In Focus: ‘A Day Without a Woman' Strike

Kathy Gurchiek By Kathy Gurchiek March 7, 2017
In Focus: ‘A Day Without a Woman Strike

Organizers of the Jan. 21 Women's March on Washington are encouraging a general strike today, March 8, International Women's Day.

The purpose of the strike, called "A Day Without a Woman," is to recognize "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 web page.

Organizers are suggesting support can be shown by taking the day off from work, avoiding shopping for one day except at small, women- and minority-owned businesses, or wearing red as a symbol of solidarity.   

International Women's Day 2017 and the #March4Women: What Is It, How Did It Start and Why Is It Still Needed?

International Women's Day is a worldwide event that has been observed since the early 1900s and is recognized each year on March 8. It is not affiliated with any one group, but brings together governments, women's organizations, corporations and charities to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political contributions of women. Mass demonstrations are planned around the world in the wake of January's "Women's March on Washington." 

Here's What a Day Without Women Will Actually Look Like

The event coincides with International Women's Day and the more globally-focused International Women's Strike. However, the inspiration for the movement came from the Feb. 16 Day Without Immigrants strike, as well as the Yemeni-American-lead bodega shutdown in New York City. While it's too soon to know what economic effect the strike might have, significant participation could make an impact—after all, women make up nearly half of the U.S. labor force and influence about 73 percent of all household spending.

[SHRM members-only toolkit: Managing Pay Equity]

 'A Day Without A Woman' Letter to Employer  

The organizers of the "Day Without a Woman" strike have issued a template of a letter that participants can submit to their employers to explain their absence from work on that day and ask for the employer's support.
(Women's March on Washington)  

Employers' Usual Rules Apply to National General Strikers

During the "Day Without a Woman" strike, employers can follow the same advice issued for the National General Strike against President Donald Trump on Feb. 17 on enforcing typical absence rules. 
(SHRM Online)  

Op-Ed: 'A Day Without a Woman' Is a Strike for Privileged Protesters  

For the millions of women who have no choice but to show up and meet their responsibilities on March 8 (and every day), it will be business as usual Wednesday. 
(Los Angeles Times)   

NC School District Cancels Classes for 'A Day Without a Woman' Strike  

One North Carolina school district plans to accommodate prospective protesters of the one-day strike. In a statement, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City school district canceled classes for Wednesday, calling it a teacher work day. It said the decision to close schools is not a political statement but "entirely about the safety of students and the district's inability to operate with a high number of staff absences." 
(Fox News)

A Day Without a Woman 

Preparations for the strike have stirred some controversy in Texas. Because it is an at-will state (meaning employers can fire workers for any reason and without warning), organizers of Aus­tin's Women's March—renamed "March On! Texas" to be more inclusive—have decided not to participate in "A Day Without a Woman." 
(Austin Chronicle)


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