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Schools and businesses across the US will shutter for the 'Day Without a Woman' strike

International womens day 2017David McNew/Getty ImagesWomen march during the International Women’s Day March and Rally on March 5, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. The rally is a lead up to the annual International Women’s Day on March 8.

On March 8 — in celebration of International Women’s Day and in defiance of the Trump administration — women and gender non-conforming people around the country will go on strike for A Day Without a Woman.

The strike was planned by the same organisers as the Women’s March, a worldwide protest in January that had millions of participants around the world.

For women who can’t miss work, the organisers say they can wear red in solidarity and avoid shopping (except at women or minority-owned businesses). Organisers are also planning walkouts, rallies and marches in cities around the US.

Several businesses and schools have announced that they will close in anticipation of the strike.

So far, all 18 public schools in Alexandria, Virginia; Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools in North Carolina; and the Maple Street preschool in Brooklyn have said they will shutter. The New School in New York City says it will offer flexibility for students and teachers if they wish to participate.

Over 300 Alexandria Public School staff members have asked for the day off, according to the district website. Approximately 12,300 students will stay home in North Carolina, and the day will be optional for teachers, according to The New York Times.

“It is my determination that we will not have enough staff to safely run our school district,” Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools’ interim superintendent, Jim Causby, said in a note.

A number of businesses have also said they will close or show support in other ways, including Violette Bakery and Belly Wine Bar in Boston, Pizzeria Paradiso in DC, and Brick House Art Gallery and  Tres Hermanas Mexican Restaurant in Sacramento.

Organisers are encouraging men to help with domestic responsibilities and to rally alongside women for various issues, including equal pay and paid parental leave.

The goal is to stand up for gender equality, and to show how valuable women are to American society, they organisers write. The first International Women’s Day (IWD) took place in February 1909, when 15,000 women marched in New York City and demanded higher pay, shorter hours, and voting rights. A larger strike for IWD, in which over 50 countries are expected to participate, will happen in conjunction with the Day Without a Woman strike.

“When millions of us stood together in January, we saw clearly that our army of love greatly outnumbers that of fear, greed and hatred,” the Women’s March organisers say. “Let’s raise our voices together again, to say that women’s rights are human rights, regardless of a woman’s race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age or disability.”

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