In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day (March 8th), The Marxist-Leninist is posting a number of articles on women’s liberation. The following article is by Dolores Ibárruri (La Pasionaria), a member of the Communist Party of Spain and a Republican leader during the Spanish Civil War. Her autobiography, They Shall Not Pass, is essential reading.
She was a volunteer, a member of the civilian militia, wearing the blue blouse of a workman. She clasped her rifle with ardour, as though it were not a weapon of death but a much-desired plaything. Amidst the groups of merry militia men who were going smilingly to fight and perhaps to die, she marched in silence, serious and self- engrossed. A light burned in her eyes. They expressed hatred, inflexible determination and courage. I approached her and asked:
“Where are you from?”
“Why are you at the front?”
She was silent for a few moments, and then answered:
“To fight fascism, to crush the enemies of the working people and…to avenge the death of my brother.”