In February 1900 a group of men representing trade unionists, socialists, Fabians & Marxists gathered in London to make another attempt at establishing an organisation capable of getting working-class men elected to Parliament. The body they set up was the Labour Representation Committee; 6 years later when 29 of its candidates were elected to the House of Commons it changed its name to the Labour Party. No women took part in that first meeting, but several watched from the public gallery.

Throughout Labour’s history, even in its earliest years, women were present in the room, but they were not always recorded … More

Unrestrained by convention, lion-hearted and free, Eleanor Marx (1855-98) was an exceptional woman. She pioneered the theatre of Henrik Ibsen. She was the first woman to lead the British dock workers’ and gas workers’ trades unions. For years she worked tirelessly for her father, Karl Marx, as personal secretary and researcher. Later she edited many of his key political works, and laid the foundations for his biography.

But foremost among her achievements was her pioneering feminism. For her, sexual equality was a necessary precondition for a just … More

Haraway’s `A Cyborg Manifesto’ is a key postmodern text and is widely taught in many disciplines as one of the first texts to embrace technology from a leftist and feminist perspective using the metaphor of the cyborg to champion socialist, postmodern, and anti-identitarian politics.

Until Haraway’s work, few feminists had turned to theorizing science and technology and thus her work quite literally changed the … More

Newman writes about the pioneering women who defied the odds to make careers for themselves and alter the course of modern history; women who achieved what they achieved while dismantling hostile, entrenched views about their place in society. Their role in transforming Britain is fundamental, far greater than has generally been acknowledged, and not just in the arts or education but in fields like medicine, politics, law, engineering and the military.

While a few of the women in this book are now household names, many have faded into oblivion, their personal … More

English feminist Mary Wollstonecraft & author Mary Shelley were mother & daughter, yet these two extraordinary women never knew one another. Nevertheless, their passionate & pioneering lives remained closely intertwined, their choices, dreams & tragedies eerily similar.

Both women became famous writers & wrote books that changed literary history, had passionate relationships with several men, were single … More

We are witnessing a new surge of interpersonal & institutional violence against women, including new witch-hunts. This surge of violence has occurred alongside an expansion of capitalist social relations. In this new work that revisits some of the main themes of Caliban & the Witch, Federici examines the root causes of these developments & outlines the consequences for the women affected and their communities. She argues that, no less than the witch-hunts in 16th-17th century Europe & the “New World,” this new war on women is a structural element of the new forms of capitalist accumulation.

These processes are founded on the destruction of people’s most basic means of reproduction. Like at the dawn of capitalism, … More

Born OTD in 1952, American author, feminist & social activist, bell hooks. In this classic study, cultural critic bell hooks examines how black women, from the seventeenth century to the present day, were and are oppressed by both white men and black men and by white women. Illustrating her analysis with moving personal accounts, Ain’t I a Woman is deeply critical of the racism inherent in the thought of many middle-class white feminists who have failed to address issues of race and class.

While acknowledging the conflict of loyalty to race or sex is still a dilemma, hooks challenges the view that race … More