Socialist feminism is a current of feminism that seeks to address gender and class inequalities from an intersectional perspective. It combines the principles of feminism and socialism to challenge and transform oppressive power structures in society. Join us to learn the foundations and main ideas of socialist feminism, highlighting its focus on economic justice, gender liberation, and the collective struggle for a more equitable world.

The Roots of Socialist Feminism

socialist feminism

Socialist feminism finds its roots in the feminist and socialist theories of the 19th and 20th centuries. Early socialist thinkers, such as Clara Zetkin and Alexandra Kollontai, recognized that gender oppression was intrinsically linked to class oppression. They argued that to achieve true equality, both economic and gender inequalities needed to be addressed. We take this opportunity to leave you the history of feminism in this link .

Below, we will explore some of the fundamental roots of socialist feminism:

Socialism and Marxism

Socialist feminism draws heavily on the theories and analyzes of socialism and Marxism. Key figures such as Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in works such as "The Communist Manifesto" and "The German Ideology," analyzed social and economic inequalities, but did not explicitly address gender oppression.

However, her analysis of class struggle laid the foundation for socialist feminism to incorporate gender analysis within the context of the struggle for economic liberation.

The first socialist thinkers

Early socialist thinkers, such as Clara Zetkin and Alexandra Kollontai, pioneered the inclusion of a gender perspective in socialist analysis.

Zetkin, in her work "The Woman Question and Feminism," argued that the liberation of women was fundamental to the liberation of the working class as a whole. Kollontai, for her part, developed the theory of "care work" and advocated for the recognition and appreciation of domestic and care work performed primarily by women.

Second wave feminism

During the second wave of feminism, in the 1960s and 1970s, more radical feminist movements emerged that sought a radical transformation of society.

These feminists criticized sexism in all its forms, but also highlighted the importance of addressing economic and social inequalities. Authors such as Silvia Federici and Angela Davis connected feminism with Marxist analysis and the fight against capitalism.

Intersectionality theory

Socialist feminism has also been nourished by the theory of intersectionality , developed by black thinkers such as Kimberlé Crenshaw.

Intersectionality recognizes that oppressions of gender, race, class, sexual orientation and other axes of power are interrelated and influence each other.

Socialist feminism takes this perspective, focusing on the intersection of gender and class oppression to address women's experiences in all their diversity.

Intersectionality and Solidarity

One of the distinctive characteristics of socialist feminism is its focus on intersectionality. It recognizes that gender oppression is intertwined with other forms of oppression, such as race, social class, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Socialist feminism strives to build solidarity between different struggles and to ensure that the voices of the most marginalized women are heard and valued.

Economic Justice

socialist feminism

Economic justice is a fundamental pillar of socialist feminism. This feminist movement recognizes that women, especially those belonging to working classes and marginalized groups, face significant economic inequalities.

Socialist feminism seeks to address these disparities and fight for a more equitable economic system:

  • Gender Pay Gap : Socialist feminism focuses on the gender pay gap, which is the difference in earnings between men and women doing similar jobs. This phenomenon reflects discrimination and the devaluation of the work done by women. Socialist feminism advocates for eliminating this gap, demanding equal pay for equal work and promoting pay transparency across all industries.
  • Access to decent jobs : Fight to ensure that women have access to decent, well-paid jobs. This involves addressing structural barriers that limit employment opportunities for women, such as discrimination in hiring and promotion, as well as entrenched gender stereotypes. Socialist feminism seeks policies that promote equal opportunities in the workplace and that facilitate the professional advancement of women.
  • Care work and redistribution of unpaid work : Recognizes and values ​​unpaid care work, which has historically been carried out mainly by women. This type of work includes housework, childcare, care of the elderly and sick, among others. Socialist feminism advocates for the equitable redistribution of this work, both at the individual and societal levels, to free women from the disproportionate burden and allow their full participation in other areas of life.
  • Labor protection and social security : Wants to guarantee labor protection and social security for women. This involves policies and laws that promote fair working conditions, such as flexible hours, paid parental leave, protection against sexual harassment and gender-based violence in the workplace, and access to strong social security systems that provide financial support in times of need. Look at the difference between gender equality and equity .
  • Redistribution of wealth : Questions the unequal distribution of wealth in society and advocates its equitable redistribution. This involves progressive tax policies that fairly tax the wealthiest and provide resources for programs and services that benefit all people, especially the most vulnerable. Socialist feminism seeks an economic system that guarantees the satisfaction of the basic needs of all people and promotes material equality.

Gender Liberation


Gender liberation is a fundamental aspect of socialist feminism. This feminist movement recognizes that oppressive gender norms and socially assigned roles limit women's opportunities and autonomy.

Socialist feminism seeks to challenge and overcome these norms, promoting a broader conception of gender identity and fighting for equal opportunities and rights for all people, regardless of their gender identity:

  • Criticism of gender norms : Socialist feminism questions the gender norms and expectations imposed by society. Recognize that these norms are socially constructed and can be oppressive and limiting. Socialist feminism seeks to challenge gender stereotypes and promote a diversity of gender expressions, allowing people to live according to their authentic gender identity and expression, without fear of discrimination or violence.
  • Women's autonomy and agency : Promotes women's autonomy in all aspects of their lives. It recognizes that women should have control over their bodies, reproductive decisions and sexual lives. Advocates for access to sexual and reproductive health services, such as contraception, prenatal care, and safe and legal abortion, as well as the right to comprehensive sexuality education.
  • Fight against gender violence : It confronts gender violence in all its forms, including domestic violence, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence and human trafficking. Advocates for effective laws and policies to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, as well as the creation of safe and supportive spaces for victims. Socialist feminism also recognizes that gender violence is rooted in broader power structures and seeks to address its systemic causes. Recognize a sexist here .
  • Political participation and leadership : Defends the active political participation of women and their leadership at all levels of society. It seeks to overcome the barriers that prevent the full participation of women in political, economic and social decision-making. This includes equal access to political positions, union leadership and management positions in the workplace.
  • Solidarity and alliances : Recognizes the importance of solidarity and alliances between different groups and movements. It seeks to build coalitions with other feminist movements, labor movements, anti-racist and social justice movements to address intersections of oppressions and work together toward systemic change.

Collective Fight

socialist feminism

Socialist feminism maintains that the fight for equality and justice cannot be achieved in isolation, but through collective struggle and political action.

Promotes the formation of feminist movements and organizations that work in collaboration with other social movements and unions to achieve significant changes in society.

Solidarity and collective action are essential to challenge and transform power structures and achieve true equality.

Our reflection on the topic is that socialist feminism represents a powerful and transformative approach to addressing gender and class inequalities in society.

By combining the principles of feminism and socialism, it seeks to challenge oppressive power structures and build a more just and equitable society. The fight for economic justice, gender liberation, intersectionality and solidarity are fundamental pillars of socialist feminism.

Through collective action and the fight for systemic change, socialist feminism seeks to create a world where all people can live free from oppression and fully enjoy their rights and opportunities.

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