What was Women’s Voice?

The IS/SWP women’s publication Women’s Voice existed for 10 years (1972-1982) during which period exactly 100 issues were published.

For some of the period (1977-1981) Women’s Voice was an organisation as well as a publication.

For the whole of the period Women’s Voice was a contentious and a contested political enterprise.

  • What was its role?
  • What was its organisational relationship to the IS/SWP?
  • Was it a “bridge into” or a “bridge out of” the revolutionary party?
  • How should revolutionaries organise during an economic and political downturn?
  • Is there an antagonism between Marxism and feminism?

Some potted histories of Women’s Voice have been written in the past and these and other questions explored (e.g. German, 1989; Cliff and German, 2000; Birchall, 2011; Renton, 2013).

This site seeks to do something new and different.

Women’s Voice was closed by the SWP Annual Conference 35 years ago. A whole generation will have missed out on this important publication and the political issues and debates it raised. Issues that are still very much with us today.

To stimulate these debates anew we have reproduced in full all 100 issues of Women’s Voice. We are asking comrades, young and old, to input their past experiences, ideas, views and political lessons for today on what they read here.

In due course, we aim to supplement our material with other Women’s Voice related items. We would also welcome new, longer contributions for publication.

Literature Cited

Birchall, Ian. 2011. Tony Cliff. A Marxist for His Time. Bookmarks Publications, London, 664 pp.

Cliff, Tony. 2000. A World to Win: Life of a Revolutionary. Bookmarks Publications Ltd., London, 247 pp. [NB: The section of the book dealing with Women’s Voice is written by Lindsey German].

German, Lindsey. 1989. Sex, Class and Socialism. Bookmarks Publications Ltd., London, 256pp.

Renton, David. 2013. Women’s Voice: In Retrospect. Available on Lives Running website at:

https://livesrunning.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/womens-voice-a-retrospective/

[NB: The publication cited here is one of several relevant articles from the Lives Running site].

 

This very brief history of Womens Voice was published on the back of issue 37 for January 1980:

 

wv-history