Can You Attend The Women's Strike With Kids? It Depends On How You Plan To Protest
On Jan. 21, millions of men, women, and children attended Women's March on Washington and sister marches around the world. The peaceful events were a great way to introduce children to activism at a young age. But should you attend the women's strike with your kids? The Women's March organizers recently announced their plans for A Day Without A Woman on March 8, but they've released little information so far.
A Day Without A Woman was first announced by the Women's March organizers on Feb. 6, with a date to be announced later. That same day, a different group of feminist activists published an op-ed in the Guardian proposing an "international strike against male violence and in defense of reproductive rights" on March 8, citing "feminist groups from around 30 countries who have called for such a strike." On Tuesday, it was announced that A Day Without A Woman will take place on March 8, but no other details have been shared yet. It's unclear whether the groups are working together, or if it's just a case of great minds thinking alike; March 8 is no arbitrary date, it's International Women's Day.
The mention of "feminist groups from around 30 countries" appears to be in reference to the International Women's Strike, a movement led by anonymous women from Poland, South Korea, Russia, Argentina, Ireland, Israel, and Italy. That group has been organizing via Facebook since October. They don't appear to be working with the Women's March organizers, either. But regardless of who's talking to whom behind the scenes, you don't have to follow any particular group of leaders in order to strike.
Leadership may dictate how you strike, though, and that matters even more when you get kids involved. It's unclear whether A Day Without A Woman will include any demonstrations or other actions beside simply striking. The International Women's Strike calls for women to refuse "paid or unpaid work," specifically, which could be interpreted to mean not caring for children. While some might be glad to see budding feminists being formed, others might be irked if participants don't follow the call to the letter. The Guardian op-ed group, however, calls for "marching, blocking roads, bridges, and squares, abstaining from domestic, care and sex work, boycotting, calling out misogynistic politicians and companies, [and] striking in educational institutions." While adults might be comfortable with committing acts of civil disobedience, trespassing and blocking traffic can lead to arrest, so it's best to leave the kids at home, if that's what you're planning.