After the success of the Women’s March on Washington in January, organizers were looking for another way to make their voices heard. With more marches planned in DC in coming months, Women’s March organizers wanted to continue their journey in ensuring true equality for women regardless of age, race or sexual orientation. While there have been calls for a general strike for some time, the organizers have chosen March 8 (International Woman’s Day) to continue their protests.
Why a “general strike?” The idea behind a women’s general strike is that it’s a day where women do not engage in their normal activities. This type of strike has been successful a number of times in Europe and Iceland, because when women stop working (both at their jobs and at home), life tends to stop running. A strike of this nature helps show why people are important in what they do. Think about the last time your city had a garbage strike or transit strike. Life does not continue on as normal, and that’s the entire point.
In their Instagram post announcing the strike, the organizers call on all women to remind the people in Washington who are trying so desperately to legislate them into submission that without us, life cannot go on as normal. They ask, “Do businesses support our communities, or do they drain our communities? Do they strive for gender equality or do they support the policies and leaders that perpetuate oppression?” The strike isn’t just about your nine to five job, though. It’s also about all the emotional work that women do.
With allies asking how they can help, some ways to support the general strike will be taking on extra work both at home and at work for those women who will not be engaging with their normal activities that day; bringing your lunch instead of buying it; avoiding shopping; maybe even taking to protest with those engaged in the act. As organizers remind us, “This is a marathon, not a sprint.”
Will you be participating in the Women’s General Strike? Tell us how @BritandCo!
(Photos via Barcroft Media + The Washington Post/Getty)