World

'A Day Without Women' Goes Global

| by Robert Fowler

Women across the globe plan to demonstrate the societal and economic impact of a world without women. Coinciding with International Women's Day, the large-scale strike has been billed as "A Day Without Women."

On March 8, a national strike proposed by the organizers of the Women's March on Washington has invited women around the world to protest both paid and unpaid work, abstain from spending money and to wear the color red to demonstrate solidarity. The event was inspired by the February protest "A Day Without Immigrants."

The organizers of the strike describe it as a demonstration of the contributions that women give to society and the economy.

"Let's raise our voices together again, to say that women's rights are human rights, regardless of a woman's race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age or disability," the organizers said, according to USA Today.

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"We provide all this value and keep the system going, and receive unequal benefits from it," said the organizers' spokeswoman Cassady Findlay.

The protest has spread globally, with events scheduled in more than 50 different countries and 400 different rallies slated to be held around the world, according to NBC News.

Events span from demonstrations in Moscow, Madrid and Manila, with protesters pushing back on gender inequities that are unique to their own respective countries.

The organizers of the protest hope it will demonstrate "the economic power and significance that women have on the U.S. and global economies."

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The strike will impact several public schools, with several school districts in Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia closing down as a result of female teachers requesting time off work to participate in the national protest.

The closures have sparked frustration among some parents, who have voiced their outrage over the inconvenience on social media, according to CNN.

"Who gets punished here?" wrote on parent on the Prince George's County Public Schools in Maryland Facebook page. "The students. Especially those students who rely on the schools for food during the day. And never mind the fact that you've inconvenienced parents who now have to scramble for day care at the last possible minute."

Other parents voiced their support for the strike. On the Alexandria City Public Schools in Virginia Facebook page, one parent wrote "I'm a working mom, hourly employee, and I support this decision."

In Washington, D.C., supporters of Planned Parenthood will be protesting a gag rule implemented by President Donald Trump that prohibits international organizations that receive U.S. funding from discussing abortion options with patients.

"Just having a baby in other parts of the world is a life-threatening phenomenon," said Sally Kline, one of the protest's participants.

The national protest has drawn criticism from several feminist groups who assert that many women in lower-income jobs cannot afford to strike, citing that the February immigrant demonstration had led to dozens of workers being fired by their employers, according to The Atlantic.

Community organizer Tiffany Lloyd, who is spearheading a protest against LGBT discrimination in North Carolina, responded to the criticisms with the assertion "We have to go forward and upward -- the constant criticisms aren't helping ... It's just that something has to be done."

Women make up 47 percent of the working U.S. population. They account for 87 percent of elementary school teachers, 96 percent of dental hygienists, 91 percent of registered nurses, 60 percent of accountants, 15 percent of the U.S. military and 55 percent of college undergraduates, according to Time.

Sources: The AtlanticCNNNBC News, TimeUSA Today / Photo credit: Mobilus in Mobili/Flickr

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