Women around the country are being encouraged to avoid work Wednesday — part of an international campaign designed to emphasize the economic contributions of women.
Billed as A Day Without a Woman and planned to coincide with International Women’s Day, the event also aims to promote “equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people.”
The one-day walkouts, also billed as A Day Without Women, are being staged in reaction to fears that the Trump administration will reverse decades of civil, human and reproductive rights. The actions are an offshoot of the Jan. 21 Women’s March, when millions of people flooded the streets of Washington.
Organizers of the Wednesday protests are asking women not to work (whether in paid or unpaid jobs), not to shop (except in women-owned or small, locally owned companies) and to wear red.
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Some school districts, including Washington, D.C., and Alexandria, Va., already have canceled classes for Wednesday because so many teachers have said they’ll be absent. Representatives from both the Kansas and Missouri National Education Association said Monday they had not heard of similar closures in Kansas or Missouri.
Planners also are asking businesses to excuse workers’ absences, and they’re asking those who hire female caregivers, such as nannies, to give them the day off.
Responses by employers would be purely voluntary and on a case-by-case basis. Unlike some organized walkouts, such as concerted union organizing activity, there is no legal worker protection for the kind of absence encouraged by the women’s moratorium on work.
The movement’s overarching goals are to highlight the role of women in the global and domestic economy and to point out thorny issues like wage inequality, discrimination and harassment that women face.
According to a national planning list by International Women’s Strike USA, an afternoon rally is planned for Buford M. Watson Jr. Park in Lawrence. In St. Louis, a late afternoon rally is scheduled at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel.
International Women’s Day lobbying events will also be held in both Topeka and Jefferson City.
In Kansas City, a poetry reading will be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in room 402 of the student union at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, 5100 Cherry St. The event is sponsored by the UMKC Intercultural Dialogue Student Association, the Dialogue Institute of Kansas City, the Latina/o studies program and the UMKC Women’s Center.
Organizers of the International Women’s Strike say that the era of Donald Trump demands a “feminism of the 99 percent.” They say that to be truly inclusive, the feminist movement needs to fight for both economic and social equality for women. It’s not enough just to resist Trump; women also have to resist the deeper social problems that helped Trump rise to power.