Letters: Marx-Engels Correspondence 1885

Marx-Engels |  Lenin  | Stalin |  Home Page

Marx-Engels Correspondence 1885

Engels to Guillaume-Schack


Source: Marx and Engels on the Trade Unions, Edited by Kenneth Lapides;
Transcribed: by Andy Blunden.

c. July 5, 1885

The French are less insistent than the Germans on limiting female labour for the reason that in France, and particularly in Paris, the work women do in factories plays only a comparatively minor role. Equal wages for equal work to either sex are, until abolished in general, demanded, as far as I know, by all Socialists. That the working woman needs special protection against capitalist exploitation because of her special physiological functions seems obvious to me. The English women who championed the formal right of members of their sex to permit themselves to be as thoroughly exploited by the capitalists as the men are mostly, directly or indirectly, interested in the capitalist exploitation of both sexes. I admit I am more interested in the health of the future generations than in the absolute formal equality of the sexes during the last years of the capitalist mode of production. It is my conviction that real equality of women and men can come true only when the exploitation of either by capital has been abolished and private housework has been transformed into a public industry.