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'A Day Without a Woman' strike aims to raise awareness

Organisers say women should not work on Wednesday, which is also International Women's Day, to demonstrate their power.

Washington, DC

  • Day aimed at recognising women's value
  • Women to take day off from paid and unpaid labour
  • Women to avoid shopping for one day
  • Exceptions include purchases from women/minority-owned shops
  • Participants to wear red in solidarity

Women in the US are being encouraged to participate in a strike intended to raise awareness over issues including economic inequality, reproductive rights, civil liberties and ending violence.

The one-day protest on Wednesday, labelled as A Day Without a Woman, is aimed at calling attention to economic bias faced by women.

Organisers called on women to take the day off of work or school, and said they should not to spend money in an attempt to highlight women's role in society.

Among the eight organisers are: activist and author Angela Davis; African American Studies professor at Princeton University Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor; South Asian history professor at Purdue University Tithi Bhattacharya; Associate Director of the Arab American Network Ramsea Yousef Odeh and Barbara Ransby, an author, historian and activist.

"Stand with women around the globe", they said.

They added that they were inspired by a recent "bodega" strike by Yemeni grocery-shop owners in New York who shut shop to protest against a travel order banning Yemenis from entering the US.

According to an official website, men could take part by "consider[ing] the ways that the women in your life care for and support you ... daily, and imagin[ing] how you can provide that support to women in your life", including taking on housework and bringing up the issue of equal pay at work.

Opposing Trump 'not enough'

The planned strike coincides with the UN-designated International Women's Day.

"The massive women's marches of 21 January may mark the beginning of a new wave of militant feminist struggle," the organisers said, as they announced the protest in the Guardian newspaper.

"But what exactly will be its focus? In our view, it is not enough to oppose [US President Donald] Trump and his aggressively misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic and racist policies. We also need to target the ongoing neoliberal attack on social provision and labour rights."

They also want to show solidarity with the majority-women protests held around the world on after Trump's inauguration in January.

To signify love and sacrifice, women should wear red on the day, they said.

In an interview with Goodcast, an online channel aimed at American Muslims, civil rights activist Linda Sarsour said: "Women are [one] of the largest consumer groups. If you have to shop that day, we encourage you to support women or minority-owned businesses.

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