On March 8 — which, incidentally, is also International Women's Day — women are going on strike to demonstrate how important they are to the American workforce. It's a valuable event, but let's not forget that the ability to strike is a privilege. So, what should you do during the women's strike if you can't just decide not to work? There are a number of ways you can still support women and make a statement on this day.
"A Day Without A Woman" was established to acknowledge "the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system — while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity," according to the Women's March organizers, who have been vocal in their support of the strike. However, precisely because women are more likely to be in insecure and low-paying jobs, not everyone can participate in the strike. After all, white women make 79 percent of what white men make, and Black and Latina women make even less.
Since the imperative to take the day off would place a major limitation on many people's ability to participate in the Day Without A Woman, the organizers have come up with a few alternative actions, and there are also some ways you can engage that they didn't think of. Here are a few ways to participate in the Women's Strike without taking the day off.
Women are responsible for 70 to 80 percent of purchases made in the United States. So, by refraining from shopping, you're reminding businesses and the government of your purchasing power. If you need something on March 8, get it the day before or get it from businesses owned by women or minorities to lend your support to the people who need it most.
Another action the Women's March organizers suggest is wearing red to show solidarity with women. Even if you're all in the office, a group of people sitting at their desks in red sends a message that's impossible to ignore.
Spread Positivity Via Social Media
Even if you have to do it from your office computer, sharing an inspirational quote, an informative article, or a message of support can spark others to think about the purpose of the day and let marginalized groups know you're behind them.
Make A Donation
If you can afford it, even just a small donation to an organization like Planned Parenthood, the National Organization For Women, or the Ms. Foundation For Women can help people fight back against some of the government's recent attacks on women and other marginalized groups.
Sign A Petition
Call A Representative
Another way to push for women's rights is to contact your local representative. You can find yours by entering your zip code on the House of Representatives website. As Bustle's Bronwyn Isaac writes, you don't need to be a legal expert to make a request. Your call can be as simple as "I’m calling today from _________ to urge Senator/Representative _________ to support a woman's right to choose in the United States and to do everything in their power to support women's health and reproductive rights."
Even if you are participating in the strike, these actions will give you plenty to do on your day off of work.