Thousands of women across the world will not go to work or do household chores on Wednesday as part of a global women’s strike that is being held to mark International Women’s Day. Women from at least 50 countries are taking part in the protest. The theme they have chosen is #BeBoldForChange.
“We are united, we are international – and we are everywhere,” Klementyna Suchanow, a Poland-based organiser told The Guardian. “We are an army of women across the globe and we are no longer asking to be listened to. The world is being forced to listen to us.”
The group that organised the Women’s March the day after Donald Trump took his oath as US President has given a call for a “Day without a Woman” in solidarity with the strike. Organisers have asked people who cannot take part in the movement to wear red – the colour associated with the labour movement – to show support for the cause. However, different countries will choose their own colours depending on their focus on issues from femicide to abortion. Some schools in the US have announced that they will be closed on Wednesday because a majority of their staff has taken the day off as part of the protest, reported Reuters.
In 1975, women across Iceland refused to go to work, cook, do household chores or take care of their family for a day on October 27 in protest against inequality in respect and pay. It brought the country to a near-collapse. They called it the Women’s Day off. Iceland was the third country in the world to give voting rights to women around 100 years ago and routinely ranks high on global indices of gender equality.
However, some women have argued that the strike will “mostly be a day without women who can afford to skip work”. Some have argued that “tens of millions of people have neither the benefits nor the flexibility to take the day off in protest”.