Third Congress of the Communist International
Source: Theses Resolutions and Manifestos of the First Four Congress of the Third International, translated by Alix Holt and Barbara Holland. Ink Links 1980;
Transcribed: by Andy Blunden.
The Second International Conference of Communist women [The first women’s conference had been held in the summer of 1920] in Moscow declares:
The collapse of the capitalist economy and the bourgeois system, together with the development of the social revolution throughout the world, makes it urgently necessary for the proletariat in those countries still burdened by this system to engage in revolutionary struggle to win political power and establish its dictatorship. This can only be achieved if the broadest masses of working women are consciously and resolutely involved in this struggle and are willing to make sacrifices.
In countries such as Soviet Russia where the proletariat has already won state power and, by introducing the Soviet system, has established its dictatorship, the struggle against the national and world counter-revolution and the organisation of a Communist system cannot be carried out unless the broad masses of working women are absolutely and unshakeably convinced that the struggle for and building up of a new society concerns them as well.
The Second International Conference of Communist women taking place in Moscow therefore calls upon the Communist Parties everywhere to carry out the resolution and the decision of the III International, take seriously the organisation of the broad masses of working women for revolutionary struggle and revolutionary construction, engage in propaganda and agitation among the female proletariat to spread Communist ideas, and draw these women into the Communist Party, thereby deepening and developing their will and ability to be active and to fight.
Every Party in the III International must organise sections attached to their Party Committees, sections for work amongst women, which must be headed by a Committee member. Departments for work among women are not special organisations within the Communist Parties; their role is specific – to mobilise and educate the broadest masses of working women to struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat and for a Communist society. The departments for work among women carry out all their work under the leadership of the Party, but their forms and methods of work have to be sufficiently flexible to adapt themselves to the specificities of the position of women in the family and in society. The work of these departments is described in detail in the theses passed by the conference.
The departments for work among women must always be conscious of their dual task which is:
1 to inspire in the female proletarian masses a high level of class consciousness and a firm commitment to engage in the revolutionary class struggle, the struggle of all humiliated and oppressed people against the bourgeoisie, and the struggle for communism;
2 after the victory of the proletarian revolution, to involve them in a conscious and dedicated way in the joint work needed to build a Communist society.
Departments for work among women must remember that their job involves more than just verbal and written agitation and propaganda. Their main concern is to carry out agitation through action – the most effective method at their disposal – and, in all the capitalist countries, to encourage working women to take an active part in all the actions and struggles of the revolutionary proletariat, in strikes, street demonstrations and armed uprisings, while in Soviet countries they must give working women an active part to play in all spheres of Communist construction.