Women who clean at home or at work face the same risk as smoking 20 cigarettes a day

New research has again highlighted the dangers posed to health from the use of chemicals used in cleaning. Disturbingly, the research has found that the use of cleaning products has an impact on lung health comparable with smoking a pack of cigarettes every day. This latest evidence adds to the urgent need for a fundamental review of how, as a society, we carry out cleaning, not just in the workplace but also in the home. The research has also again highlighted the dangers faced by women in particular from the use of chemicals used in cleaning.

8 March 2015 International Working Women's Day - Not the Church, Not the State, Women will Decide their Fate!

To commemorate International Working Women's Day for today 8th March 2015, Edinburgh Solidarity Federation members supported the event of local feminist group These Hysterical Women [1] which was a public gathering and exhibition held at Bristo Square to remind everyone that gender equality has not been reached.

The exhibition of "why I am a feminist..." comments were written by those attended and hosting the event. Following the exhibit was a performance by Rhythms of Resistance Samba band and then a brief speech (extract):

Unit 16 Spain: Culture, education, women and sexuality

This Unit aims to

  • Examine attitudes toward women in 1930s Spain.
  • Look at the approaches of the anarcho-syndicalists to women’s emancipation.
  • Review the anarcho-syndicalist approach to culture, education and sexuality.
  • Highlight the importance of the social dimension to the revolutionary struggle in Spain.

Terms and abbreviations

CNT: Confederacion Nacional del Trabajo (National Confederation of Labour) Anarcho-syndicalist union. 
FRE: Federación Regional Española (Spanish Regional Federation). The Spanish region of the First International
FTRE: Federación del Trabajadores Regional Española (Federation of Workers of the Spanish Region)

Statement on the Importance of Survivor-Led Process

This statement is in response to the publication of details pertaining to the actions of a member of the Solidarity Federation which has disrupted an ongoing internal process. This statement should not be seen as a defence of the person or actions in question but an examination of the impact that acting outside process has on survivors and the community as a whole. This statement comes from discussions within the gender working group of the Brighton local of the Solidarity Federation and is supported by the National Women’s Officer and the survivor involved.


Yesterday, anti-choice campaign group Society for the Protection of Unborn Children held “kerbside vigils” across the UK, to commemorate the 44th anniversary of the Abortion Act 1967. Liverpool was, unfortunately, one of the cities to be blessed with a vigil and so Liverpool feminist group Angry Women of Liverpool (AWOL) organised a counter-protest just a week in advance.

Carnival for choice in Worthing - report

Brighton SolFed joined the Worthing 'Carnival for Choice' organised by Brighton Pro-Choice on Sunday 15th April. The carnival was called as a counter-demonstration against the Jubilee Church, backers of the 'Abort67' group who have been harassing and intimidating women at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service clinic in Brighton.

The evangelical Jubilee Church meets in a school building on Sundays as they have been refused permission to operate their building on an industrial estate as a church. The carnival attracted upwards of 75 people, who formed a lively picket of the main entrance, before splitting into two groups to cover the entrance and exit as church members left. Chants of 'whose choice? our choice!', 'abort your support for Abort67' and 'shame on you for harassing women' rang out.

The economy of making women care

The supposed ‘solution’ to the economic crisis is premised on cutting costs. It is therefore important to highlight the role that women’s subordinate position in the economy plays, as this will allow - and is allowing - for many activities to continue on an unpaid basis.

History has already shown how women are used differently at different economic junctures. Whereas the war economy of the 1920s and 1930s put women to work, it sacked them in the 1940s to give their posts to the soldiers coming home from the front. The ‘marriage bar’, that is, the prohibition of married women to enter certain better-qualified professions, which was in place in some industries until the 1960s, kept women in low paid jobs. According to Maria Angeles Durán, 2/3 of the total working hours today are unpaid caring-type of activities - done almost entirely by women.

Resisting, questioning, creating

International Women’s Day (IWD) is marked each year on the 8th of March, to signify the economic, cultural and political achievements of women and more importantly, all that still has to be achieved in the struggle for women's liberation. 2012 is the 101st anniversary of the day.

International Women’s Day first emerged from the women’s labour movement at the turn of the twentieth century, in North America and Europe. In 1908, in the United States of America, a three month strike of almost 30,000 garment workers, composing mainly of migrant women, almost shut down the garment industry and won most of the workers’ demands, including the right to organise, to bargain collectively, and improved wages and working conditions.