Day Without a Woman and Why Does It Matter?
March 8, 2017
Today we celebrate ourselves, women and all gender-oppressed people of every background, race, nationality, immigration status, age or disability, religion, sexual identity, gender expression and economic status.
On January 21st over 5 million U.S. demonstrators joined the Women's March worldwide (with over 1 million in D.C.) to make our voices heard. But it's not over. We stand united today in solidarity, marking March 8th, A Day Without a Woman, to speak against inequity and injustice, and for the human rights of women.
The first International Women's Day took place in 1911 in Denmark, Switzerland, Germany and Austria (according to the International Women's Day website). On March 8th we reflect on the courageous acts of ordinary women, who have played and continue to play an extraordinary role to eradicate the inequities that continue to plague women today: receiving lower wages, discrimination, sexual harassment and job insecurity (to name a few).
Why does it matter? The Economist's Glass Ceiling Index, a metric that demonstrates where women have the best chance of equal treatment at work, categorized the U.S. as below average in significant areas, when compared to 28 other countries.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) performs an international biannual analysis of the economic trend to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people. The U.S., when compared to other countries, was below the OECD average on wage gap equity, child care cost, paid maternity leave and women employed in parliament and government; and barely above average on gender equality for higher education. Although the OECD has shown improvements in gender equity on an international scale, Finland scoring the highest among 28 countries, the wage gap continues to widen, furthering the notion that there is much work to be done. This is among other women's rights issues that have stemmed from the current administration, further jeopardizing our reproductive rights: the defunding of Planned Parenthood and overturning Roe v. Wade.
Join us today, united in love and in the spirit of liberation by doing one or all of the following:
- Women take the day off from (un)paid labor
- Avoid shopping for one day (unless from women- or minority-owned businesses)
- Wear red in solidarity with A Day Without a Woman
Today, we close the doors to discrimination, gender injustice and all acts of oppression. Women's rights are human rights.
For more information:
Lidyvez Sawyer, MPH
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