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(en) Czech, afed.cz: Mujeres Libres - Free Women [machine translation]

Date Sun, 12 Mar 2017 13:05:52 +0200


On the occasion of International Women's Day represents one of the most remarkable in the history of women's organizations. ---- Mujeres Libres (Free Women) was anarchistek organization that fought for the liberation of women as well as for the social revolution during Š PAIN civil war. The work you have done is truly inspirational. Their example showed that the struggle against the oppression of women and against capitalism is most effective when if it is linked in a fight for freedom. As anarchists rejected the degradation of women and their shutdown sidelined throughout society and in the Libertarian Movement. At that time feminism was understood even more closely than today - Mujeres Libres it therefore not adopted because it was considered to be a theory that seeks only for women, but in order to maintain existing privileges. Argued následovne_ " N ejsme and we were not feminists. We were not fighting against men. We did not want to replace the masculine hierarchy feminist. Cooperation is necessary to work, to fight - we did not proceed in this way, the social revolution would never have been possible. Yet all need our own organization that would fight for us. We are aware of the precedents that have left us with feminist organizations and political parties ... We can not follow their path. We can not separate , female ' problems from social problems. But we also can not deny the importance of their own libertarian organization in which women are not merely tools and accessories. "Although after the defeat of the revolution their influence (as well as other anarchist groups) weakened, are still active in Spain.

In the 20s and 30s were the living conditions of the majority of the Spanish population almost unbearable, which is doubly true for women. Throughout Spain were manifested in all spheres of life, extreme gender differences. Most women were economically completely dependent on men, whether they were their fathers or husbands. Housework and childcare were exclusively female domain. Their salaries - in the villages and towns - were obviously lower. For example, while the average daily wage of peasants hovered around 3 pesos, the women receive for equal work (basically from dawn to dark), only half the amount. Additionally often they work in the worst-paid industries (textiles, food processing, construction, etc.). Men and women living almost separate lives. " Most of the social activities of women took place again only among women: family, neighborhood, work or on the market. Men turn , functioned ' only in the male world - in factories, trade union meetings or in local bars . " Woman's freedom of choice was limited in different directions. Women have an incredible amount earned from prostitution (an estimated 6%). In Spain and the oppression of capitalists and churches have approached oppression in the form of a monolithic extremely patriarchal system.

The reasons for that are a minimum of women initially devoted work in the trade unions or political organizations were basically two - traditionally perceived status of women and the fact that only a minority of them worked outside the home. Although the CNT on her IV. Congress in May 1936 in Zaragoza, dedicated space segment feminine issues and noted that in an anarchist society "the two sexes are equal in both rights and obligations", in fact, not an anarchist and trade union movement problems women too mute and almost absent any internal debate on these issues. Gradually, however, the women began to actively participate in political work and also set up their own group. In the spring of 1936 independently discovered two magazines called Mujeres Libres - in Barcelona and Madrid (first published here on May 2). While Barcelona group sought primarily to increase the activism of those women who are already in the Libertarian Movement organized and were members of the CNT group in Madrid focused on all women. The merger took place in September 1936 under the name Agrupacion Mujeres Libres. Mujeres Libres and was officially launched at the beginning of the revolution.

After the outbreak of the women automatically participated in the liberation of Barcelona. Built barricades, took care of supplies. To become full members of the militia, which fought alongside the men. Throughout supplied anarchist militia and take care of the common dining room. Gaining support and resources for women in militias, organized practical training for the fight and based shooting. , To set up a school for nurses and emergency clinics for the wounded in combat.

Additionally, creating the so-called. Working section (secciones de trabajo), which became one of the main activities and were important because they helped women to come out of the "house arrest". Eventually, the group Mujeres Libres in almost every factory. Working sections were organized separately at the local, regional and national level and cooperate with each union group of the CNT. In September 1936 had Mujeres Libres has 7 of these sections. Women mainly in Barcelona and Madrid in many areas of production successfully replaced the men fighting on the front (eg. In the chemical and metallurgical industry or operate public transport).

Revolution was not just a fight against the fascists, but also to build a society that respects the needs of all people, which was a fundamental goal Mujeres Libres. Its activity built on two strategies - "Capacitación" (preparing women to be able to as a "straight" role on the emerging society) and "captacion '(meaning active inclusion of women in the anarchist movement). Mujeres Libres from the beginning sought to inspire women to work in the trade unions. The problem was that the women did not whom to entrust their children to watch. Therefore, Mujeres Libres based different "child centers", especially for the children of mothers who have become trade union delegates. But to gain real support creating a network of women anarchistek. Attended each meeting, they served (among other things) each report sexist male behavior and propose possible solutions. Issuing their own magazine ( Mujeres Libres ), which was distributed through existing anarchist networks. There informed about his current work, education, culture, sports ... Women from different parts of Spain, they also reported on working conditions, strikes and everyday life in the country. In addition to theoretical considerations (eg. Emma Goldman, Marie Louise Berneri, P. Kropotkin etc. ) also contained articles that could be found in any other women's magazine - eg. Fashion or childcare. The magazine later added an own books and pamphlets. Moreover, members of Mujeres Libres contribute to other anarchist publications, which were mostly women's issues reserved special sections.

Many Spanish workers were uneducated and even illiterate. For this reason, Mujeres Libres initiated various literary programs, technically oriented teaching and learning of Social Sciences. In Barcelona also founded the women faculty Casa de La Dona, whose courses were attended only in December 1938 daily 600 - 800 women. In cooperation with the anarchist unions provide educational programs for apprentices. In the field of education is mainly inspired thoughts of a free modern school Francisco Ferrer.

In Barcelona, on their own initiative formed a new hospital, which cared for women in confinement and ensure delivery and postpartum care, along with education in health prevention, sexuality and family planning. In February 1938 it was based in Barcelona Institute of maternal and child care named after a major French anarchistce Louise Michel. (In the social sphere, largely replaced the earlier work of the church, which for collaboration with the capitalists and fascists became one of the sworn enemies of the Revolution.)

Anarchist propaganda spread in different ways - radio broadcasting, primarily ambulatory libraries and promotional channels. Them remembers a member of the Catalan Regional Committee of Mujeres Libres Pepita Carpena: " We have tried to summon women together and explain to them that such women do not lose their independence, and especially that they can be both mothers and comrades ... Especially young women, then to me went and told - it's very interesting, never before have we heard it. It's something we've always felt but never really not experienced . " Mujeres Libres, often alongside members of the syndicalist union (CNT) and the Anarchist Federation (FAI), passed through Catalonia and Aragon, where he helped rural collectivization. Moreover, here drawing attention to persistent forms of inequality - eg. Family salaries (most cooperatives paid head of a family, man, every day the equivalent of about 7 - 10 pesos while his wife received only half that amount).

To better understand the situation in which the Mujeres Libres and other anarchists found, must realize that time the status of women in the Libertarian Movement. Here, too, exhibited some discriminatory tendencies. Many articles in anarchist publications logically contained complaints about the men - comrades who despite their political beliefs are still expected to return home after the meeting will be able to behave like gentlemen and women showed up in the kitchen. Even the anarchist circles echoed the views that women should not participate in militias direct fighting ... They ran definitive fulfillment in 1937, when women had involuntarily click Republican government to withdraw from the front line in kitchens or hospitals.

Frustration Mujeres Libres peaked when he did not receive an official invitation as an independent organization for the congress libertarian anti-fascist organizations in October 1938. Their arrival informs Pura Perez Arcos as follows: " On October 7, we set sail from the port of Alicante on a small English vessel. The group consisted of activists from Madrid, Valencia and Andalusia different places. Our small delegation Mujeres Libres had great expectations from the Congress ... Going on, trip 'in those days was very risky and everyone knew, of course. Bombing ports went every night and we were on the British ship passengers illegal ... We had to arrive the following morning, but as we approached the objective, clearly we heard an explosion - fascists bombed the harbor. The captain turned the ship north and then we circled around all day and even the night we arrived in Barcelona - completely exhausted and hungry. We were (M ujeres L ibres ) tremendously excited and ready to argue for participation Mujeres Libres on the floor of Congress. But they did not want us at the meeting even started. " Coincidentally, also Emma Goldman tried to get inside. While she gained free access, Mujeres Libres Congress were invited only to discussions that are directly affected. Moreover, they could not vote because delegates argued that it was not included in the pre-congress agenda and therefore did not consult members here present opinions with other groups Mujeres Libres and should vote for them. Delegates who opposed the autonomy of Mujeres Libres, mainly cite the following reasons:

1st) Anarchism does not discriminate between the sexes, and therefore, an organization that focuses only on women can be truly libertarian.

2.) The Mujeres Libres should function as an autonomous organization, but should work within departments and cultural centers.

This, however, Mujeres Libres sought to refute the following arguments: "You can not be against our self-determination for the sole reason that anarchism does not allow the differences between the sexes. We reach the conclusion that our current libertarian organizations are largely worthy of that designation, because in them (whether intentionally or out of necessity) Radical í I activist almost exclusively by men ... Regarding the work in the trade unions, we are naturally active, well as outside. But their operation is needed wider and more multilateral approach than what is capable of any of the existing organizations. Women are particularly active in the union that does not prevent them from applying their own opinions and creative vitality. We are not (M ujeres L ibres ) separatist organization, and we do not want to create a separate women's unions, since women can connect with men in already existing trade unions. "

These theoretical disputes were virtually never resolved.

When the Mujeres Libres first called to a libertarian meeting as a full member of the libertarian families, it was also the last. Conchita Guillen describes his experience as follows: "On the day of the evacuation of Barcelona (24 January 1939), when the fascists were already almost at the gates, we were invited to a meeting Libertarian Movement, where she eventually met representatives of the CNT, FAI, FIJL and Mujeres Libres. Jacinta Escudero and I were delegates of local federations Mujeres Libres. It was a very important meeting at a crucial moment: we could either fight back or quit (Barcelona) ... P rohlásily we were behind the action part of the movement. "

After the final victory of the fascists in the Civil War (1939) hit the harsh repression of course, also a member of Mujeres Libres. Many of them ended up on the scaffold, in prisons, often had to hide in inhumane conditions, or were forced to emigrate. Even in 1945 it worked only in Madrid 8 prisons specifically designed for women sentenced for political activities. Despite the continued persecution of Mujeres Libres in their activities underground and work, although unfortunately in much smaller numbers, still (at the time of the revolution had 30 000 members).

Mujeres Libres revived many aspects of anarchist theory. Above all, understand the importance and necessity of direct action. Did not make the false and artificial distinctions between propaganda and organizing is, between thoughts and actions. His ideas are often formulated only on the basis of practical experience. Constantly emphasized that free groups are only as strong as they individuality that will form. Although many of them were at the outbreak of the revolution only 14 or 15 years, so quickly were able to cooperate in creating a new society. Additionally they understand that a successful revolution is not a matter for one night, but it is a continuous process, which because of its dynamics can never fully capture in academic debates, but in real life. Undeniable is their contribution to the emancipation of the oppressed Španelek patriarchy and for anarchism itself, which brought a constructively-critical look at the current status of women within the libertarian movement.

" To fight against fascism is just so little. Really need is a rational organization of society on the principles of equality and social justice. Failing this goal, fascism is just a word without meaning. "

" Only when women are not oppressed neither men nor capitalism, the social revolution is complete!"

https://www.afed.cz/text/6622/mujeres-libres-svobodne-zeny
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