Nela Martínez (1912–2004), Ecuadorian activist and fighter for the people, was a key figure in the struggles of the working class and women. A communist and internationalist militant, she participated in the formation of the Ecuadorian Federation of Indians and played a central role in the Glorious May Revolution. A member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ecuador, she led the creation of women’s organisations such as the Ecuadorian Women’s Alliance and the Revolutionary Union of Ecuadorian Women. Her political biography intertwines women’s struggles with anti-capitalist, anti-fascist, anti-racist, and anti-imperialist struggles.
This study looks at the life and legacy of Kanak Mukherjee, a fighter for the people and people’s struggles who was born in undivided Bengal, India, in 1921. The rich trajectory of her activism teaches us about the history of women organising in local, national, and international struggles that linked women’s rights to anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist struggles throughout the twentieth century.
The world that we live in today is characterised by great social and political upheavals, with workers facing overwhelming attacks from neoliberal politics. The policies of neoliberalism and neofascism put immense pressure on women, who become the primary and principal targets of precariousness, oppression, and exploitation.