Women and Marxism - Lenin
First Published: June 1917 in the pamphlet Materials Relating to the Revision of the Party Programme, Priboi Publishers, Petrograd.
Source: The Emancipation of Women: From the Writings of V.I. Lenin.
Publisher: International Publishers.
Transcribed and HTML Markup: Sally Ryan.
Note: The present publication contains an extract from the draft R.S.D.L.P. programme drawn up in April-May 1917. For convenience of reading Lenin put together the old and the new text of the programme; those parts of the old programme that remained unchanged in the new programme are given in ordinary type and those which are to be completely deleted are given in italics. Those parts of the new programme that were in the old programme are given in bold type.
The constitution of the Russian democratic republic must ensure:
1) The sovereignty of the people; supreme power in the state must be vested entirely in the people's representatives, who shall be elected by the people and be subject to recall at any time, and who shall constitute a single popular assembly, a single chamber.
1) The sovereignty of the people, i.e., the concentration of supreme state power in the hands of a legislative assembly, consisting of the representatives of the people and constituting a single chamber.
2) Universal, equal, and direct suffrage for all citizens, men and women, who have reached the age of twenty, in the elections to the legislative assembly and to the various bodies of local self-government; secret ballot; the right of every voter to be elected to any representative institution; biennial parliaments; salaries to be paid to the people's representatives; proportional representation at all elections; all delegates and elected officials, without exception, to be subject to recall at any time upon the decision of a majority of their electors.
3) Local self-government on a broad scale; regional self-government in localities where the composition of the population and living and social conditions are of a specific nature; the abolition of all state-appointed local and regional authorities.
4) Inviolability of person and domicile.
5) Unrestricted freedom of conscience, speech, the press, assembly, strikes, and association.
6) Freedom of movement and occupation.
7) Abolition of the social-estates; equal rights for all citizens irrespective of sex, creed, race, or nationality.
8) The right of the population to receive instruction in their native tongue in schools to be established for the purpose at the expense of the state and local organs of self-government; the right of every citizen to use his native language at meetings; the native language to be used on a level with the official language in all local public and state institutions; obligatory official language to be abolished.
9) The right of self-determination for all member nations of the state.
9) The right of all member nations of the state to freely secede and form independent states. The republic of the Russian nation must attract other nations or nationalities not by force, but exclusively by voluntary agreement to form a common state. The unity and fraternal alliance of the workers of all countries is incompatible with the use of force, direct or indirect, against other nationalities.
10) The right of all persons to sue any official in the regular way before a jury.
11) Election of judges by the people.
11) Judges and other officials, both civil and military, to be elected by the people with the right to recall any of them at any time by decision of a majority of their electors.
12) Replacement of the standing army by the universally armed people.
12) The police and standing army to be replaced by the universally armed people; workers and other employees to receive regular wages from the capitalists for the time devoted to public service in the people's militia.
13) Separation of the church from the state, and schools from the church; schools to be absolutely secular.
14) Free and compulsory general and vocational education for all children of both sexes up to the age of sixteen; poor children to be provided with food, clothing, and school supplies at the expense of the state.
14) Free and compulsory general and polytechnical education (familiarising the student with the theoretical and practical aspects of the most important fields of production) for all children of both sexes up to the age of sixteen; training of children to be closely integrated with socially productive work.
15) All students to be provided with food, clothing, and school supplies at the cost of the state.
16) Public education to be administered by democratically elected organs of local self-government; the central government not to be allowed to interfere with the arrangement of the school curriculum, or with the selection of the teaching staffs; teachers to be elected directly by the population with the right of the latter to remove undesirable teachers.
As a basic condition for the democratisation of our country's national economy, the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party demands the abolition of all indirect taxes and the establishment of a progressive tax on incomes and inheritances.
The high level of development of capitalism already achieved in banking and in the trustified branches of industry, on the one hand, and the economic disruption caused by the imperialist war, everywhere evoking a demand for slate and public control of the production and distribution of all staple products, on the other, induce the Party to demand the nationalisation of the banks, syndicates (trusts), etc.
To safeguard the working class from physical and moral deterioration, and develop its ability to carry on the struggle for emancipation, the Party demands:
1) An eight-hour working day for all wage-workers.
1) An eight-hour working day for all wage-workers, including a break of not less than one hour for meals where work is continuous. In dangerous and unhealthy industries the working day to be reduced to from four to six hours.
2) A statutory weekly uninterrupted rest period of not less than forty-two hours for all wage-workers of both sexes in all branches of the national economy.
3) Complete prohibition of overtime work.
3) Prohibition of night-work (from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.) in all branches of the national economy except in cases where it is absolutely necessary for technical reasons endorsed by the labour organisations.
4) Prohibition of night-work (from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.) in all branches of the national economy except in cases where it is absolutely necessary for technical reasons endorsed by the labour organisations--provided, however, that nightwork does not exceed four hours.
5) Prohibition of the employment of children of school-age (under sixteen) and restriction of the working day of adolescents (from sixteen to Eighteen) to six hours.
5) Prohibition of the employment of children of school-age (under sixteen), restriction of the working day of adolescents (from sixteen to twenty) to four hours, and prohibition of the employment of adolescents on nightwork in unhealthy industries and mines.
6) Prohibition of female labour in all branches of industry injurious to women's health; women to be released from work for four weeks before and six weeks after child-birth, without loss of pay.
6) Prohibition of female labour in all branches of industry injurious to women's health; prohibition of night work for women; women to be released from work eight weeks before and eight weeks after child-birth, without loss of pay and with free medical and medicinal aid.
7) Establishment of nurseries for infants and young children at all factories and other enterprises where women are employed; nursing mothers to be allowed recesses of at least half-hour duration at intervals of not more than three hours.
7) Establishment of nurseries for infants and young children and rooms for nursing mothers at all factories and other enterprises where women are employed; nursing mothers to be allowed recesses of at least half-hour duration at intervals of not more than three hours; such mothers to receive nursing benefit and their working day to be reduced to six hours.
8) State insurance for workers covering old age and total or partial disablement out of a special fund formed by a special tax on the capitalists.
8) Full social insurance of workers:
a) for all forms of wage-labour;
b) for all forms of disablement, namely, sickness, injury, infirmity, old age, occupational disease, child-birth, widowhood, orphanhood, and also unemployment, etc.;
c) all insurance institutions to be administered entirely by the insured themselves;
d) the cost of insurance to be borne by the capitalists;
e) free medical and medicinal aid under the control of self-governing sick benefit societies, the management bodies of which are to be elected by the workers.
9) Payment of wages in kind to be prohibited; regular weekly pay-days to be fixed in all labour contracts without exception and wages to Be paid in cash and during working hours.
10) Prohibition of deductions by employers from wages on any prelert or for any purpose whatsoever (fines, spoilage, etc.).
11) Appointment of an adequate number of factory inspectors in all branches of the national economy; factory inspection to be extended to all enterprises employing hired labour, including government enterprises (domestic service also to be liable to inspection); women inspectors to be appointed in industries where female labour is employed; representatives elected by the workers and paid by the state to supervise the enforcement of the factory laws, the firing of rates and the passing or rejection of raw materials and finished products.
9) The establishment of a labour inspectorate elected by the workers' organisations and covering all enterprises employing hired labour, as well as domestic servants; women inspectors to be appointed in enterprises where female labour is employed.