Strike: A Day Without Women
On March 8, 2017, women and allies in countries around the world will participate in an A Day Without Women strike. That day of action will focus on “withdraw[ing] from the corporations that harm [women] and find[ing] ways to support the businesses, organizations, and communities that sustain” us.
The strike will build on the foundation laid by anti-Trump marches held by women worldwide on January 21, 2016. It will emphasize a “feminism of the 99%,” leaning away from corporate feminism and toward representation for the “overwhelming majority of us, who do not have access to individual self-promotion and advancement and whose conditions of life can be improved only through policies that defend social reproduction, secure reproductive justice and guarantee labor rights.”
There are many ways to participate in this International Women’s Day strike. If you can’t take the day off of work or work in a field without days off, you might wear red or black, encourage your friends and family to strike, or find other ways to strike against gender roles.
If you don’t see what you’re envisioning on the list, you can go ahead and do it anyway. The list is simply a start, not the full range of possibility.
Some local “huddles” to organize are already on the strike’s U.S. calendar. If your town isn’t yet represented, you can organize your own huddle to engage your community’s members in a day of action. If you have questions or concerns, you can email the U.S. organizers here for more information. Outside the U.S., you can find more information here.
A place for you
Whether you’re a seasoned activist or new to action, there is a place for you. You don’t need to know exactly what you’re doing. There’s no one “right” thing to do. Neither must you be perfectly politically aligned with others who are prepared to strike. Together, we who participate in the strike seek not the perfection of action now but better living conditions long term: improvements in life for all women devastated by “the ongoing neoliberal attack on social provision and labor rights.”
January’s marches were an empowering reminder how many women worldwide see and are willing to stand for each other. As #From BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation‘s Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor wrote last month, those marches “were the beginning, not the end. What happens next will be decided by what we do. Movements do not come to us from heaven, fully formed and organized. They are built by actual people, with all their political questions, weaknesses and strengths.”
If you’re still uncertain whether your voice and your actions matter, you might consider the insights of Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1964’s Why We Can’t Wait, he explained:
There is no tactical theory so neat that a revolutionary struggle for a share of power can be won merely by pressing a row of buttons. Human beings with all their faults and strengths constitute the mechanism of a social movement. They must make mistakes and learn from them, make more mistakes and learn anew. They must taste defeat as well as success, and discover how to live with each. Time and action are the teachers.
If you haven’t already begun, now is your chance to begin learning action. Time–and your care to the world and women around you–will help take care of the rest.