Citizens across the United States stood united with the International Women’s Strike, or, A Day Without A Woman observed on March 8th, International Working Women’s Day. The day was created to honor the value women provide to our society all while facing increased discrimination because of their gender, be it through lower wages, outright discrimination, sexual harassment or job insecurity. Organizers encouraged supporters to participate in a variety of ways, including taking the day off from paid or unpaid labor, only purchasing goods from small, women and minority owned businesses if spending money at all, or wearing the color red in solidarity.
One of the first people to advocate for the strike in the US was Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, the author of From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation and an assistant professor of African American Studies at Princeton University. Taylor, interviewed on truthout.org, explained her support for the day by saying, “This is our effort at trying to explain why it was important that American feminists sign onto this call … by highlighting the ways that women continue to suffer from misogyny and sexism in the United States and to give concrete descriptions of that.” She also pointed to highlighting the ways that “women’s work” is often undervalued and underpaid and drawing attention to the inequities of their work.
However, it is important to note there were a variety of perspectives worth discussing on the march itself, including one that the day was one of privilege, privilege to take off work and know that their job would be secure, or participants could take paid time off to strike, or did not have to worry about childcare. Others noted the important history of women taking risks, including striking, for change and how the day encouraged solidarity and attention to many issues. The day meant different things to different people and CNOW members are no exception. Did you participate in the Day Without A Woman? Tell us your thoughts by tweeting us at @NOWChicago or post on our Facebook page.