Schools to Close, Strikers Ready Ahead of A Day Without A Woman

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Schools to Close, Strikers Ready Ahead of A Day Without A Woman

Rallies and protests will take place from coast-to-coast, with especially large demonstrations planned in Washington, D.C.

Those who cannot walk off the job or boycott unpaid labor are encouraged to wear red in solidarity. (Image: Women's March)

Dozens of schools are closing, rallies are planned, and women everywhere will take action on Wednesday in observance of International Women's Day and in defiance of a patriarchal society that's been emboldened, at least in the United States, by the right-wing Trump administration.

According to the Huffington Post, "schools up and down the East Coast have announced they will be closed on Wednesday as their teachers, the vast majority of whom are women, participate" in A Day Without A Woman, which is taking place in solidarity with the International Women's Strike.

The impact on schools "will...remind the public how essential women are to education," wrote HuffPo reporters Laura Bassett and Catherine Pearson, who noted: "More than three-quarters of kindergarten through high school teachers in the United States are women. Entire school districts are unable to operate without them."

In Alexandria, Virginia, for example, more than 300 teachers reportedly requested leave for Wednesday, leading superintendent Alvin Crawley to close schools for the day. A similar decision was made in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where superintendent Jim Causby informed parents that after surveying school principals to see how many teachers would be absent, it was his "determination that we will not have enough staff to safely run our school district."

BuzzFeed further reported Tuesday that "[a]t the University of California, Berkeley, at least 30 professors and instructors will either take their classes to a demonstration in support of the strike or will not hold 'business as usual' classes, according to Natalia Brizuela, an associate professor there involved with the day's organizing."

Meanwhile, rallies and protests will take place from coast-to-coast, with especially large demonstrations planned in Washington, D.C.—one outside the U.S. Department of Labor in support of women workers, and another in front of the White House in opposition to President Donald Trump's reinstatement of the so-called global gag rule, which blocks U.S. aid to organizations that provide, support, or discuss abortion.

A sizeable march and rally is also expected to happen in New York City

Those who cannot take to the streets are encouraged to wear red in solidarity, boycott all but small, women- or minority-owned businesses, and stay engaged on social media.

"Let Wednesday be the day that we find each other (look for the red!) and commit to acting in solidarity," National Domestic Workers Alliance director Ai-jen Poo wrote Tuesday. "We can leverage our untapped power to take back our democracy and make our economy work for women—and our loved ones—once and for all."

For those participating by striking, Women's March organizers provided an "out-of-office" email response template; the website Mashable did the same, offering 13 potential responses ranging from straightforward to sardonic. (Number eight: "I will be striking on Wednesday March 8 on behalf of women. If you need to know why I can't help you so please email someone else.")

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