To the Working Women (1920)
|Written||21 February 1920|
Source: Lenin Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965, Volume 30, page 371-372
Comrades, the elections to the Moscow Soviet show that the Party of the Communists is gaining strength among the working class.
It is essential that women workers take a greater part in the elections. The Soviet government was the first and only government in the world to abolish completely all the old, bourgeois, infamous laws which placed women in an inferior position compared with men and which granted privileges to men, as, for instance, in the sphere of marriage laws or in the sphere of the legal attitude to children. The Soviet government was the first and only government in the world which, as a government of the toilers, abolished all the privileges connected with property, which men retained in the family laws of all bourgeois republics, even the most democratic.
Where there are landlords, capitalists and merchants, there can be no equality between women and men even in law.
Where there are no landlords, capitalists and merchants, where the government of the toilers is building a new life without these exploiters, there equality between women and men exists in law.
But that is not enough.
It is a far cry from equality in law to equality in life.
We want women workers to achieve equality with men workers not only in law, but in life as well. For this, it is essential that women workers take an ever increasing part in the administration of public enterprises and in the administration of the state.
By engaging in the work of administration women will learn quickly and they will catch up with the men.
Therefore, elect more women workers, both Communist and non-Party, to the Soviet. If she is only an honest woman worker who is capable of managing work sensibly and conscientiously, it makes no difference if she is not a member of the Party--elect her to the Moscow Soviet.
Let there be more women workers in the Moscow Soviet! Let the Moscow proletariat show that it is prepared to do and is doing everything for the fight to victory, for the fight against the old inequality, against the old, bourgeois, humiliation of women!
The proletariat cannot achieve complete freedom, unless it achieves complete freedom for women.
February 21, 1920