Dozens of public schools across America are closing Wednesday as hundreds of teachers go on strike to partake in “A Day Without a Woman.”
The are protesting for “gender equality” and against President Donald Trump.
Women and “gender-nonconforming” participants in the feminist event are encouraged to skip work, wear red and avoid shopping anywhere but in businesses owned by women and minorities.
Males who want to celebrate “A Day Without a Woman” have been instructed to carry out domestic chores, tend to child care and spark conversation about gender equality at work.
On 1/21, we marched. On 3/8, we strike! Join us for a #DayWithoutAWoman.
— Women’s March (@womensmarch) March 3, 2017
Organizers of the protest event also were instrumental in coordinating the Women’s March on Washington during President Trump’s inauguration.
The demonstration will be the fourth of 10 major anti-Trump protests the Women’s March has planned for the first 100 days of the Trump administration.
Tamika Mallory, an organizer of the movement and a co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington, says the participants are asked to wear the color red because it “signifies love and sacrifice, and is the color of energy and action.”
To honor the protest, 300 teachers have reportedly requested leave in Northern Virginia’s Alexandria City school district, prompting district officials to cancel classes on March 8 for 15,200 students.
We hear you regarding the very difficult decision to close school for students Weds. We did not make the decision lightly. https://t.co/hxxzsHp7gW
— Alexandria Schools (@ACPSk12) March 6, 2017
And in Prince George’s County in Maryland, all schools will be closed because more than 1,000 teachers requested the day off.
Katie Haslup, an eighth-grade science teacher in Maryland will “show solidarity to the cause in a meaningful way” by wearing red and teaching her students about the lack of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.
“I actually rallied my entire team of science teachers in sixth, seventh and eighth grades to set our plans aside and focus on the same thing for that day,” Haslup told Fortune.
As women comprise nearly half of the U.S. labor force and influence approximately 73 percent of all household spending, organizers of “A Day Without a Woman” are using the movement as an economic boycott in addition to demonstrating opposition against Trump.
“Corporate leaders understand the impact of shoppers, especially women, pulling back their support,” Mallory told Fortune.com, citing the Grab Your Wallet movement, an anti-Trump boycott. “The sacrifice of a day will send a resounding message to our administration, corporations that support the administration, and any other influencers. We are prepared to make serious sacrifices to ensure our democracy is upheld.”
Bob Bland, another co-chair of the Women’s March, says “A Day Without a Woman” is also intended to showcase the “role that women not only have in paid labor, but also in unseen labor.”
“There is so much systematic misogyny that is intertwined with xenophobia and racism in this country,” he told the publication. “This movement transcends politics.”
A few businesses have also announced they will be closed for the day.
Linda Sarsour, the executive director of the Arab-American Association of New York and a co-founder of the Women’s March, is closing down to make a political statement against the Trump administration.
“We want to show solidarity with all women, but especially to those in the community that have been directly impacted by this administration,” Sarsour told Fortune. “There is no alternative service here [in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn]. We see this as a strong opportunity to say that we exist, we are here, and that our women provide.”
“A Day Without a Woman” will coincide with International Women’s Day (IWD) as well as an International Women’s Strike in more than 30 countries worldwide.
The earliest Women’s Day observance was organized by the Socialist Party of America and held on Feb. 28, 1909, in New York, according to the United Nations’ International Women’s Day historical timeline. The United Nations only began recognizing IWD in 1975. Former President Barack Obama proclaimed March to be ‘Women’s History Month’ in 2011.
According to the World Economic Forum, efforts to close gender gaps in pay and workforce participation may not reach economic equality until 2186. Research, however, overwhelmingly proves the pay gap in earnings between American men and women is the result of the different career field choices rather than employment discrimination.
American women received 57 percent of all bachelor degrees granted in 2014, which equated to nearly 200,000 more degrees granted to females than to males, according to AEI scholar Mark J. Perry’s research. Women overwhelmingly choose less-lucrative university majors, such as nursing, journalism and English.
“A Day Without a Woman” rallies are planned across the country, including in New York; San Francisco; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Washington, D.C.; Ann Arbor, Michigan; St. Petersburg, Florida; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Portland, Oregon. Some universities, such as Rutgers in New Jersey, are also staging walkouts and marches.
Schools in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City in North Carolina also have canceled classes, as have some facilities in Brooklyn.