To the Women Workers
c.1918-1920 — Soviet Russia
Comrades women workers!
For many centuries woman was oppressed and had no rights. For many centuries she was just an appendage to the man, his shadow. The husband provided for his wife, so long as she obeyed her husband’s will, meekly endured her own powerlessness, her own domestic and family slavery.
The October Revolution liberated women. Now the peasant woman has the same rights as the peasant man, the worker woman has the same rights as male worker has. Everywhere the woman can vote and everywhere she can became a member of a Soviet or a commissar or even a People’s Commissar. But while according to law a woman has the same rights as a man does, life hasn’t liberated woman. The worker woman, the peasant woman, are still in the clutch of a household, still a slave in their own land. The task of the workers now is to adjust life so as to relieve the burden of child care from a woman’s shoulders, to make household easier. The working class is interested in the liberation of women in these fields.
The working class should understand that the woman is a member of the same proletarian family as the man, because the woman is working as well as the man. One third of the wealth on the Earth is created by women. There are 70 million women workers in Europe and America. In communist society, a woman and a man must be equal. Without equality of women and men, there is no communism.
Go to work, comrades working women! Liberate yourselves! Build nurseries, maternity houses, help the Soviets set up public canteens, help the Communist Party build a new happy life. Your place is among those who are fighting for the emancipation of working people, for equality, for freedom, for the happiness of your children! Your place, working women and peasant women, is under the red revolutionary banner of worldly victorious communism!
Translation by Mikita Tsikhanovich and Andy Blunden
Source: Alexandra Kollontai Archive.