On International Women’s Day, women are taking off work and hitting the streets to demonstrate their value. The founders of the Women’s March organized the event in order to fight for gender equality. According to the organizers of the event:
“‘A Day Without a Woman’ reaffirms our commitment to the Principles of Unity, which were collaboratively outlined for the Women’s March … When millions of us stood together in January, we saw clearly that our army of love greatly outnumbers that of fear, greed and hatred.”
Without women showing up, workplaces are beginning to feel the impact. Schools in Alexandria, Va., North Carolina’s Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School District, and New York released statements saying they would be closed in anticipation of the shortage that ‘A Day Without a Woman’ would bring.
A statement released by the Alexandria City Public schools said:
“It has come to our attention that as of today, more than 300 staff members have requested leave this Wednesday, March 8. Given the unusually high number of requests, this may be attributed to the observance of International Women’s Day.”
Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland said that around 1,700 teachers and 30 percent of the transportation staff requested a leave, and they had no choice but to close.
PLEASE SHARE! Schools Closed Wednesday, March 8 for "A Day Without a Woman"
Parents voiced their frustrations for the closings on the school district’s Facebook page.
“This is unreasonable and what does it accomplish? The main result is that you have put fellow women, who may lose their jobs because of you, in a real bind today. And what about the children who will be left alone because Mom HAS to work and can’t afford a sitter? If anyone loses their job, if any child is put in to a forced, unsupervised situation that can lead to a dangerous problem, I trust you will understand if you are held accountable.”
The weight of the ‘A Day Without a Woman’ protest appears to be sinking in. Rallies for today’s event have been taking place in New York; San Francisco; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Washington, D.C.; Ann Arbor, Michigan; St. Petersburg, Florida; Raleigh, N.C.; and Portland, Oregon.
While organizers of the event said taking off from work is not the only way to participate, they have primarily encouraged behaviors and activities that would show communities what women contribute by having them feel the pain of a boycott. They have also encouraged people to shop at locally-owned women businesses and wear red in solidarity.