Women are ready to lead the struggle for RET

Justice Piitso says we need to remain true to the path breaking efforts by our womenfolk to continue making history


31 August 2017

It will only be in the best interest of the struggles of our people to dedicate the centenary anniversary celebrations of the great October socialist revolution to the heroic leadership role of our womenfolk. The great October socialist revolution remains a powerhouse which women represent in the wider struggles for the development of human society. 

In August 1910, the German socialist Cde Clara Zetkin, the leader of the international socialist women's secretariat, convened a conference which declared the international women's day, as an annual day of action. The day became an important calendar day to our future struggles to highlight the important question of the leadership role of women in society. 

Presenting the resolution declaring the international women's day as an annual day of action to the presidium of the conference, Cde Clara Zetkin had to say the following" 

In agreement with the class-conscious political and trade union organisations of the proletariat in each country, the socialist women in all countries shall organise a Women's Day every year. First of all, the Women’s Day shall have the aim of achieving universal suffrage for women. This claim shall be in line with the socialist understanding of the entire women's rights issue. The Women’s Day shall be international in its nature and must be prepared meticulously. ”1

Throughout the years the international women's day become a momentous inspiration to the struggles of mankind. Women understood the notion that a moment of a revolution is now or never in our lifetime. 

The celebrations of the international women's day of 1917 in Russia saw thousands of women under the leadership of Cde Alexandra Kollontai and Nadezhda Krupskaya, leading a nationwide protest against the draconian laws imposed by the Tsarist regime. The slogan of their battle cry was bread, land and peace.

This historic day which demonstrated the heroic leadership role of women in our struggles became the birthmark of the famous February revolution. The revolution which overthrew the Tsarist monarchy and the feudal ruling class in Russia.

Celebrating the heroism of the leadership role of women and the victories of their struggles during the February revolution,  in his collected works, ' letters of tactics' 'first letter assessment of the present situation' the leader of the Bolshevik party, Vladimir Lenin, says the following"

Both in my first Letter From Afar (“The First Stage of the First Revolution”) published in Pravda Nos. 14 and 15, March 21 and 22, 1917, and in my theses, I define “the specific feature of the present situation in Russia” as a period of  transition from the first stage of the revolution to the second. I therefore considered the basic slogan, the “task of the day” at this moment to be: “Workers, you have performed miracles of proletarian heroism, the heroism of the people, in the civil war against tsarism. You must perform miracles of organisation, organisation of the proletariat and of the whole people, to prepare the way for your victory in the second stage of the revolution" 

Few months later of the same year, the Bolshevik party led the struggles to overthrow the entire capitalist class in Russia during the great October socialist revolution. The greatest revolution which gave birth to the first socialist state in the history of the struggles of mankind. 

It is therefore upon our young generation to appreciate the centrality of the leadership role of women towards the victorious struggles of the great October socialist revolution. Our young generation has to appreciate the fundamental truth that women are the seedbed of the heroic struggles which became the foundation of the first workers state in our history. 

Women are the nerve centre of the ordous struggles of humanity from the kingdom of necessity into the kingdom of freedom. Over the years of the history of our struggles, they have always ensured that the revolution occupies the trajectory for its own logical development. 

The victory of the great October socialist revolution gave impetus to the struggles of the overwhelming majority of our people in the former colonies and semi colonies. It contributed immensely to the struggles of the millions of the people of the world against colonial oppression and exploitation. 

We take courage from the unfolding debate, within the ranks of our movement and our society, about the political significance of the leadership role of women in our struggle for the construction of our national democratic society. It is a debate that finds its resonance in the traditions of the heroic women of the great October socialist revolution.  

It is indeed a milestone achievement for women of our country, to carry the inspiration of the great October socialist revolution, to lead the struggles of the second phase of our transition for radical socio economic transformation of our society. We are inspired that the material conditions of the 21 century, continue to measure human progress with the progress of women towards freedom. 

The women of our country are determined to break the paradox of patriarchy within the South African society and all its manifestations. They are determined to take forward the objectives of our national democratic revolution to the highest stage. 

Therefore the question whether women are ready to lead our national liberation movement or our beautiful democratic republic is neither here nor there. It is a question that must be rejected by all of our society. 

We need to remain true to the path breaking efforts by our womenfolk to continue making history in their determination to develop human society. Their struggles for emancipation is the integral part of our overall struggles for the liberation of the whole of humanity. 

The women of our country are the heirs and the lifeblood of our struggles for the creation of a better world for humanity. They understand that the future of the ideal world free of any forms of oppression and exploitation, is a historic necessity. 

It will be history in the making that for the first time, after hundred and five years of its existent, that our national liberation movement is led by a women, to steer forward our struggles for radical socio economic transformation. Women are ready to lead our revolutionary movement and our beautiful democratic republic. 

Borrowing the words of wisdom from our late revolutionary leader, President Samora Machel, " the liberation of women is not an act of charity, it is not the result of a humanitarian or compassionate position. It is a fundamental necessity for the revolution, a guarantee for its continuity and a condition for its success". 

A century after the victory of the great October socialist revolution, majority of our people, especially the women, who constitute the majority of our population, continues to be the victims of imperialism which is the highest stage of capitalism. They do not have bread, land and peace.

They are still grappling with the challenges presented by the contradictions of the present world order of modern monopoly capitalism. The legacy of white apartheid colonialism is still the principal feature of our socio economic realities.

The overwhelming majority of the women of our country, black in general and African in particular, are still subjugated to oppression as women, black and the working class. White monopoly is still the principal strategy of the imperialist accumulation path. 

In memory of the heroism of the women of the 1917 February revolution, in memory of the victory of the great October socialist revolution, we shall today and tomorrow, take forward the struggles for the equality and freedom of women. A revolution without emancipation of women is incomplete. 

Every revolutionary situation is a sharp turn in the lifes of the majority of the people of the world. Time has come that we give our mothers the opportunity to lead the difficult path of our struggles, and otherwise no real revolution will take place. 

As our branches prepare themselves for the elective national conference at the end of this year, we all need to respect the organisational principles of inner party democracy. Once our branches elect their preferred leadership, our role is nothing else but to give unequivocal support. 

There is a need to appreciate the fundamental principle of democratic centralism and inner party democracy. This is the foundation upon which to foster the unity and cohesion of our national democratic revolution. 

Phatse Justice Piitso is the former Ambassador to the republic of Cuba and the former provincial secretary of the SACP writing this article on his personal capacity.