Declaration of Principles and the Program of the Red Women's Committees – FRG

Proletarians of all countries, unite!

Declaration of Principles:

The Red Women’s Committees – FRG are the nationwide association of the various activist organizations "Red Women’s Committees" of class-conscious revolutionary women. We place ourselves under the umbrella organization of the Red League and accept its political, ideological and organizational points of view, presented in the founding declaration.

As an organization that has set itself the task of mobilizing, politicizing and organizing the women of the working class and the people, we supplement the following political positions:

1. We, as proletarian revolutionaries, understand patriarchy as a product of the emergence of private property and which, together with it, forms a material basis for the double oppression and exploitation of the working woman. From this follows for us that the struggle against patriarchy can only be waged together with the struggle against private property. This struggle must be waged by the proletariat, because only in a classless society the emancipation of women will be completed.

2. Within the women's movement, we represent the current of proletarian feminism, because we stand on the position of the proletariat. We reject bourgeois and petty-bourgeois feminism, which fights to ensure that women experience fewer disadvantages within imperialism and can also become exploiters. We oppose the ideological campaign of the bourgeoisie in the form of postmodernism, which denies the material basis of the gender-specific oppression and exploitation of women, presents the struggle for the emancipation of women as something classless, and thus reduces the struggle to a struggle between the sexes. Our struggle serves the proletarian revolution up to communism, which is not only about a purely formal equality of the sexes, but about the real liberation of women, that's why our slogan is "Proletarian feminism for communism!“.

3. We resolutely oppose the bourgeois pseudo-theory of the "inferior female nature". For us, being a woman is not a burden or an excuse for shortcomings. We are resolutely combating all patriarchal prejudices against ourselves and are aware that we are not an accessory but fighters of our class.

4. We oppose any attack on our class sisters from the oppressed countries. We condemn the imperialist chauvinist attacks on them carried out by the bourgeois state. To a large extent, our foreign class sisters belong to the most exploited part of the proletariat. We do not allow ourselves to be played off against each other and split. The women from the oppressed countries are triple-oppressed, by imperialism, semi-feudalism and patriarchy, and it is necessary to unleash their anger in order to break the chains. We particularly condemn the imperialist-chauvinist attacks on Muslim women regarding their religious practice. We affirm that the proletariat has no fatherland.

5. We see that proletarian women are double-oppressed by imperialism and patriarchy and therefore have a double reason to rebel. The success of the revolution depends on the degree to which women participate. For the revolution that is materializing in Germany in a socialist revolution, we mobilize, politicize and organize the women of the working class and the people under the slogans "Unleash the wrath of women as a powerful weapon for the revolution!" and "It is right to rebel!“.

We call on all proletarian revolutionary-minded women to unite in the Red Women's Committees in order to jointly develop the struggle against imperialism and patriarchy and to struggle for a world without oppression and exploitation.


Program for daily demands of the Red Women's Committees – FRG

We raise the following daily demands, which we advance in the daily struggle in the service of the struggle for the socialist revolution. We politicize, mobilize and organize the proletarian women and those of the people in the service of the Proletarian World Revolution.

1. The greater exploitation of women

To this day, the economic exploitation of the proletarian woman in Germany is still greater than that of the male proletarian. A disproportionately high proportion of women today make up the poor populationi and even today, women earn on average around 18% less than men in the FRG.ii But it is not only a lower wage for the same work that leads to this difference. To date, women disproportionately often have low-paid professions and in those in which the lowest strata of the proletariat work.iii 4.1 million women work in mini-jobs because they lack an alternative.iv Reasons for this are a prevailing "traditional" family image, in which the mother is at most an additional earner, as well as tax and social security benefits that promote this "distribution of roles". Furthermore, there is still a lack of comprehensive all-day care for children in the Federal Republic of Germany, so that many women have to take on this reproductive work.v vi Thus, many women are only able to do part-time jobs in the lowest strata of the proletariat, which, although they form the main source of income for 2/3 of themvii, leads to the fact that 1/3 cannot make a living from their work.viii

Single-parent women are particularly affected by poverty, although they are relatively more likely to work full-time or close to full-time than women within a family and are still at risk of poverty at 22.3%. As a result, many of the women are dependent on state social support despite working. To make matters worse, only half of them receive the alimony payments due to them and state alimony advances only cover the minimum material needs of children.ix

These points further lead to the fact that today almost 20% of women of retirement age are poor and many of them even have to receive a basic pension.

As a result, many proletarian women still cannot live on their wages, rely on state support or a partner to make ends meet. At the same time, proletarian women also perform the socially necessary reproductive work, which, due to the lack of alternatives, further intensifies their exploitation and ensures that in many cases they cannot participate in political life.

We demand:

Equal pay for equal work!

For comprehensive all-day childcare so that women can work!

Single parents, part–time, starvation wages – women are fighting for the revolution!

2. The reactionary legislation

Article 3 of the German Basic Law states: “Men and women have equal rights. The state promotes the effective enforcement of equal rights for women and men and works to eliminate existing disadvantages.” but yet there are a huge number of paragraphs in the law books of the bourgeois state that continue to oppress women. This is especially evident within the Family Law. The family and marriage form institutions in the FRG and are thus subject to special state support and protection.x Even though there are no legal regulations for the distribution of roles today and both partners are formally equal, marriage provides special economic incentives to keep the woman economically dependent on the man and thus to suppress her.xi A special role here is played by the so-called spousal-splitting. In this case, the salaries of both spouses are combined and distributed equally to both. This reduces the tax burden of the couple. However, spousal-splitting is especially worthy if one person earns significantly less than the other.xii Studies show that women in the Federal Republic of Germany reduce their number of hours at work more than average and work in places with a lower wage after the birth of a child.xiii Furthermore, in the Federal Republic of Germany, family members with no or a small income can be co-insured free of charge with the main earner, which allows large savings.xiv This results in an economic dependence of the woman on the man, since she has no income of her own and, due to a small pension, is usually economically dependent on the man until the end of her life.

Marriage is seen as indissoluble in German law, but not without exception.xv But a divorce costs a lot of money. In the mandatory separation year, both partners must live separately from each other, with the exception of exceptions such as domestic violence, in which divorce is possible more quickly. This means an additional economic burden due to another apartment as well as the purchase of new goods, since a separation of goods has not yet taken place. In addition, there are legal fees.xvi xvii Although the children receive alimony after a divorce, the woman who takes care of the children in 85% of cases only receives alimony until the child reaches the age of three and is then economically responsible for herself.xviii It is precisely where childcare is lacking that it becomes difficult for her to stand on her own two feet financially, and she falls from economic dependence on men into that of the bourgeois state. Children who are the future of our society should be sufficiently supported by the state so that they do not lack anything.

Bourgeois marriage is an economic unity initiated by the bourgeois state, like a contract, in which the woman, especially the proletarian one, is economically oppressed to this day and is pushed into the work of reproduction. Thus, she is decoupled from social life, which is the starting point for her mobilization, politicization and organization. We are fighting for every citizen to stand before the state as an independent person and for marriage to be abolished as an economic entity.

Against all the laws that keep the woman in chains!

Against the spousal-splitting!

For the right to free and easy divorce!

3. Lack of childcare

Despite the fact that since 2013 every child from the age of 1 has been entitled to a daycare place, there are 384,000 daycare places missing nationwide. In order to compensate for this shortage, new daycare centers would have to be built and 98,600 specialists would have to be hired to cover the minimum requirements. In order to ensure a good quality of early education of our children and to fulfill the proper personnel key, even more than three times as many specialists are missing.xix The few day-care places that still exist are threatened by reduced opening hours to entire closures caused by a lack of staff.xx Although daycare places can be allocated through complaints,xxi however, these can be located at the other end of the city and thus take up more time and money. The fact that the purpose behind childcare is that both parents can work, especially the wife, is taken to absurdity here. Last but not least, childcare still means an economic burden today, especially for proletarian families, who sometimes have to spend up to 10% of their income on childcare.xxii

A first step towards expanding daycare places would be to pay the mostly female educators better, because to this day this job, like so many "typically female" professions, is too poorly paid for the hard working conditions.

The need for full-day care in primary schools is also not covered: out of the 2.2 million children who have a need for full-day care, there are just 1.7 million places.xxiii The legal entitlement to full-time care, which will take effect from 2029, will therefore hardly be adhered to, because the specialists are also lacking here.xxiv

Due to the lack of childcare, the proletarian woman is further imprisoned in the sphere of private reproductive work, does not participate in social life and remains economically dependent on the man.

For the enforcement of the right to childcare!

For free and good childcare!

More pay for the entire staff in childcare – from canteen staff to educators!

4. Lack of medical care

Women differ anatomically (e.g. smaller body volume), physiologically and hormonal from men, who are still considered the "standard body" in medicine today. This leads to misdiagnoses and incorrect treatment for many women. Until a few years ago, for example, the "atypical" symptoms of a female heart attack were still unknown. Also, drugs are tested almost exclusively on men to this day, although these often have a different effect on women due to the obvious physical differences mentioned. In addition to drugs that have the wrong effect, women are also prescribed psychotropic drugs up to almost three times more often than men, instead of being really helped. To this day, women still occupy too little space in medical research, so that many female diseases and phenomena, such as menopause, have not been researched at all or poorly.xxv xxvi

The situation of women around pregnancy and childbirth is also bad and is steadily deteriorating, as can be seen from the decline in maternity wards in hospitals: over the past 15 years, about ¼ of them have closed, mainly due to the lack of specialists and midwives.xxvii Abortion remains a further problem in the FRG, which is still a criminal offense today (§218 StGB), even if it is under certain circumstances not punished (§218 a StGB). To date, different deadlines and obligations apply, depending on the circumstances under which the pregnancy arose or whether there is a medical emergency. Even if 8% of women have an abortion at least once in their lifexxviii, this treatment is not taught at all universities, and if it is, then only a few outdated methods. Every medical student is free to refuse to learn about abortions.xxix

Everyday (professional) life also carries many health risks for women, which are based on the fact that the male body is considered the norm. Regardless of whether it is working environment temperatures that have a different effect on women because of a slower metabolism or safety equipment that is designed for a male physique. Even the everyday object car is tested only with the help of almost exclusively male dummies, which leads to the fact that women have a 17% higher probability of dying in car accidents than

Despite formal equality, we see that women do not play a role in the areas of the economy (medicine is also a huge economy) when it comes to making profits.

We demand:

For effective medicines for women!

Against the closure of maternity wards!

Abolish §218!

For gender-specific research in science and business!

5. The special oppression of women from the third world

In 2022, almost 6,379,000 foreigners lived in Germany, especially from Eastern European EU countries, EU candidate countries and Asian countries, i.e. mainly from oppressed countries. In addition, there are numerous women with a so-called "migrant background".xxxi xxxii In 2016, more than half of them had no vocational training and worked mainly in the service sector. This is reflected in the mostly low wage of an average of 1,276 euros, almost 300 euros less than for German women. This low salary is mainly due to working in professions belonging to the lowest strata of the proletariat, or that women work for free in the company of a relativexxxiii, which is widespread due to the semi-feudal background of many migrant families. This applies not only to the first generation of foreign women in the FRG, but also to the following generations.

Foreign women also face higher hurdles in matters of domestic violence than German women: in 2021, around 2/3 of all women in the women's shelters were foreigners. They often have few economic resources and helpful social networks, which makes the escape to a women's shelter the only way to escape the patriarchal violence at home. Getting out of the women's shelter and building a new life for yourself and your children without violence also encounters obstacles, mainly due to imperialist chauvinism, e.g. on the housing market.xxxiv

Last but not least, foreign women are repeatedly confronted with imperialist chauvinism in everyday life, as can be seen, for example, in recurring debates about a ban on headscarves, in which migrant women are deprived of their religious freedom and self-determination in the name of a rule of neutrality of the bourgeois state, e.g. with judges, often in connection with bourgeois feminism, and they are actively prevented from taking up certain professions.

Down with imperialist chauvinism!

Against the division of proletarian women and women of the people into foreigners and domestics!

Against the demonization of the headscarf! For the right to the free exercise of religion!

Don't let them divide you! Combat and resist!

6. Violence against women

Every day an (ex-)partner tries to kill his (ex-)wife, and every third day he succeeds. 70% of the victims of domestic violence and 80% of the victims of partner violence are women, the number of crimes of partner violence has increased significantly since 2018.xxxv It does not matter objectively whether the victim or perpetrator is German or foreign.xxxvi However, it can be observed in the bourgeois media that it is precisely the murders of foreign and migrant women that are being used to further advance imperialist chauvinism. If a German woman is murdered, we read of a "relationship-case", often because the perpetrator could not cope with a separation. On the other hand, there is talks of "honor-killings" among foreign and migrant women. Thus, an attempt is made to present one murder as an act of a desperate abandoned man, the other as a bloodthirsty act of irrational foreign men driven by a supposed "family honor". But both acts, as well as the other domestic and partnership violence, are based in the absolute majority on patriarchal ideas that are present in every class society. The violence against women takes place because they are women and are considered inferior and possessive and therefore it is patriarchal violence. But instead of the origin, the German "people's drug" alcohol plays a much more important role in patriarchal violence: in 50% of cases, alcohol played a role in the crime and alcohol-dependent perpetrators exercise violence against their partners significantly more often.xxxvii xxxviii In doing so, we must not disregard the role of the German bourgeois state, which allows alcohol to be often cheaper than a non-alcoholic beverage outside supermarkets. Even though this is prohibited in restaurants, this law is often not enforced.xxxix xl Therefore, cheap alcohol is accessible at any time and promotes alcoholism.

Abused women, who have no economic resources or support from the environment, often only have to seek protection at women's shelters. But these are mercilessly overcrowded, because there are too few of them. This also partly explains that for 19% of homeless women, domestic violence is the reason for their situation.xli xlii In addition to leaving the women in the women's shelters to themselves, the bourgeois state has some laws in place to prohibit domestic rape (since 1997) or the famous "no-means-no-paragraphs" to protect women. But the conviction rates are vanishingly low and many women do not even dare to take the step to a charge.xliii xliv Patriarchal violence will always exist within the imperialist system and will only be history when imperialism is history. That is why we are also taking to the streets on November 25, the Day against Violence against Women, and calling for:

Wave after wave – Blow after blow – Against imperialism and patriarchy!

Against the imperialist chauvinist instrumentalization of patriarchal violence and the murder of women!

7. The problem of prostitution

There are between 250,000 and 400,000 prostitutes in the FRG, almost exclusively women. Despite the so-called 'Prostitute Protection Act', the reporting obligation is being undermined. Only almost 24,000 of them are registered, even only under 100 are socially insured, the rest exist in the dark field.xlv 90% of them are foreigners, often from the eastern part of Europe or from other continents, who come from poor backgrounds and are barely educated.xlvi The majority of women prostitute themselves due to violent coercion, but the poverty of women always plays a role when they come to Germany or, sometimes under false promises, are brought to Germany to prostitute themselves here. It is assumed that only two to five percent of prostitutes engage in this activity without coercion and violence. Due to the liberalization of prostitution, it was possible that the Federal Republic of Germany could become the European center of human trafficking, prostitution by force and coercion and the largest prostitution market.xlvii

The class background of the women becomes clear here: they are proletarian women and women of the people from the oppressed countries (some of whom have already had to prostitute themselves in their countries of origin), who are brought to Germany by organized crime. Once here, they are exploited in a particularly patriarchal way and most of them live in slave-like conditions.

This has far-reaching consequences for women: 2/3 of all prostitutes suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome and a high percentage of chronic diseases of the genital organs, infections and injuries of internal organs.xlviii

We realize that prostitution is not a "normal" job. It is true that just as the working class can only liberate itself, the prostitutes can only liberate themselves as part of and in the service of the proletarian world revolution. This requires an organization of the prostitutes themselves in order to stand united against their organized criminal exploiters. We are convinced that this organization cannot take place in the "normal trade union" sense, but only under the leadership of the communists and necessarily protected by revolutionary violence. Only under socialism will it be possible to take the first real steps towards the abolition of prostitution, so that it will no longer exist in communism, a world without any exploitation and oppression. This does not mean that we are for prostitution – on the contrary, we are its most determined opponents. But instead of creating illusions of a possible abolition of prostitution under imperialism, we should learn from the concrete experiences of our class and uphold the achievements of women in the socialist countries.xlix

But in order to come one step closer to this goal today, we, as proletarian internationalists, support the revolutionary movement in the countries of origin of women – the oppressed countries, where the vast majority of prostitutes come from – so that they can free themselves from the yoke of imperialism and women can no longer enter prostitution due to poverty.

Down with prostitution!

Red Women's Committees – FRG

May 2024

i Der Paritätische Gesamtverband, „Paritätischer Armutsbericht 2022“, 2023

ii DW, „Frauen verdienen 18 Prozent weniger.“, 2023

iii Ärztezeitung, „Gender Pay Gap. Jede vierte Frau arbeitet im Niedriglohnsektor.“, 2021

iv ibid

v Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (BPB), „Gleichstellung auf dem Arbeitsmarkt. Ein europäischer Vergleich.“, 2011

vi Nationale Armutskonferenz, „Armut und Geschlecht.“, 2017

vii Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (BPB), „Gleichstellung auf dem Arbeitsmarkt. Ein europäischer Vergleich.“, 2011

viii DW, „Frauen verdienen 18 Prozent weniger.“, 2023

ix Bertelsmannstiftung, „Factsheet. Alleinerziehende in Deutschland.“

x BPB, „Familie, Familienrecht und Reformen“, 2015

xi ibid

xii Stiftung Warentest, „Heiraten. Was für eine Ehe spricht – und was Unverheiratete wissen sollten.“, 2021

xiii Bertelsmannstiftung, „Ehegattenbesteuerung in Deutschland“, 2021

xiv Stiftung Warentest, „Heiraten. Was für eine Ehe spricht – und was Unverheiratete wissen sollten.“, 2021

xv BPB, „Familie, Familienrecht und Reformen“, 2015

xvi, „Scheidungsrecht. Die wichtigsten Regelungen.“

xvii, „Scheidung und Scheidungsrecht in Deutschland.“

xviii ZDF, „Im Scheidungsfall. Was beim Ehe-Aus zu beachten ist.“, 2023

xix Bertelsmannstiftung, „Ländermonitoring. 2023 fehlen in Deutschland rund 384.000 Kita-Plätze.“, 2022

xx Deutschlandfunk, „Warum in Deutschland 300.000 Kitaplätze fehlen.“, 2018

xxi Spiegel, „Wir müssen draußen bleiben.“, 2018

xxii Deutschlandfunk, „Warum in Deutschland 300.000 Kitaplätze fehlen.“, 2018

xxiii Deutschlandfunk, „Ganztagsbetreuung an Grundschulen: Mehr als 500.000 Plätze fehlen“, 2023

xxiv ZDF, „Studie: Große Lücke bei Ganztagsbetreuung“, 2022

xxv BR24, „Sind Frauen bei der medizinischen Versorgung im Nachteil“, 2020

xxvi The Guardian, „The deadly Truth about a world built for men.“, 2019

xxvii MDR, „Lange Fahrt zur Klinik? Warum immer mehr Geburtsstationen schließen.“, 2022

xxviii ZDF, „Abtreibungen. So ist die Lage in Deutschland.“

xxix Spektrum, „Tabuthema Abtreibungen.“, 2022

xxx The Guardian, „The deadly Truth about a world built for men.“, 2019

xxxi The data we rely on are from the Mikrozensus 2016: A person has a migration background if he himself or or at least one parent does not have the German citizenship since birth. This counts for migrated and non-migrated foreigners, Naturalized, (Spät)-Aussiedler, as well as for progenyof this group, who have German citizenship due to birth.

xxxii Bundesregierung, „Migrationsbericht 2021“, 2022

xxxiii BPB, „Zahlenwerk: Frauen mit Migrationshintergrund in Deutschland“, 2018

xxxiv Frauenhaus-Koordination, „Frauenhaus-Statistik 2021“, 2022

xxxv Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), „Häusliche Gewalt. Bundeslagebild 2022.“, 2023

xxxvi Kriminalistisches Institut, „Sicherheit und Kriminalität in Deutschland – SkiD 2020“, 2023

xxxvii Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband Baden-Württemberg, „Häusliche Gewalt. Bei jedem zweiten Vorfall ist Alkohol im Spiel.“, 2022

xxxviii Ärzteblatt, „Alkoholbezogene Aggressionen.“, 2013

xxxix Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung, „Das billigste Getränk muss „ohne“ sein …“, 2022

xl Tagesspiegel, „Wirte verkaufen Wasser teurer als Bier Drogenbeauftragte: Verstoß gegen Gaststättengesetz Kneipen sollen schärfer kontrolliert werden“, 2002

xli Frauenhaus-Koordination, „Frauenhaus-Statistik 2021“, 2022

xlii Nationale Armutskonferenz, „Armutsrisiko Geschlecht.“, 2017

xliii Deutschlandfunk, „Das neue Sexualstrafrecht. Nein heißt nein.“, 2017

xliv BPB, „Familie, Familienrecht und Reformen“, 2015

xlv Universität Frankfurt, „Wir haben verstörende Beweise für die akute Gefahr für Leib und Leben der Betroffenen gefunden.“, 2023

xlvi Maak, „Prostitution als Menschenrechtsproblem.“, 2014

xlvii Universität Frankfurt, „Wir haben verstörende Beweise für die akute Gefahr für Leib und Leben der Betroffenen gefunden.“, 2023; Maak, „Prostitution als Menschenrechtsproblem.“, 2014

xlviii ibid

xlixMainly of the Soviet Union (1917-1956) and the People’s Republic of China (1949-1976)