Socialist Theory Equality for WOMEN

Where do you stand?

Do this quiz to find out where you stand on the public and private struggle!

1. Your wife/woman partner wants to stand as a shop steward in her union.Do you:(a) say that she cannot stand because you are worried that the children will be neglected and it will interfere with the cooking and the cleaning of the household.(b) support her and say that together as a family you will all discuss how she can be active in the union and how the family will accommodate her.

2. Your wife/woman partner is a shop steward and wants to attend Numsa national congress for five days. Do you:(a) say she cannot go because a Numsa national congress is not a good place for a woman to be.(b) encourage her to go and together with your family work out how you will all manage.

3. Your workplace has many women workers. In shop steward elections, workers voted for three new women shop stewards.

Do you:(a) carry on having your shop steward committee meetings after work as you have always done.(b) ask the new women shop stewards if the time is alright for them or if they want to suggest an alternative time.

4. Your workplace has always had many women workers but no women have ever stood as shop stewards. Shop steward elections will take place in 18 months time. Do you:(a) assume that it’s because women are not committed and that’s why they don’t stand as shop stewards.(b) speak to workers and set up a gender committee in your factory. Link the gender committee to the shop stewards committee and provide training to the gender committee reps so that they can learn the job of the shop steward.

5. You are holding a shop steward council in your local. The meeting was meant to start at 9h00 and finish at 12h00. However some of the male office bearers are late and the meeting only started at 10h30. At 12h00 many people start to leave, especially the women comrades. Do you:(a) complain that those leaving are not committed.(b) apologise to those that are leaving for having started the meeting late and appeal to all those present to respect the times so that next time the meeting can start and finish on time.

Answers:If you answered mostly (a) then you need to seriously look at your views on gender and your relationship with your wife/woman partner. If you answered mostly (b) then you have opened the door to challenge patriarchy. Congratulations but don’t stop here!