On Wednesday, which is International Women’s Day, the organizers behind the historically successful Women’s March will attempt to harness that energy towards a general strike, dubbed “A Day Without a Woman.” The goal, according to organizers, is to recognize “the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system—while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity.”
Despite our 45th president’s nearly all-white-male Cabinet, determination to cripple Planned Parenthood, eager willingness to separate and destroy families, reported disinclination to fund Violence Against Women Act grants, and his own acknowledged history with sexual assault, this is not explicitly an anti-Trump strike—although it will undoubtedly be interpreted that way by many participants and observers, as it stands in opposition to everything he and Republicans in Congress represent.
Here’s what you should know.
“A Day Without a Woman,” whose organizers include Women’s March co-chairs Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour, is taking place in solidarity with the International Women’s Strike, which has partners in over 50 countries.
“A Day Without a Woman” has been endorsed by several organizations and businesses, including Amnesty International, Alliance for Justice, Sonos, and Moms Demand Action. It’s not clear yet whether any of the members of Congress who showed up to the Women’s March will be involved in the strike.
How can I participate?
According to organizers, women can participate in any or all of the following ways: by refraining from paid and unpaid work, by not shopping in stores or online (with the exception of local small businesses and women-owned businesses), and/or by wearing red, which signifies “revolutionary love and sacrifice.”
In their FAQ section, organizers acknowledge that a large number of women, whether due to parental obligations or out of economic necessity, won’t be able to participate in the strike taking place on their behalf. “We strike for them,” they write, and “women and allies with greater privilege are called to leverage that resource for social good on March 8th.” For some uniformed workers, it’s noted, even wearing red is a significant act of defiance; “everyone’s involvement signifies an equal commitment to the day.”
Businesses can participate by closing for the day or giving women workers the day off, and households can give housekeepers and caregivers a paid day off. Men can wear red in solidarity, and “lean into care work and housework.”
(The FAQ also links to this list of ideas for teachers who want to incorporate the ideas surrounding the strike into the day’s lesson plan.)
What should I do while I strike?
If you’re able to take the day off work, there are a number of rallies and events taking place around the country. If you live in New York, in addition to the Day Without a Woman gathering at 12 pm, the International Women’s Strike has a list of events going on throughout the day, followed by a rally at 4 pm.
For a list of events taking place across the country, from St. Petersburg, Florida to Fairbanks, Alaska, click here.
What are your plans for tomorrow? Let us know in the comments, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Women’s Strike.”