42
The Union Makes us Strong http://www.unionhistory.info/
Angela DavisWomen, Race & Class
Sally GroveTrico: A Victory to Remember
M. DavisComrade or Brother?

What is job segregation and how did it arise?

What is the ‘family wage’?

Why and how were women excluded from trade unions?

What rights did women fight for in the 19th century?

Why did the women’s suffrage movement split?


Session 5ReadingQuestions

WOMEN, CLASS, CAPITALISM & THE LABOUR MOVEMENT: TODAY

M. DavisWomen & Class pp 43-54
M. DavisCP Centenary History; chapter on Women
CP Policy on Women & Gender (2018 Congress resolution)
 

What is the gender pay gap and why does it exist and what can we do about it?

Why do so many women work part-time?

What are the challenges to women’s self-organisation in the labour movement today?

Why are black women triply exploited?


Session 6ReadingQuestions

WOMEN & THE ROLE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY: POLICY &PERSPECTIVES

Charter for Women & campaigning priorities
M. DavisWomen & Class pp 54-67

Do we need a Women’s Liberation Movement and what should be its nature?

How can communists help to build a women’s movement?

What role should we play in it and how should we campaign around the Charter for Women?

Why should women join the communist party and what problems still remain in developing Marxist-feminist praxis in the CP?