Organized by the same people behind the Women’s March on Washington, A Day Without a Woman is a march aimed at emphasizing the importance of women in the economy.
According to their website, “The goal is to highlight the economic power and significance that women have in the US and global economies, while calling attention to the economic injustices women and gender nonconforming people continue to face,” the Women’s march webpage read. “We play an indispensable role in the daily functions of life in all of society, through paid & unpaid, seen & unseen labor. We must have the power to control our bodies and be free from gender norms, expectations and stereotypes. We must free ourselves and our society from the constant awarding of power, agency and resources disproportionately to masculinity, to the exclusion of others.”
A Day Without a Woman hoped to accomplish this goal through allowing employers to truly understand what business would be like without any women. The event called for any woman who cares about the issues highlighted in Women’s March organization’s goal to either take a day off from work, boycott shops (unless they are owned by women or minorities), or wear red in order to protest current injustices against women and minorities.
The Women’s March organization has claimed that A Day Without A Woman represents “feminism of the 99 percent”.
According to an interview with Vox, the Women’s March organization stated that “women in the formal labor market, women working in the sphere of social reproduction and care, and unemployed and precarious working women can all participate in the strike whether it is taking a day off from work, wearing red, refusing to shop, or a combination of the three.”
According to Vox, so many women answered the call of A Day Without A Woman that schools in Alexandria, Virginia, and Prince George County, Maryland, shut down on Wednesday after more than 300 female employees requested the day off.
There is strong political support for A Day Without a Woman from women and minorities within politics, many of whom are Democrats.
“I certainly admire this as an opportunity to remind people how important women are to our society,” Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) said to CNN. “But I will be here working.”
Representative Lois Frankel, a Democrat from Florida who chairs the women’s caucus in the House of Representatives, explained why she would not be participating in missing work for the protest.
“There’s so much mischief going on in this Congress with the Republicans, we dare not turn our backs,” Frankel said to CNN.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are also wearing black flowers.
As Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) said at a rally on Wednesday, it is “in resistance to President Trump’s assault on our communities of color and women of color”.
At the rally itself, close to 50 members of the House were dressed in red, including more than a dozen men.
Despite the overwhelming support for A Day Without A Woman, however, there are still many conservatives who are against the protest, whether it is the goal behind the movement or simply the actions taken to achieve the goal.
The conservative group Right2Speak is organizing a “positive counter movement”. According to Right2Speak, it is one that will “encourages women to continue working, serving, giving, sharing, and loving their communities, their families, and their endeavors.”
Right2Speak describes itself as a “group of conservative and liberty loving Americans who proudly serve as a gracious counter balance to the extreme liberal voices attempting to represent all women in the mainstream media and social media on matters of policy and personal freedoms.”
Currently, the group has about 500 followers on Facebook.
The organizers of A Day Without A Woman do not claim any political affiliation and they stress inclusivity. According to an official statement on their website, “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.”