Earlier in February, the organizers behind the Women's March on Washington began organizing their next protest: A one-day strike aptly called A Day Without a Woman. While the exact details of this event were not known at the time, the date for A Day Without a Woman has now been announced: It'll take place on March 8, 2017. If this date sounds familiar, it's because it's also the date of another immensely important happening — International Women's Day.
The Women's March was an incredible moment in history, but the organizers and attendees were looking to create a movement, not just a one-time event. That is the reasoning behind every feminist's promise that the Women's March — which brought together an estimated half a million protesters in D.C. and around 2.6 million people worldwide — was just the beginning of our steady and passionate activism for human rights. A Day Without a Woman is just one more event being held in the name of equality.
In a Feb. 14 Facebook post, the organization said, "In the spirit of women and their allies coming together for love and liberation, we offer A Day Without A Woman. We ask: do businesses support our communities, or do they drain our communities? Do they strive for gender equity or do they support the policies and leaders that perpetuate oppression? Do they align with a sustainable environment or do they profit off destruction and steal the futures of our children?"
They continue, "We know that our army of love greatly outnumbers the army of fear, greed and hatred. ... Remember: this is a marathon, not a sprint."
For now, A Day Without a Woman is being described as a general strike, although more details regarding how you can get involved in the strike will be released as the event approaches. What's more, it's likely no coincidence that what promises to be another gathering for the history books is taking place on International Women's Day — when we come together to advocate for gender equality and women's rights.
International Women's Day really got its start on March 8, 1908, when thousands of women rallied through New York City demanding better conditions at work, better pay, and the right to vote. The following year, our country recognized its first National Women's Day. In 1910, the event went global when women gathered in Denmark for the second International Conference of Working Women, and proposed an International Women's Day. The first official international Women's Day happened the next year, in 1911. It snowballed from there, inviting millions of people of all genders to join in the rallying. These days, it's recognized as an official holiday in over 25 countries.
In today's political and cultural climate, International Women's Day — and now A Day Without A Woman — carries its own unique meaning. Stay tuned for more information.