Wednesday is International Women’s Day—and women are striking around the world.
Women everywhere plan to dress themselves in red, take the day off from the office or household chores, attend rallies and skip out on shopping for the whole day.
After the enormous success that was the Women’s March (nearly 500,000 people marched on Washington!!), co-chairs Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour helped organize “A Day Without a Woman.” The event will take place in solidarity with the International Women’s Strike, which is set to materialize in more than 30 countries Wednesday.
The concept is simple: Take the day off work if you can to fight for the women who can’t, along with other marginalized groups around the world. The ultimate goal is to show society what happens to businesses—and the global economy—when women decide to stand up and speak out against systemic inequities. These include susceptibility to discrimination and sexual harassment, job insecurity, unequal pay and a higher rate of minimum wage jobs among women.
“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,” said organizers in a statement. “We play an indispensable role in the daily functions of life in all of society, through paid and unpaid, seen and unseen labor.”
Already, entire school districts have declared "No School" for Wednesday after too many teachers asked for the day off. Many places simply cannot function without women.
Sadly, we can’t all take the day off work. Some of us simply can’t afford a day off; others risk getting fired. Many women also can’t just leave their children or sick loved ones to fend for themselves while they take the day to fight inequality. It’s noble, but it’s not realistic.
But that highlights the best part of "A Day Without Women." There are numerous ways to show solidarity with the women who can’t say “screw it” to their work days.
A Day Without a Woman is tmrw! To join:
1) Take the day off
2) Avoid shopping – unless at women & minority-owned businesses
3) Wear RED pic.twitter.com/nqzLd7RwJ2
— AJ+ (@ajplus) March 7, 2017
Perhaps the easiest show of support for women everywhere is simply wearing red. Red is the color of “revolutionary love and sacrifice…of energy and action associated with our will to survive,” organizers said in a statement. The best form of revolutionary self-love is, after all, standing up for all women across the globe. Both fully red outfits or just a classic red ribbon pin serve to support females everywhere.
You can also #GrabYourWallet and refrain from shopping, both online and in stores. According to Forbes, women drive nearly 80 percent of all consumer purchasing. Putting a pause on picking up that new pair of shoes or the spring break shirt you absolutely NEED can be put off—at least until Thursday. If you seriously do need something, try to shop at local, small businesses (Bonus points if you choose one owned by women or people of color). Or just use your nagging need to spend for good by donating to organizations that support women's causes, such as Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.
After work is over, if taking the day off isn’t an option, women can head over to one of their local rallies. The International Women’s Strike website lists some. These shows of resistance will likely be smaller and more locally based than the Women’s March.
Asking men to “lean into” household chores and unpaid labor in your place is another great way to enlist women’s supporters of all genders and identifications. No longer will your SO wonder how to best support you and your feminist endeavors for equality. Cleaning the kitchen and being fully accepting of women’s refusals to engage in gender norms for the day (like shaving, makeup, cooking, etc.) is an excellent place to start.
There are countless ways to encourage females around the world and their endeavors for social and economic equality. “A Day Without Women” opens the door to women supporting other women on a global basis—and you won’t want to miss out!