On March 8, International Women’s Day, the Day Without Women strike occurred as a follow up to the Women’s March on Washington in late January. The strike encouraged women to take the day off from paid and unpaid labor, shop only at small women or minority owned shops and wear red in solidarity. Meant to test the endurance of the current feminist movement, the Women’s strike’s purpose is to shed a light on the necessity of women of all backgrounds for a healthy economy.
“I thought it was very empowering,” junior Melanie Ramirez said. “It was amazing to see women coming together and being there for one another.”
Women refused to work in more than 30 countries, with 400 separate rallies planned across the world. According to NBC, events were planned in countries such as Hong Kong, Bosnia, Senegal, Cambodia, Pakistan and many more countries. Although protests in the U.S. focused on Trump, countries outside the U.S. embraced broader women’s issues. The largest protests outside America were in Ireland for reproductive rights.
“Women don’t believe they have the full rights that they should have,” sophomore Andrew Sachs said. “In some areas, they should have more rights. They don’t have them everywhere and I think they should fight for it.”
In America, public school districts in Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina closed due to the amount of teachers who participated in the strike. Thirteen women were arrested during a rally for blocking traffic outside the Trump International Hotel in New York City, including some of the event’s organizers. Additional rallies took place in Chicago, Santa Cruz and Philadelphia.
According to Mic, Prince George’s County, Maryland, approximately 1,700 teachers and 30 percent of their transportation staff request leave.
“[Striking] isn’t the most efficient way of getting jobs done because it puts others at harm,” junior Jackson Lamb said. “I heard that women did not show up to school today as a form of their strike, but at the same time it goes against everyone’s education—girls included—if they’re not here to participate in the knowledge they come for.”
A survey taken in 2014 reported that women make up 87 percent of elementary school teachers and, according to the United States Department of Labor, 46.8 percent of the total labor force. Many American women could not afford to take time off their paid or unpaid job, resulting in tens of millions of women who were unable to participate. This put more privileged women in a position to use their advantage to march for those in a less than favorable working condition. The rallies and strikes were meant to build momentum for the growing movement, and was only the fourth of ten actions planned by for President Trump’s first 100 days.