March 16, 2017

'Capitalism & Patriarchy are inseperable!': Young Communists speak on IWD

Rebel Youth presents a translation of a speech by Marianne Breton Fontaine on behalf of Young Communist League of Quebec (LJC-Q) on March 8th, International Women's Day, at a march in Montreal organized by Women of Diverse Origins.

Hello everyone,

As a comrade told me, there is not a single struggle, not a single social advance that has been won without the sacrifice and work of women. Yet they are constantly trying to erase us from history, to erase and ignore our demands, and to tell us to be patient.

No! We are all entitled to justice now!

To listen to our elites would mean believing that Canada is now a feminist paradise. If we believed that we would have no reason to meet this March 8th.

Yet, while Trudeau institutes parity in the ministerial cabinet, Indigenous women continue to suffer colonial violence, Kinder Morgan and Keystone XL pipelines have been approved against the will of Indigenous nations, Islamophobia grows and our Muslim sisters are constantly attacked, sexual violence goes unpunished, and neoliberal austerity strikes women disproportionately, while federal infrastructure investments favour male jobs. We women of the working class, we are forced to pay for the capitalist economic crisis.

These same elites who gurggle with the achievement of a gender parity cabinet instrumentalized our feminist struggles to serve their imperialist and militarist interests as if patriarchy existed only elsewhere.


In the Young Communist League, we put forward a feminist-Marxist and intersectional analysis. This analysis will be at the center of our Congress in May.

We women work for low wages in the capitalist economy, our bodies are used as an object to sell and feed the markets, and when we return to our homes we are not only subjected to the violence of our partners, we are still working, unpaid work, to ensure humanity a new generation that will perpetuate it. Capitalism and patriarchy are two inseparable systems of oppression.

As women, our work is constantly devalued. I am a student. Soon, like so many others I will have to find an internship to finish my education. In other words, I will have to work in the same way as I will later, but not be fairly paid. Right now, some internships are unpaid while others are. The line of demarcation between paid and unpaid student work follows the same lines as feminized labour. For example, students in education, nursing and psychology cannot find payment for their work, while medical and engineering students, two majority male sectors, experience a more favorable reality. At the moment, students are organizing to demand remuneration for internships. I believe that the people of CUTE and À la rue Montréal are also mobilized here for March 8th.

We suffer both the violence of capitalism and patriarchy, but many of our sisters must also face other oppressions such as racism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism. Our movements cannot speak of liberation if we refuse to include all women in our struggles and demands.

We are all entitled to justice and emancipation!

For the original French version of this speech visit the LJC-Q's site here.

For the YCL-LJC's statement on International Women's Day 2017 visit

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