On March 8, many women around the world will go on strike in honor of International Women's Day. Women can and will flex their immense collective power, and recent marches remind us that the most effective resistance results from many standing as one. In the spirit of Women's History Month, we're going to look at how you can support women who are striking, prepare to strike yourself, and engage in other acts of resistance.
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All Month Long:
Everywhere: Recognize Women's History Month.
Women are, and have always been, at the forefront of the fight for justice. Women's History Month calls on us to teach each other about the rich legacy of this struggle and to honor those who are changing the world today. The Trump administration has already challenged this vision by threatening to cut funding for government organizations that help preserve this history — like the National Park Service, which maintains historic sites related to the accomplishments of women, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, which contributes to government archives for Women’s History Month. Curbing these funds could further erase these contributions to history. To support the work of such institutions and see how they honor the women who built this country, visit womenshistorymonth.gov.
While honoring trailblazers is important, we also must recognize the women who are still making history today — including the many who will do so this week. Honor this month by joining in and being a revolutionary yourself.
There's an early International Women's Day summit in Spokane, Washington; a sign-making workshop to get ready for the strike in New York City; a Women's Strike Eve Celebration in Washington, D.C.; and a number of ways women can strike, protest, and stand up on March 8 no matter where they are.
Saturday, March 4
Spokane, Washington: Get an early start at the International Women's Day Conference — Spokane.
Spokane Woman's Club
1428 West 9th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99204
A few days before International Women's Day, there will be a day-long conference for women who are community organizers. Several activist groups will offer ways attendees can plug into local movements. Keynote speaker and artist/activist Favianna Rodriguez will facilitate a workshop on how artists are key to changing public opinion on social justice issues. Registration is free and open to the public.
Sunday, March 5
New York, New York: Get ready for the Women's Strike at Sign Making 101.
205 Hudson St., 2nd Fl., HAAG Room
New York, NY 10013
Whether they are powerful expressions of a movement's principles or humorous jabs at oppressors, good signs are a memorable part of any protest. Women getting ready to strike in New York can get some tips on effective sign-making from designer and artist Wilson Kello. Attendees of this workshop will also learn how to make paper roses, which will be handed out by protesters as a symbol of solidarity with the women who won't be able to join the strike. This event is free, but those who can are asked to contribute some supplies like cardboard, tape, and paint. Even if you can't leave work on March 8, helping others get ready is a great way to still be part of the movement.
Tuesday, March 7
Washington, D.C.: Get hyped before the strike at Together We Resist!
7 p.m.–1 a.m.
The Wonderland Ballroom
1101 Kenyon St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20010
Before getting down to the serious business of Wednesday's protests, why not celebrate and support a good cause? The night before the Women's Strike, there will be a free evening of comedy and live music by and for women. Donations will be accepted at the door to support Lady Parts Justice League, a collective of women who use comedy to advocate for reproductive justice and take down misogyny. For more information about the women who will be performing, check out the Together We Resist event page.
Wednesday, March 8
Everywhere: Join or support the International Women's Strike.
This International Women's Day, there is a call for women to go on strike under the banners of #ADayWithoutAWoman, #BeBoldForChange, and #WomensStrike. Women are encouraged to walk out on paid and unpaid labor, not spend money (unless it's to support women- or minority-owned businesses), and reserve all physical and emotional energy for themselves — to show the world how much society relies on women and draw attention to the various injustices women face. Rallies, marches, and other events are listed on the Women's Strike and International Women's Day websites.
But what if you can't afford to go on strike? Losing a day of wages, risking unemployment, or abstaining from work in their homes are simply not viable options for many women. Those who can’t abstain from work completely can still wear red in solidarity and help others get ready for the strike by making signs and flyers. They can also speak up on social media about the work they do every day — especially if they're underpaid or unpaid for it. People can also participate in boycotts against companies with sexist business practices. You can find more ways to join the Women's Strike here or reach out for some advice by contacting the International Women's Strike.
Some women won’t be able to strike because they are primary caregivers or providing emotional support for others. The Family Caregiver Alliance has information for online and in-person support groups where those who have dedicated themselves to a family member’s daily needs can connect. Emotional labor, or devoting time and energy to someone else’s emotional needs, is unduly expected of women. Another way to strike is for women to prioritize their own psychological well-being. A woman simply creating space for herself is a revolutionary act. You can gain some insight into how society pressures women into emotional labor by reading books like Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine or The Managed Heart by Arlie Russell Hochschild. Engaging ideas that challenge the patriarchy is yet another powerful form of resistance.
Saturday, May 6 – Sunday, May 7
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Engage grassroots organizing at the Women & Advocates Minnesota Spring Conference.
9 a.m. Saturday – 3 p.m. Sunday
The new chapter of Women & Advocates (WANDA) in Minnesota was started after the 2016 election. Even though it's only been around for a few months, WANDA MN has hit the ground running with regular action alerts and a big conference coming up in May. This two-day event will bring together new and experienced activists to help build a network of organizers across the state. The conference recognizes the need for diverse coalitions working for justice and aims to reflect a variety of communities through the scope of varied topics and presenters. Registration is on a sliding scale based on an individual's income.
Women will keep rising up and leading us in the fight against all forms of oppression. Whether that means bringing out the sun or calling down a storm, we need you!