On January 21, 2017, thousands of women participated in the Women's March on Washington to protest what they saw as an attack on civil liberties and gender equality. Now, the group behind the Women's March group has released an official date for its next stage of vocalizing their cause.
Women mark March 8, International Women's Day, with general strike
As Perry Stein of The Washington Post reports, on March 8, women are encouraged to participate in a general strike and skip work, largely to demonstrate the contributions women make to the business world and society in general. The decision not to report to work could have potentially negative short-term effects on companies, who might end up short staffed. The worker shortages could happen not only because the women plan to protest, but also because many women plan to leave child care duties to their male partners, who subsequently might need to miss work.
In addition to not working in or out of the home, leaders from the Women's March are asking supporters not to shop, either. That's a huge deal for retailers, as women control the bulk of household spending (73 percent) and, on average, spend roughly double than men at grocery stores, drugstores, warehouse club outlets and supercenters. They're also influencing more electronic and automobile purchases and almost doubled their control of household financial spending between 2006 and 2014 (14 to 27 percent, respectively).
On the other hand, in the long-term, the results from the proposed strike could be positive. Kristen Brewer of BBC News points out that, in 1975, roughly 90 percent of women in Iceland held a similar strike known as the Woman's Day Off to demonstrate their importance. The influence of the strike was monumental, lifting the position of women in the country and paving the way for a female president. Although some degree of disparity still is present, Iceland consistently has been at the top of the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap index since 2009.
Women's movement mirrors immigrant protest
The proposed "Day Without a Woman" will happen on the heels of the "Day Without Immigrants" protest on February 16. That protest resulted in multiple businesses across the United States shutting down as immigrants (as suggested for women) skipped work, school and shopping. Both protests are related in the sense that they are a move against the policies of the new Trump administration. They come as a response to a more general feeling of marginalization of specific groups across the country, including the LGBTQ community, African Americans, Jews and Muslims.