Book Review

Clara Zetkin, Selected Writings

Edited by Philip S. Foner, Foreword by Angela Y. Davis,
Introduction by Tripta Wahi,
Aakar Publications, Delhi, 2012, 250 Rupees, 226 pp.

Amna Hafeez Mobeen
Rabbia Aslam1

It was only in her childhood that Clara envisioned the liberty and equality of the female sex. She was born in 1857 to Gottfried Eissner, a school teacher and a devout Protestant and Josephine Vitale Eissner from whom Clara got her first revolutionary training as a daughter. Her mother was deeply inspired by French revolutionary ideals and was an ardent believer of women’s rights, their education and economic equality. Later on, she met Auguste Schmidt who got inspired by Clara’s intelligence and keen interest in women’s cause and granted her free admission in Germany’s best teacher training institution. From there her interest in women’s rights movements increased and she became inspired by socialist ideals. After passing with excellence in her teaching certification she came across Russian students and émigrés living in Leipzig and from there she came into contact with the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), she met Wilhelm Liebknecht (who along with August Bebel founded the SPD). This was the breaking point for Clara from her family and former liberal feminist teacher, Schmidt when they did not approve her new associations. This was followed by meeting Ossip Zetkin her new teacher, a Russian émigré and a devout Marxist. Her first socialist educational training was carried under the guidance of Ossip Zetkin. In 1878 when the anti-socialist law was passed it became difficult for the socialists to work in Germany and in 1880 when Ossip Zetkin was exiled, Clara decided to follow him to Austria and then to Switzerland where she became closer to the socialist movement. From there on Clara and Ossip Zetkin moved to France where they lived together and had two sons, Clara adopted Ossip’s last name and yet remained unmarried in order not to lose her German citizenship by marrying an émigré. The Zetkins went through extreme deprivation and penury while in Paris, Clara also suffered severe health issues yet they worked hard for the socialist cause. But then after reconciliation with her family they moved back to Leipzig with Clara’s mother and brother. There she met her old comrades, met Wilhelm Liebknecht, made public speeches and wrote extensively about the work of the SPD abroad. Clara’s later work became deeply inspired by August Bebel’s ‘Women and Socialism’. She moved back to Paris to provide for Ossip’s falling health who later died in 1889. The same year on the centennial of the fall of Bastille she was elected to represent the working women of Berlin in the founding congress of the Second International. Clara made it clear no special protection must be given to women because that will separate them from the general proletariat’s struggle. Based on Clara’s position the Congress set up the Berlin Agitation Commission to plan and strategise party and trade union agitation.

In 1890 when the anti-socialist law was revoked Clara settled back to Germany and became the editor of Die Gleichheit (Social Democratic women’s journal). Clara declared Die Gleichheit as the vanguard of the socialist women’s movement. She not only edited the paper but wrote numerous articles in it too regarding working conditions of women in the industries, women as sales clerks, domestic servants, strikes and the labour uprising in Germany and other countries. She wanted the paper to be a medium of instruction, guidance and enlightenment for the proletariat women so that they may never fall prey to bourgeois feminism.

Owing to all of the blatant stands, Clara and the paper faced criticism and were charge for ‘not’ producing a large movement for women. She ousted this by declaring Gleichheit as an advanced guiding tool for the women comrades; the purpose was not to expand the readership across all strata of women. In 1904 based on the pressures of making the paper popular Clara made a supplement to the paper emphasizing the duties of a socialist mother in inculcating class solidarity and independent thinking. The section for children included those dimensions which were generally excluded in the mainstream school curriculum. By 1908 the circulation of the paper reached 125,000 copies from 11,000 in 1903 and the size of the paper also doubled from 12 to 24 pages.

Clara was also an active trade union movement member, moreover her knowledge of the German and international workers, made her one of the most sought after speakers of women’s rights advocacy in Germany. She became deeply inspired by Fredrick Engels’ ‘Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State’, which helped her to determine political ideology for the German women’s movement and separated the proletariat women’s movement from the bourgeois feminist movement, which she claimed as ‘rather vulgar feminism’. She said the bourgeois movement was a reformist movement and this could not alleviate the status of women whereas the proletariat movement was a revolutionary movement which will overthrow the inferior status by ousting the capitalist mode of production.

She was also elected as the Secretary of First International Socialist Women’s Conference in 1907 to strengthen the liaison between the socialist women in different countries. Along with this, Die Gleichheit was made the official organ of socialist women association. Three years later in Copenhagen, Clara and the paper retained its status in the Second International as well. Not only this but since 1892 till she remained associated with SPD she was elected as the delegate to every annual congress of the Party. She was the top member of the SPD and elected to the governing body of the SPD, the first ever time in Germany. She was also elected to the SPD’s Central Committee.

However later she also came to some friction within the SPD when the leadership disintegrated the autonomy of the socialist women’s wing in the Party into the larger male dominated party structure. Clara not only fought against the anti-women prejudices but also fought against revisionism in the party, led by Edward Bernstein who refuted Marxist doctrines. With iron energy she blocked the appointment of revisionists in the SPD; moreover she was instrumental in appointing radicals, including Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht to the faculty of the Party school. She enthusiastically favoured the mass strike and Russian Revolution and held the belief that proletariat victory will never be sought through the parliamentary route rather it is placed in the forces outside the parliament. She openly denounced the ills of militarism, colonialism and imperialism and said that these were not the main evils instead capitalism was the root cause. She blatantly opposed the Party position endorsing World War 1 and summoned an ‘illegal’ international women’s conference in 1915 which was an open socialist opposition to the war and issued a formal manifesto. This anti-war sentiment led to a secret meeting of the anti-war socialists in Germany which was a stimulus to the formation of Gruppe International in 1916. This led her to the charges of treason and for publishing ‘objectionable’ articles and after that she was arrested for four months. The Gruppe International later became the Spartacus League, nucleus of the German Communist Party in 1918 of which Clara was a founding member. She remained the member of KPD’s central committee from 1919-23 and again in 1927. In 1919 Clara endorsed the issue of the KPD’s women journal Die Komunisten which was formed as the Third or Communist International or Comintern and her articles then started appearing in there. In 1920 at the age of 62 she was appointed as the International Secretary of the International Socialist women’s movement. After resuming this position and due to her falling health where she needed special medical care she lived mostly in the Soviet Union. She was often weak and ill but despite that she gave her maximum efforts to the international working class movement. Clara headed the International Red Aid organization (MOPR) which organized campaigns against the persecution of men and women in other countries, which helped to organize protests against the world-wide persecution of both men and women from the wrath of capitalism.

She became closely associated with Vladimir Lenin in the Soviet Union and often spoke of women’s question with him, where both agreed on women’s equal participation to ignite the proletarian revolution and for separate existence of special women’s organizations even within the communist party. She advocated separate women’s organizations even within the socialist camps because it gave a chance to women to develop politically. In 1908, women were given the legal right to organize politically with men; but it was decided to have one woman on the party executive until 1912. Clara was that member but she had no voting rights. She continued to be marginalized within the dominant structure of the party. Later Louise Ziets was chosen for the post but she was not very articulate and lacked the iron fist energy, but Clara continued to fight independently for women within the party. Soon Clara’s work as editor of Die Gleichheit and Women’s Bureau in SPD were challenged and in 1917 she was expelled from the editorial position and the revolutionary women’s journal was replaced by a family journal headed by a man. She fought with all her might against the revisionism and reformism in her party only to bring revolutionary socialist consciousness in people.

Clara’s foremost analysis of women’s emancipation is based on eliminating the supremacy of their household patriarchs, as Lenin said to free them from ‘domestic slavery’. In 1889 during the Second International Clara delivered a speech, ‘For the Liberation of Women’ that concluded, ‘the first condition for the liberation of the wife is to bring the whole female sex back into public industry’ (Davis, 10). The social emancipation of women is only possible if they are economically independent. Modern capitalism had already reduced small scale household productive activity as a futile effort and cost ineffective, thereby leaving time and will for women to join the economic production. Their economic empowerment will result in the upgradation of the social status; however for them this shift out from the private sphere in the public sphere will merely indicate a change in the masters from the patriarch of the family to the capitalist of the modern industry. Moreover, for the capitalists, female workers are attractive as they lower the wage rates and are certainly more submissive labourers. Once relative economic equality of both the genders is established from there on the struggle for the emancipation of the entire human race from the shackles of capitalism will be carried on by both men and women collectively. It is only through socialism that both of them will lead their social lives with full rights granted to them.

In 1893 Clara wrote an article entitled, ‘Women’s Work and the Organization of Trade Unions’ which said, “the industrial involvement of women (which increased in absolute and relative terms during recession) is vulnerable to lower wages than the wages of men. The ‘customary starvation’” (p. 54) wages are exploitative for both of them. The lower wages of women turn them into ‘unfair competitors’ (p. 54) to bring down the wages of males as well. Furthermore, the miserable wages makes the women into ‘lumpenproletariat’ (p. 54) who are then forced into prostitution to sell their bodies and earn subsistence wages. The deplorable working conditions and wage rates are due to the fact that the capitalists find female labourers scattered and unorganized. If the women collectivize under the trade unions then they will be given legal protection for equitable work conditions, fair wages and shorter working hours. ‘Stupid resignations, lack of feeling of solidarity, shyness, prejudices of all kinds and fear of factory tyrant, lack of time on part of female workers represents a major obstacle against their mass organization because women are house as well as factory slaves and are forced to bear a double workload’ (p. 58). The involvement in the trade unions will give the women an organized disciplined platform to voice their demands and give them the education and enlightenment for the collective class struggle of proletariat against the exploitative capitalist class.

Clara was always held in great regard in the proletariat women’s struggle and effort for their rights despite the double burden of home they had and the severity of indigence they lived in. A petition by her own party’s paper (Vorwarts and Die Gleichheit) was addressed to the Kaiser’s government requesting it to allow the formation of women’s associations. Clara raged over this begging petition and wrote a reply to it in 1895 The Women’s Rights Petition and Reply’ because for her it was the betrayal of the cause of proletariat women who had been fighting for so long. It was also an association with bourgeois feminism which was clearly different from the socialist women’s question. Her anger stemmed from the fact that over years proletariat women had faced suppression but they re-emerged and fought all odds for the larger benefit of the proletariat uprising. The petition was deprived of democratic voice as it pleaded the Kaiser’s government to make requested changes, It lacked the consent of the class conscious proletariat and the submission of the bill was undemocratic as it was not followed by a respective reform.

In her speech entitled ‘Only with the Proletariat Woman’ at the Party Congress of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in 1896 and her article ‘What women owe to Karl Marx’ in 1903 on Karl Marx’s 20th death anniversary she acknowledged that Marx never dealt with women’s question as such but he gave the tool of historical materialism to answer ‘social relationships and their historical necessity and justification’ (p. 93). Marx provided that the subservient position of women in the family is not a result of the stereotypical position of women in the family, rather it is the property relations which subjugate the position of women. In capitalist mode of production the existence of private property results in the creation of various social classes and hence varied dynamics of women’s question. The economic dependence of the ‘non-proprietor’ wife on the ‘proprietor’ husband became the basis for the social deprivation of women. The family system in the capitalist mode of production is linked with property relations that have reduced women as wives, mothers, sisters, daughters and not equal citizens of the society. The Upper Ten Thousand (elite) class women have access to property and they enjoy their individuality yet they are dependent on their husbands socially as wives. The struggle for their emancipation is linked with disposing of their property to remove all social differences within their own class. In petit-bourgeois, middle class and bourgeois intelligentsia it is not the property but the overproduction of mental-work, intelligent workforce that has made women abundant and under paid. The competition between the two sexes is the primary battle which the women in this class wage against their men. On the contrary, for proletarians the women’s question is not like the bourgeois feminists fight for their individuality, legal and political equality but for her class chains which not only exploit her as cheap labour but also deprive her of family life. So for the proletariat woman unlike the bourgeois woman it is not the gender war that she wants to fight within her own class (men) but against the prevailing class structures. When the economic structure is revolutionized (elimination of private property) through class conscious Socialist agitation then the subsequent patriarchal superstructures will be overthrown and real equality will be achieved. The proletariat revolution provides a complete answer to the emancipation of women by destroying the existing classes based on money relations where not only women but children are suppressed. Once the Socialist society is achieved then the family will cease to be an economic unit, instead it will become a moral unit where women will enjoy equality, equity and individuality at the same time being the best deliverer of roles of wife and mother. With Clara’s analysis it becomes pertinent that women’s movement is not around the global sisterhood as the bourgeois women say but is achieved with the attainment of Socialist society.

In her article ‘Protect Our Children’, 1902 she wrote about the ruthlessness of capitalism against the ‘weakest, most defenceless and most helpless of all members of the society’, that is the children who are pushed into ruthless child labour exploitation (p. 85). The merciless system of exploitation does not even spare the children and deprives them of their innocent childhood into vicious destitution caused by capitalism. They may have to work early in the morning, late at night or on the weekends, so as a consequence their education is not only sacrificed but their youthfulness is also taken away. In the pursuit of fighting family indigence they end up degenerating their youth towards the formation of criminals. Even if there is child protection legal framework but that does not do justice in providing them shelter against the vices of capitalism. The exploitative child protection law permits them to work after they have completed their elementary education (by the age of 12), no legal protection, and nocturnal work, and working on Sundays. The disguised exploitation in the law did no good instead further marginalized the working children. Clara called for an open battle against such discriminatory and exploitative laws in the name of child protection to be disbanded and called for the protection and education of children.

Clara was also an ardent believer of suffrage to be granted to women and that it will play an important role in their ultimate cause of socialist revolution. In her article published in 1907, ‘Women’s Right to Vote’ she said that bourgeois women’s struggle for suffrage stems from their salaried positions and economic independence which has placed them out of the domestic sphere. But the bourgeois suffrage movement itself is not united because of varied social strata that these women belong to leading to class contradictions within themselves. For the proletariat women it is imperative to join the struggle for suffrage along with the bourgeois women but in any case this is not the ultimate goal for them as it is for the bourgeois women. However this is one significant step towards the final achievement of the Socialist revolution. The fight for the civil rights is a necessary prerequisite for arousing class consciousness in women which will help in fighting the class contradictions. Politically empowered women are not considered as weak and vulnerable. At the same time limited suffrage provide enfranchisement to fewer upper class women, strengthening the reactionary forces that then form an impediment towards universal suffrage, for the proletarians too. Moreover when the suffrage was victoriously granted to women Clara clarified that, “we carry on our war, not as fight between the sexes, but as battle against the political might of the possessing classes; as a fight which we carry on with all our might and main without hatred of the other sex; a fight whose final aim and glory will be that (one day) the proletariat in its entirety, without distinction of sex, shall be able to call out to the capitalist order of society, ‘you rest on us, you oppress us, and, see, how the building which you have erected is tottering to the ground” (p. 99).

Clara also introduced a proposal in 1910 International Women’s Day’ to celebrate international socialist women’s day on 8th March each year. In 1908 on the same date socialist women workers of needle trades in United States publically demonstrated opposition to local bourgeois suffrage movement to demand votes and urged the building up of a powerful trade union. The day dedicated to fighting for equal rights of socialist women day is still celebrated on the same date in all countries of the world.

In 1914 she made an appeal ‘Proletarian Women be Prepared’ against the tyranny of the approaching war and its magnitude of destruction to the general masses by giving a call of peace to proletarian women. She urged on proletarian unity against Germany’s inclusion in the Austrian imperialist and Hungarian monarchist war against Serbian independence and sovereignty in the name of curtailing Russian Tsarist expansion. She highlighted that German profit seekers and clergy intend to plant common people in this blood thirsty crusade which will make it adopt Austria’s war as her own and she will waste the blood and money of her own land. She urged that there must be solidarity among all the exploited and suppressed classes of all nations. Clara emphasized on proletarian unity to stop the war and to join the mass protests against the horrors of war. She asked the proletarian women to be prepared to win peace and harmony by standing against the war with iron force.

In 1914 she wrote a letter entitled ‘To the Socialist Women of All Countries’. She stressed that there are increasingly more women’s voices protesting against the drive of capitalist countries for the world power and the world domination. She also highlighted the long term consequences of the war on people’s happiness, welfare and loss of credibility of international treaties of human rights. Further, she also mentioned that the international brotherhood idea will serve the interests of all socialist women. She also urged the women that at individual and at societal level they needed to raise their voices instead of feeling afraid from the patriots and imperialists. She also urged the women that in absence of men will have to preserve lives of the rest. Through this piece of writing she was reminding the socialists of a promise which their representatives made at a peace conference in Basel for standing up against the massacre killings.

In 1914 Clara wrote a letter to ‘Letter to Heleen Ankersmit'2 after she was removed from the editorship of Gleichheit in 1917 on the charge that the articles she published were not for the greater benefit of the women. She was also imprisoned on the charges of ‘attempted treason’ against the Kaiser’s government. But the actual cause of her removal from leadership position and editorship was her organized efforts against the war. Her letter provided many apparent and unapparent bitter realities which could be expressed and interpreted in different ways, so she never wanted that to be published as her letter. She mentioned the reason for infrequently communication was strict control on her by authorities who were shadowing her. By highlighting all kinds of difficulties she wanted to make Ankersmit understand that her genuine stance as a socialist does not let her to step back from her ideology but it disturbs her functions as secretary international.

Further, she threw light on the SPD’s moral bankruptcy and its revisionist and opportunist stands against the war. According to her, the SPD was devastated, the party meetings were done by approval of authorities, trade unions were declared illegal, and the working class press could not publish anything without their approval. She also indicated that she was committed to her duty to preserve Gleichheit as a socialist periodical which was the international organization of women comrades. The journal faced issues of censorship and military command and the authorities violated freedom of expression. Additionally, she indicated that it was the duty of all socialist women to lead the battle for international peace, she also emphasized that she needed endorsement from women comrades of several countries. She mentioned her contact with comrade Louise Zietz for national and international peace work as she was the member of the executive committee (p. 125). Clara was of the view that in case of peace demonstrations and rallies the members of neutral countries should take part in it, which will create moral pressure on social democracy in the belligerent countries. Lastly, she also exhibited her solidarity towards Dutch comrades through the letter.

Correspondingly, in 1915 she wrote an article by title, ‘Women of the Working People’. She spoke to the wives and mothers of those whose were at the front of the war. They left their homes and also their responsibilities. In this article she raised so many questions for women of working people that if they think that their dearest ones are saving their fatherland then that was not the reality. She mentioned that in the absence of their males the women had to bear a double burden as they had to look after the private sphere along with the public sphere. She also shed light on the terrible suffering from war which served the interests of capitalists who wanted to control the global natural resources and exploit the cheapest labour force. Moreover, she said that capitalist system thrives on the exploitation and suppression of man by man. The workers had nothing to gain from the fierce war and for that women proletarians must raise their voice against it.

In 1917 she wrote an article, 'To the Socialist Women of All Countries’, in which she explained the reason for her expulsion by the executive committee of SPD. She elucidated that it was due to the consequences of her principled stands in favour of proletarian women’s interests. She reminded of the justification behind the start of Gleichheit was to save the aim of international socialism. It was designed to realize women socialist population only ‘socialism is the saviour’ (p. 133). It was committed towards opening up women’s question and social and historical application within the framework of scientific socialism. She was passionate to spread out by publications for corresponding with female comrades across the country. She stressed that Gleichheit after the transformation was not serving its actual purpose and this was of concern to the German women and the women socialists of all the countries. She was committed that despite disciplinary punishments, the socialist women’s international had not become homeless, as she believed that an alternate for the old Gleichheit would also be published shortly (p. 135).

In 1917, the article entitled, ‘The Battle for Power and Peace in Russia’, discussed the intensification of the Russian revolution after the world war. That revolution was more concentrated because it challenged the former February revolution of the alliance between revolutionary democracy and bourgeois. The new revolution was a bottom up approach aiming to take the means of production out of the private hands. She also discussed during the bourgeois revolution, foreign policy based on the alliance of Russia with the western powers. Russian masses had witnessed how one provisional government after another continued to waste the blood. The proletariat revolutionary government of Russia was determined to make peace. The proletariat of the Russia felt that the close solidarity is required not only with the workers of the world countries but also with the workers of the central powers.

In 1919 Clara wrote an emotionally stipulating letter to Mathilde Jacob (Luxemburg’s secretary), entitled ‘Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg Must Remain Alive’. The letter mentioned that when she got the news of the arrest of Liebknecht and Luxembourg through the newspapers, she immediately sent messages to Zietz and Eisner (German socialist but independent of SPD) to make use of official influence to protect both of them. This letter was full of pain after a severe emotional blow, she talked about them being dead and assassinated under brutal circumstances. She was committed that she would try her level best that both of them obtain appropriate testimonial in the socialist literature. She also shared that she was unable to control her emotions due to brutal loss of her dear comrades. She mentioned that the assassination of both looked like a carefully planned activity to suppress the rising socialist spirit (p. 143-144).

In 1919, a piece of writing entitled, ‘Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht’ talked about the strong and bold leaders Luxemburg and Liebknecht as the revolutionary precursors of the German working class. The assassination of both was a great loss for the proletarian and international socialists. Both of the leading German socialists devoted them in the battle of class struggle for the proletariat. Their ideas were honoured by those segments of proletariat whose class feelings and class consciousness was alive. In Clara’s opinion both were murdered cowardly and the ferocious murder was defamation of German culture being considered as superior (p. 145). Both of them organized protests against Reichstag deputies and the executives of the party who were against the socialist struggle, but it was felt that they could not be successful due to the quietness of the general public.

Evidently, her article published in 1926, ‘In the Muslim Women’s Clubs’, discusses the transformation of the lives of Muslim women within the framework of Soviet liberation both legally and substantially. The Soviet system acted as a liberating force for the emancipation of women of all nationalities and regimes within the USSR. It addressed different types of oppression and found a solution through mass participation of women in special clubs and classes particularly in the eastern region with majority of Muslim population. In the post Stalinist period with the end of policies which construct socialist society had a great reversal on women’s emancipation. After Stalin’s death, the state ownership of agricultural resources was destroyed and there was no mechanism of centralized planning. The profit motive was introduced in the Soviet economy. Another derogatory aspect of that profit game was commodification and selling (prostitution) of women’s body. The whole process indicated that women’s position is interlinked with the formation of society.

Besides, Clara not only identified different forms of women’s oppression but also the racist oppression and how it was different from one another. In 1932 Clara made an appeal as the head of International Red Aid, ‘Save the Scottsboro Black Youths’ that was a conscious attempt to save the lives of nine black boys who were being sentenced to death in the United States on the charge of raping two white girls. With a quick trial from the white jury and without factual evidence the boys were sentenced guilty. In this appeal Clara was able to stir up a campaign against the hoax crime of raping two white girls. This was planned attempt to terrorize black masses which were rising up against their exploitation and were in the process to form a common front with their white brothers and sisters against hunger, imperialist war and white terror (p. 167-168). As a result, later on the boys were released and successfully escaped the hoax charges made on them.

In 1932 Clara returned to Germany despite being unwell, visually impaired and threatened by the Nazi government she made a massive public appearance and made a historical speech, ‘Fascism Must be Defeated’. Being the senior most, she was invited for the inaugural speech at opening session to Reichstag. She delivered a historical revolutionary speech against fascists and also uncovered the compromising role of SPD and called for the formation of a United Front of workers to fight fascism. In her view, the situation of deteriorating economy and the decrease of subsidies for the cultural activities were destroying the economy of existence for the majority of the masses. The rationalization of industrialization was increasing with the passage of time, with that growing number of traders, artisans, and peasants being devastated. The imposed restrictions on collective bargaining and mediation by labour worsened the situation of working class who already got lesser wages (p. 171). She vehemently advocated the presence of women in the United Front who had fallen to the trap of oppressive sex slavery. She was of the view that victory of fascism in Germany is rooted in the surrender of German social democracy before the capitalist bourgeoisie.

Subsequently, in 1933 Hitler had seized power and then she returned to the Soviet Union and wrote her last work entitled ‘The Toilers Against War’. She described the heavy price paid by working class and general public during the imperialist struggle for power of 1914-18. Many industrialists, office workers, and government employees felt that they lost their professional skills and humanistic energies due to the war and they also were deprived of pleasure in their work. Irrespective of political party, religious views and occupational differences the struggle against capitalism required the firm union of all the toilers. She said that the revolutionary socialists and the workers must unite their efforts to stop the imperialist encroachment of the world and wars in any case must be stopped. The world war of 1914-18 later revealed that capitalism is the only diminishing arc of the historical existence, and it has become a finite impediment to the liberation of the proletariat, property less and small owners and creative workers of the all human kind (p. 177-178).

Soon after the publishing of this article Clara died in the same year. Throughout her life she called upon the proletariat to use their powers to live in an equitable society. She fought for the suffrage rights, established International Women’s Day, and battled against revisionism, militarism, imperialism, capitalism and World War. She made relentless efforts on raising consciousness for the emancipation and development of female proletarians because for her they constituted a pivotal role in the socialist revolution.


1 The reviewers are Lecturers at the Centre of Excellence in Gender Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.
2 Member of Communist Party of Holland. Click here to return to the April 2018 index.