The resistance — a global grassroots progressive movement — began the day after Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election. The movement has taken action in a number of ways to protest against the man currently sitting in the Oval Office and the policies of the Trump administration, each more concerning than the last. Millions of women around the world joined the Women's March on Jan. 21 — and it's time for the next major action: The Women's Strike is set to coincide with International Women's Day on March 8. Here's seven things you can do to join the Women's Strike, no matter where you live or what you do for a living.
The international Women's Strike is a general strike of all women around the world, regardless of whether or not they're working women. Inspired by the 1975 Iceland Women's Strike, the strike is more than just about women not participating in work or childcare that day; It's also been hailed as a "Day Without A Woman" to reinforce the concept that women's rights are human rights. It's also important to recognize too, that not all women can join the Women's Strike, by the sheer virtue of what "women's work" means in the 21st century: Some women will have the luxury and safety to strike, while many may not. But for those of us who can march, strike, and demonstrate, we do it for our sisters that can't on March 8 — here's how.
1. Take The Day Off: This Is A Strike, After All!
First and foremost, the Women's Strike is a work stoppage. Whether you are paid or unpaid for your labor, take the day off if you're able. If you're a student, stay home from class. However, if your safety, security, or livelihood are threatened by taking off a day of work or school, don't put yourself in jeopardy — there are still other ways to participate in the Women's Strike.
2. Join A Women's Strike March
According to the International Women's Strike Facebook event page, there are at least 30 nations who have organized marches in cities throughout their countries. You can participate in a Women's Strike march in a variety of ways, from organizing a march in your city, to joining an established march organizing committee, or just showing up wearing your most comfortable shoes, ready to join the marching masses.
3. Stage Picket Lines & Work Walkouts
If you're able, consider staging a walkout with fellow female employees at your place of work. It doesn't have to be all day: Even a 15-minute work stoppage and walkout is enough to make a point. Similarly, you could also stage a picket line, a common form of direct action for striking workers. And let's not forget: It's the suffragettes who brought us the very first picket line in America. Even better, if you have a union in your workplace, see how they might be able to help with both work stoppages, walkouts, or picket lines.
4. Ditch The Housework For A Day
Iceland wasn't the first nation where women went on a general strike: The United States had them beat by five years prior with the Women's Strike for Equality March based in New York City, organized by second-wave feminist activist Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique. In the 1970s, "women's work" was largely defined as work within the home: Cleaning, cooking, and minding children. Here in 2017, American families might have a Roomba, some Soylent, or assistance that makes parenting a bit easier than before — but, that said, on March 8, let the laundry pile up and the dishes stay in the sink. You've got enough to do already anyway.
5. Put Away Your Wallet
As the power of the Grab Your Wallet boycott movement has shown, sometimes the biggest impacts can be seen when they hit a company's bottom line. For the Women's Strike, avoid shopping for the day. If you must shop, consider patronizing only small, women-, or minority-owned businesses instead of major retailers, as organizers have suggested.
6. Strike Gender Roles
Especially in light of the Trump administration's shameful rollback of transgender student protections on Wednesday, both men and women can participate in striking against gender roles. As this is 2017, women wearing pants just isn't going to cut it as a form of striking gender roles — but allowing male colleagues, friends, or family members to take on traditionally "feminine tasks" that day will. You can also take things a step further by giving to an organization that champions the rights of women and girls around the world, who are routinely ignored in light of men's issues. (The UN's He for She campaign is a great place to start.)
7. Wear Red
Whether you can take off the day from work or not, let the color red dominate your wardrobe for the day. Red has been the chosen color for the Women's Strike: It's loud, it's bold, and there's no ignoring it. But red has also been associated with women for a number of different causes as well, from the Red Tent movement that promotes the creation of women's spiritual spaces, to National Wear Red Day raising awareness for women's risk for heart disease, to the Red Thread movement seeking to end human trafficking and sexual slavery. You might be able to go red from head to toe, or maybe you can only wear a discreet red ribbon.
Just remember that, no matter how you participate in the Women's Strike, you'll be standing in solidarity with millions of women around the globe, striking for the value and necessity of women's rights as humans rights in every community and workplace.