Women and the crisis of the capitalist system – Marijke Colle

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Outline of the lecture

1. Marx and Engels analysis

  • woman's emancipation through participation in productive work
  • the capitalist mode of production and the future of the family
  • the value of the (male) work force
  • the value of the female work force and link with domestic work
  • reconstruction of the family in the late 19th Century
  • central role of women in reproduction, family life and domestic work
  • women workers: double exploitation and specific oppression
  • the labour market is 'gendered'

2. Ecofeminism

  • role of women in ecological struggles and in peace movements
  • gender and nature: essentialist view or material analysis of the reproductive role of women
  • the exploitation of women parallels the exploitation of nature
  • women's liberation and the fight for ecosocialism

3. The autonomous women's movements

  • necessity of an autonomous movement, against any form of 'stageism'
  • the Second International,positive and negative aspects
  • Kollontaï and women's organisations in and after the Russian Revolution
  • second wave feminism : from women only groups to mass campaigns
  • what does it mean being a feminist-socialist today?
  • strategic necessity of a strong autonomous women's movement

Reading materials

Women in the capitalist economy


The autonomous women's movement

Further reading

  • Women in China 1947 - 2007 [1]