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"Women are powerful—that's why they want to shut us down," Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) told the crowd on Wednesday. (Photo: @LisMeyers/Twitter)

'Women United Will Never Be Divided': Workers Rise for Labor Rights

Rally demands women 'be seen, heard, and treated with dignity, especially by the new presidential administration and Department of Labor leadership'

Deirdre Fulton

Women and allies gathered outside the U.S. Department of Labor on Wednesday, demanding fair wages, pay equity, paid leave, and labor rights while calling for an end to workplace violence and harassment.

The "Women Workers Rising" demonstration, organized by One Billion Rising in conjunction with a host of progressive labor and social justice groups, was set to feature appearances by Democratic U.S. Reps. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.), Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), and Marcy Kaptur (Ohio). 

It happened as part of International Women's Day, during which women around the world rallied, went on strike, and otherwise took action for equal rights. With its focus on labor rights, Women Workers Rising spoke directly to one of Wednesday's larger goals: building a "feminism for the 99 percent."

As Princeton University professor Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, among the authors of the initial call to strike, explained to journalist Sarah Jaffe last month:

At a very basic level, there is an understanding that the problems experienced by women in our societies today are rooted in an economic system that privileges the 1 percent over the 99 percent. Sometimes we think of women's issues unto themselves, but really these are issues that arise out of an inherently unequal economic arrangement in this country. The fact that women make less, that women don't have access to childcare provisions, that women don't have access to reproductive healthcare. They are not just economic questions, but they are related to an economic arrangement that relies on the free labor of women to, in fact, reproduce itself as a political system.

In some ways, people have really been talking about that with greater specificity and focus since the eruption of the Occupy movement in 2011, that within that context, those unequal economic relationships have a disproportionate effect on women's lives. I think that in this past election—where you literally have a billionaire who has made his money through exploiting loopholes in the system and who has sort of ascended to the political top through abusing women, visceral sexism and hatred of women—it is not surprising given the centrality of sexism in Donald Trump's campaign that the very first protests have been organized by women, mostly attended by women, that have become a focal point of the resistance movement.


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'Witness Intimidation. Clear as Day': Jan. 6 Panel Teases Evidence of Cover-Up Effort

"Add witness tampering to the laundry list of crimes Trump and his allies must be charged with," said professor Robert Reich.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Bombshell After Bombshell' Dropped as Jan. 6 Testimony Homes In On Trump Guilt

"Hutchinson's testimony of the deeply detailed plans of January 6 and the inaction of those in the White House in response to the violence show just how close we came to a coup," said one pro-democracy organizer.

Brett Wilkins ·


Mark Meadows 'Did Seek That Pardon, Yes Ma'am,' Hutchinson Testifies

The former aide confirmed that attorney Rudy Giuliani also sought a presidential pardon related to the January 6 attack.

Jessica Corbett ·


UN Chief Warns of 'Ocean Emergency' as Leaders Confront Biodiversity Loss, Pollution

"We must turn the tide," said Secretary-General António Guterres. "A healthy and productive ocean is vital to our shared future."

Julia Conley ·


'I Don't F—ing Care That They Have Weapons': Trump Wanted Security to Let Armed Supporters March on Capitol

"They're not here to hurt me," Trump said on the day of the January 6 insurrection, testified a former aide to ex-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Jake Johnson ·

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