This year, March 8 marks not only International Women's Day (opens in new tab), but also "A Day Without a Woman (opens in new tab)," a protest organized by the same brains behind the Women's March on Washington (opens in new tab), and is in coordination (opens in new tab) with women across 30 different countries.
The purpose (opens in new tab) of the strike is to highlight "the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system—all while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity."
We believe gender justice is racial justice is economic justice#DayWithoutAWoman #IStrikeForhttps://t.co/uXcLTzIshM pic.twitter.com/aaktsinxAwMarch 8, 2017
What People Are Saying About It
The Women's Strike earned praise from women as a way to continue the momentum of the Women's March on Washington—but also criticism from people who highlight the fact that striking is an act of privilege (opens in new tab), and one that not every woman can afford.
Organizers say the strike was inspired by the "Bodega strike" in New York City, when Yemeni-owned bodegas shuttered their stores in response to Trump's immigration ban, and by A Day Without Immigrants (opens in new tab). They also applaud the success of the #GrabYourWallet movement, which persuaded Nordstrom to stop selling (opens in new tab) Ivanka Trump clothing and accessories, among other accomplishments.
For many women of color, and for non cisgender women, the Women's March on Washington was problematically exclusive. Chissy Nkemere writes in an essay for Bustle (opens in new tab),
"While I and many other women of color marched while concealing our heavy hearts, emotionally exhausted from constantly justifying black life, those around me marched excitedly, with a certain pep in their steps that I couldn't quite mimic."
A Day Without a Woman, on the other hand, aims to fight for "gender justice" for all women, "regardless of a woman's race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age or disability."
But of course, the strike is not without its flaws and controversies. Many women cannot afford to take the day off, or don't have the privilege of choosing when they work. Other skeptics (opens in new tab) think that the strike lacks a unified vision, and simply takes on way too many issues at once. Moreover, some women take issue with the focus on reproductive rights, specifically abortion. To state the obvious, not all feminists are pro-choice. (Read more about pro-life millennial women here (opens in new tab).)
How to Participate
- Take the day off, from paid or unpaid labor
- Avoid shopping or spending money, except at small, women- and minority-owned businesses
- Wear red in solidarity
Check out the strike's website here (opens in new tab).
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