CfA: Special issue: The Role of Women in Workers’ Struggles and Social Protests

Call for articles, deadline 30 March 2023

The Role of Women in Workers’ Struggles and Social Protests: Historical and Contemporary Explorations

Call for Papers for a special themed section of the next issue of Workers of the World journal
Deadline for articles is 30 March 2023

One of the most notable features of the significant revival of workers’ strikes that has been occurring recently in different countries, albeit often ignored by commentators, has been the participation, activism and driving energy demonstrated by women workers. Of course, a similar manifestation has been discernible over a number of years with diverse forms of street-based social movements across the globe, not only the #MeToo demonstrations, but also those around Black Lives Matter, climate crisis, anti-austerity, authoritarianism and war, and solidarity with Palestine, to mention just a few. Sometimes women involved in such social movement protests have carried over their activism into workplace-based forms of collective action, including strikes and demonstrations, and with increased levels of trade union membership, participation and representation.

In the light of such developments, it becomes important to revisit the nature of women’s position in the capitalist labour market, the complex relationship between women’s oppression and class exploitation, and the limits and potential of women’s role in workers’ struggles and social protests across the world.

We invite contributions to a special themed section of the next issue of Workers of the World journal that explore such issues. As well as both empirical studies and analytical interpretations, we would also invite papers not merely on contemporary developments, but also historical studies and reflections on women workers’ struggles over the past 150 years. Comparative studies of different struggles, countries and/or time periods would also be welcome.

Potential (but not exclusive) related topics are:

  • The Marxist analysis of women’s oppression and its strategy for liberation based on the working-class movement for socialism
  • The contribution of intersectionality analysis in the field of work and employment, and explorations of the interaction between gender and ethnicity with class
  • The growth of female labour and changing composition of the labour force (including industrial variation, concentration of women’s labour force participation, and spread of precarious forms of employment) and its broader implications
  • Features of gender discrimination in work and its implications, including sexual harassment
  • Nature of female migrant labour and attendant issues of racism and discrimination
  • The attitude of trade unions to women workers
  • Women workers’ relationship to often male-dominated and male-led trade union organisations
  • New specific initiatives taken to attempt to recruit women workers into trade unions, including union organising approaches
  • Trade union attempts to retain and integrate women workers, including propaganda and organisational machinery and practices
  • The experience of gender equality policies in trade unions
  • Nature of female workers involvement, participation and activism in trade unions, including the difficulties for women trade union activism in the light of the dual burden of combining domestic work in the home and paid work outside it
  • Specific challenges for black and ethnic minority workers and their representation in trade unions
  • The energy, initiative and power of women workers involved in strike activity
  • Solidarity for workers’ strikes and social protests expressed across gender lines
  • Limits of female union representation
  • Nature and dynamics of female trade union leadership, including workplace and local branch reps as well as paid union officers
  • Experiences of trans women workers and the battle for rights in work
  • Experience of sex worker collectives, such as the UK-based Sex Workers United branch of the United Voices of the World
  • The limits and potential of legislative measures related to equal pay and other features of gender discrimination in employment
  • Role of women in social protest movements
  • Role of women in revolutionary social protest movements
  • Attempts to fuse the struggles against women’s oppression and class exploitation

See Editorial and Publishing Rules of Workers of the World