We’re about to find out just how much girls run the world — and the global economy.
The International Women’s Strike, also called A Day Without a Woman, encourages women to skip work and ditch unpaid labor on International Women’s Day. The March 8 strike will take place in more than 50 countries around the world, calling for gender equality, reproductive health access, labor rights and an end to gender violence.
While U.S. Women’s Strike organizers said the movement was created by working class, black and migrant women — groups who often experience the most economic inequality, yet are still taking the personal risk — joining a strike arguably requires privilege. This could leave out women in low-paying jobs and hourly work, who might not have the same freedom to strike as women with more financial stability.
Many women will still work on March 8 out of necessity, and that’s a decision everyone should respect. But even if you can’t afford to leave your job on Wednesday, there are still ways you can participate in the Women’s Strike.
Here are just a few things you can do to speak up, act out and make a difference on A Day Without a Woman.
1. Avoid shopping for the day.
What would happen to the economy if women didn’t buy anything for an entire day? There’s only one way to find out.
Women’s Strike organizers encourage those who can’t take the day off work — and even those who can — to avoid spending money on March 8. The goal is to recognize the value and power of women by recognizing what they bring to the economy.
Simply put: A woman’s economic value isn’t only in the work she does, but also in where she chooses to spend her money.
If you do need to shop, Women’s Strike organizers suggest spending your money at small businesses, especially those owned by women and people of color — if they’re not already striking, of course.
2. Wear red in solidarity.
Whether it’s an entire outfit or a simple ribbon, Women’s Strike organizers want women and allies to wear red on Wednesday. Organizers chose red because it’s the color of “love, revolution, energy and sacrifice.” It’s also associated with past labor movements, which also fought for human rights — particularly for immigrant workers.
Though it might seem like a small gesture without much of an impact, wearing red is an accessible way to connect with a movement in which you might not be able to participate otherwise. Similar to the pink pussyhats that dominated the Women’s March in January, wearing red will visually tie you to a community of women taking bold action for equality.
3. Show your support IRL and on social media.
Women’s voices are often silenced, but the Women’s Strike is a time to be heard.
Even if you have to work, use your voice to talk about equality and the movement for women’s rights, and support those who are striking. Whether you’re in the office, at the grocery store or on Twitter, speak up to assert how valuable you and other women truly are.
On social media, use the hashtag #DayWithoutAWoman to speak out. Your voice and your platform have power.
4. Strike from gender expectations.
If you can’t strike from work, consider other ways you can take action in your own life — like striking from gender expectations.
Organizers suggest striking from things like child care, emotional labor and housework, if an opposite-gender partner can pick up the slack. Organizers also recommend striking from “polite” responses to catcalling, fake smiles and even makeup.
Striking can take many forms — get creative.
5. Consider attending a rally.
Just because you can’t take the day off work doesn’t mean you can’t participate in Women’s Strike events. Check out the roster of local rallies in your area in support of the strike, and attend one taking place after work hours.
Rallies are a core part of the strike, offering a space for women fighting for gender equality and human rights to connect and amplify each other’s voices. To find a U.S. rally near you, visit here. For international Women’s Strike events and rallies, visit here.
6. Donate to women.
Organizations that focus on the needs of women can always use financial help to fund the work they do. However small the amount, consider giving to women-focused nonprofits on March 8. Especially for local organizations, even $5 can make an impact.
If you can’t afford to take the day off work, however, you might not have the financial resources to donate money. But there are other cashless ways to give to women’s charities.
Giving gently used clothing to a women’s shelter, for example, is a great way to give back to women in need. Consider digging through your closet for clothes you no longer need or don’t fit anymore. Whether it’s two or 20 items, a small donation of essentials can make a difference.