Many have heard about the “A Day Without a Woman” strike, but aren’t clear on the purpose of the demonstration or how you can participate.
But we’ve got you covered.
To honor International Women’s Day, and to stand in solidarity with women worldwide, here’s a break down what’s going on, how you can help and 10 major points to remember.
1. The BIG ask is that women take the day off.
The reason why the strike is March 8 is to correspond with International Women’s Day. Traditionally the day is filled with events to lift up women globally. This year will be the same, but the women behind the massive Women’s March on Washington are asking for us to go a step further. In taking off work, it shows the necessity of women in workspaces and requires businesses to reflect on how they can improve their treatment of women.
2. But it’s understood that a lot of women can’t do that.
“Many women in our most vulnerable communities will not have the ability to join the strike, due to economic insecurity,” Women’s March notes on their website. “We strike for them. Many others work jobs that provide essential services, including reproductive health services, and taking off work would come at a great social cost. We recognize the value of their contribution.”
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3. To participate without taking off work you can…
Wear the color red that has historical significance in the labor movement, and refrain from shopping. If you do need to buy something they encourage shopping at women and minority-owned businesses.
4. If you don’t go into work you can do these things.
5. In general we should all be supporting women and minority owned businesses.
According to 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, Black women own roughly 14 percent of all businesses in the country, which tallies to around 1.3 million businesses.
6. Reflect on how women have altered the very existence of the world.
“The goal is to highlight the economic power and significance that women have in the U.S. and global economies, while calling attention to the economic injustices women and gender nonconforming people continue to face,” the Women’s March notes. “We play an indispensable role in the daily functions of life in all of society, through paid & unpaid, seen & unseen labor.”
7. Also reflect on how women are treated today.
According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in 2015, female full-time, year-round workers made only 80 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 20 percent. Women, on average, earn less than men in nearly every single occupation for which there is sufficient earnings data for both men and women to calculate an earnings ratio.
8. Privilege is something being addressed by the organization
One of the biggest criticisms the Women’s March has faced is not being cognizant of inequalities in race, sexual orientation and gender roles as women. They also acknowledge this: “It is evident that the intersecting identities of women mean we experience widely different degrees of privilege or lack thereof. Everyone has a role to play. Women and allies with greater privilege are called to leverage that resource for social good on March 8th. However, everyone’s involvement signifies an equal commitment to the day, especially those who experience greater vulnerability to discrimination and exclusion. Even wearing red may be a great act of defiance for some uniformed workers.”
9. Men and children can be involved too.
In addition to considering how women support them and pushing for equal pay, men can pick up the slack at home. “Lean into care work and housework; if you are partnered with a woman, review with her what domestic work she does. Maybe this means staying home to watch your children, or taking them to work with you.”
10. The hope is that the strike translates to…
Policy and practice. President Donald Trump has been accused of being an anti-women president because of his past rhetoric with about women and current policies that jeopardize reproductive rights and pay scale. This strike is to hit corporations that support Trump where it hurts— in the pocket. And it’s also to hold the government and work establishment accountable for caring for all women.