Schools and businesses across the US are shuttering 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 are going 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.

The organisers say women who can’t miss work but still want to participate can wear red in solidarity and avoid shopping instead (except at women or minority-owned businesses). Organisers are also holding walkouts, rallies, and marches in cities around the US.

Several businesses and schools have announced that they are closed due to the strike.

All 18 public schools in Alexandria, Virginia; Prince George’s County school district near Washington, DC; 
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools in North Carolina; and the Maple Street preschool in Brooklyn have shuttered for the day. The New School in New York City says it is offering flexibility for students and teachers if they wish to participate.

Over 300 Alexandria Public School staff members asked for the day off, according to the district website. Approximately 12,300 students said they are staying home in North Carolina, and the day is 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 are closed or are showing support in other ways, including Violette Bakery and Belly Wine Bar in Boston, Havas offices in Chicago, New York magazine’s The Cut in NYC, Pizzeria Paradiso and the National Women’s Law Center 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, the 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, is happening 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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