A Day Without a Woman
Women around the world felt energized after making their voices heard during the Women’s March on Jan. 21, 2017, and that movement is continuing to gain steam. To harness the energy and voices of women everywhere, organizers are holding another demonstration on Wednesday, March 8th. This date is particularly symbolic as March 8th is already International Women’s Day.
International Women’s Day began with a march in New York City in 1902, as women there sought to bring attention to the contributions of women—despite the fact that they couldn’t yet vote. From there, the date became a holiday that, slowly but surely, was recognized around the world as a time to thank women for their work and raise awareness about inequalities that still exist.
A Day Without a Woman is a different sort of demonstration. Rather than a march, organizers envision the March 8th event as more of a general strike. In broad terms, this means that women across the world are encouraged to stop working and gather to protest or picket to draw attention to feminist issues. If large enough numbers of women participate, all sorts of industries would be forced stop for the day, as they won’t have enough employees to continue operations.
Organizers of the Women’s March are encouraging women to consider what businesses they patronize as well. If those businesses aren’t committed to gender equality and sustainable environmental practices, organizers suggest shopping elsewhere to make a point.
Plans for further action are still in progress, but organizers are cheered by the success of previous strikes, such as the women’s strike in Iceland that protested the wage gap in October 2016. During this event, women left their jobs 14 percent early for the day to gather in the streets and protest the 14 percent difference between Icelandic men and women’s paychecks.
Women can participate in A Day Without a Woman in three ways:
- Take the day off work on March 8th, whether you are currently paid or unpaid.
- Refuse to shop for the day or at the very least, at businesses that don’t support women’s issues. Better to shop at women- and minority-owned shops.
- If none of the above are possible (if you can’t skip work for fear of retaliation or firing), you can wear red to show you are standing in solidarity.
Women are also encouraged to get involved in localized action steps to make their opinions about current policy known to government officials—suggested steps to take are available at the Women’s March website.