Day Without a Woman

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Day Without a Woman
Democratic House Reps head down the Capitol stairs to meet the crowd gathered for -daywithoutawoman (32946472720).jpg
House Democratic representatives heading down the United States Capitol stairs to meet demonstrators in Washington, D.C.
DateMarch 8, 2017 (2017-03-08)
Demonstrator in New York (2018).

A Day Without a Woman was a strike action held on March 8, 2017, on International Women's Day. The strike, which was organized by two different groups—the 2017 Women's March and a separate International Women's Strike movement—asked that women not work that day to protest the policies of the administration of Donald Trump. Planning began before Trump's November 2016 election. The movement was adopted and promoted by the Women's March, and recommended actions inspired by the "Bodega Strike" and the Day Without Immigrants.

Organizers in the U.S. encouraged women to refrain from working, spending money (or, alternatively, electing to shop only at "small, women- and minority-owned businesses"), and to wear red as a sign of solidarity.


The strike was organized by international coalitions of activists with a range of articulated demands.

Platforms of US-based organizers[edit]

The American strike platform demanded "open borders," freedom from "immigration raids," and "the decolonization of Palestine" as ancillary goals to "emancipation of women."[1][2]

The group of 8 well-known activists who issued the first call for a March 8, 2017 strike in the United States described it as "anti-capitalist," "anti-racist, anti-imperialist, anti-heterosexist," "anti-neoliberal," and opposed to "the violence of the market, of debt, of capitalist property relations, and of the state; the violence of discriminatory policies against lesbian, trans and queer women; the violence of state criminalization of migratory movements."[3]



The strike was worldwide, with planning beginning in Poland in October 2016[4] before Donald Trump won the United States presidential election.[5]

United States[edit]

On February 6, eight political activists including Linda Martín Alcoff, Cinzia Arruzza, Tithi Bhattacharya, Nancy Fraser, Barbara Ransby, Rasmea Odeh, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, and Angela Davis called for a March 8 strike in the United States.[3][6] Later that morning, organizers of the 2017 Women's March against the Trump administration endorsed the idea of a general strike without specifying a date.[7] On February 14 organizers of the January Women's March endorsed the March 8 strike,[6][8] raising questions about what group was in charge and what the goals and scope of the protest would be.[9] Other groups had called for general strikes as well.[10]

Journalists noted how women's marches and multi-issue general strikes had effected changes outside the United States.[11][12] Most notably, the International Women's Strike encouraged women around the world to go on strike on the same day as the Women's March strike.[4]

The Women's March organizers, which included political activists Angela Davis and Linda Sarsour,[13] encouraged all participating women, regardless of whether they were striking, to take similar actions as those taken during the "Bodega Strike" and the Day Without Immigrants—not shopping, except at small businesses and businesses owned by women and minorities;[14][15] and wearing red in solidarity,[16][14] since red has traditionally been the color of labor movements around the world.[15] The organizers also asked participants to not work on that day, either in paid or unpaid labor.[14][17][15] Men participating in the strike could show support by performing that day's housework and childcare duties.[15] A week after the original announcement, the event's organizers announced the strike's date as March 8, 2017, which was when that year's International Women's Day occurred.[17][18]

Uber let its employees know that they were free to take the day off to participate in the protest.[19] Microsoft, MTV News, Teen Vogue, Bustle, Jezebel, Fusion, the Cut, The A.V. Club, and Twitter also allowed women employees to take the day off.[20]

Strike actions[edit]

An International Women's Day strike took place in over 50 different countries and in 400 cities across the world.[21] There were tens of thousands of women in Poland demonstrating for women's rights.[19]

In the United States[edit]

Demonstrators in front of San Francisco City Hall.
Baltimore rally participants.

There were around 1,000 demonstrators outside of Trump Tower in New York City.[22] Four of the primary organizers of the march—Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez, and Bob Bland—were arrested for obstruction of traffic outside the Trump International Hotel and Tower on New York City's Columbus Circle.[23][24] Los Angeles held a large demonstration at Grand Park.[25] In San Francisco, a rally at City Hall drew over a thousand people.[26]

In Washington, D.C., House Democratic representatives walked out of the Capitol[27] in an action of solidarity with the protester.[28] An event called "Women Workers Rising" happened in front of the U.S. Department of Labor.[21]

Late night entertainment shows in the United States, such as Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and the Late Late Show with James Corden, all had skits and guests celebrating the strike.[29]


Some school districts in the United States were shut down because of the number of teachers that requested the day off.[30] Schools in Alexandria, Virginia, and in Prince George's County Public Schools in Maryland were closed.[30] Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools in North Carolina,[31] and Center City Public Charter Schools in Washington, D.C., were also closed.[32]

The municipal court in Providence, Rhode Island, was closed because of the number of women who participated in the strike.[31]


Some criticism of the strike was aimed at the sense of white privilege critics felt was present.[33] These critics felt that the idea was a good one, but felt that only women in good economic situations, mostly consisting of white women, would be able to take part, as women of color (who disproportionately make up minimum-wage jobs) would not have the freedom to take time off work without the fear of losing their jobs.[33][34]

In response to this criticism, strike organizers pointed out that other strikers in different eras were not considered "privileged". Sarsour said, "We honor the women who striked in the Montgomery bus boycott...Are those privileged women? What about the farmworkers that said 'we will not pick this produce without worker's protections?' Were those people privileged?"[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Our Platform". International Women’s Strike US Platform. US Women's Strike. Archived from the original on March 17, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  2. ^ "US 'Women's Strike' platform calls for 'decolonization of Palestine'". JTA. March 8, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Women of America: we're going on strike. Join us so Trump will see our power". The Guardian. February 6, 2017. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Cooney, Samantha (March 7, 2017). "Meet the Organizers Behind the Upcoming Worldwide Women's Strike". Motto. Archived from the original on March 7, 2017. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  5. ^ Pearson, Catherine (March 1, 2017). "The 'Day Without a Woman' Is Happening. Here's What That Means". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Evans, Dayna (February 15, 2017). "On March 8, Women Will Go on Strike". New York Magazine. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  7. ^ Plaugic, Lizzie (February 6, 2017). "Women's March organizers announce general strike on Twitter". The Verge. Vox Media.
  8. ^ Gontcharova, Natalie (February 23, 2017). "Women's March Organizers Call For A Strike On March 8". Refinery29. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  9. ^ Jashinsky, Emily (February 16, 2016). "Is the Women's March rejecting 'lean-in feminism'?". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  10. ^ "Organizers of the Women's March Now Want Women Across the Country to Go on Strike". BuzzFeed.
  11. ^ Hoover, Amanda (February 8, 2017). "Activists plan 'A Day Without a Woman' strike to follow historic Women's March". The Christian Science Monitor. Christian Science Publishing Society.
  12. ^ Stevens, Heidi. "Women's March organizers plan 'a day without women.' It's happened before". Chicago Tribune. tronc. ISSN 1085-6706. OCLC 60639020. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  13. ^ Sommer, Allison (March 9, 2017). "The Palestinian Woman Convicted of Terror Casting a Shadow Over 'Day Without Women'". Haaretz. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  14. ^ a b c "A Day Without a Woman". Women's March on Washington. Archived from the original on January 30, 2019. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  15. ^ a b c d "Here's why some women are wearing red to work -- or not working at all -- on Wednesday". NOLA. March 7, 2017. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  16. ^ Tatum, Sophie (February 23, 2017). "'Day Without a Woman' details released". CNN. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  17. ^ a b "The 'Day Without a Woman' general strike is set for March 8th". The Verge. February 15, 2017. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  18. ^ "Women's March Organizers Announce General Strike on March 8". Refinery29. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  19. ^ a b Abrams, Susan Chira, Rachel; Rogers, Katie (March 8, 2017). "'Day Without a Woman' Protest Tests a Movement's Staying Power". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  20. ^ O'Connor, Clare. "These Companies Are Shutting Down For 'A Day Without A Woman' Strike". Forbes. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  21. ^ a b c "'Day Without a Woman' draws protests, arrests". NBC News. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  22. ^ "Thousands Strike, Rally in NYC for 'Day Without a Woman'". NBC New York. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  23. ^ "Women's March Organizers Arrested Outside Trump Hotel". Time. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  24. ^ "'Invisible No More'—Women's Strike Rocks Manhattan". Observer. March 9, 2017. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  25. ^ "Why the International Women's Day rallies were a sea of red in downtown LA". Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  26. ^ Kevin Fagan; Filipa Ioannou; Jenna Lyons (March 8, 2017). "A Day Without a Woman rallies unite thousands in Bay Area and beyond". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  27. ^ Raymond, Adam K. "House Dems Walk Out for Women's Strike As Protests Begin With NYC Arrests". Daily Intelligencer. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  28. ^ York, Claire Phipps Molly Redden in New; London, Alexandra Topping in (March 8, 2017). "International Women's Day 2017: protests, activism and a strike – as it happened". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  29. ^ "Samantha Bee, fellow hosts show late night shows on 'A Day Without a Woman' are a travesty". USA TODAY. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  30. ^ a b "School closures on 'Day Without a Woman' draw mixed response". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  31. ^ a b Zavis, Alexandra; King, Laura; Demick, Barbara (March 8, 2017). "American women skip work and take part in rallies on 'A Day Without a Woman'". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  32. ^ FOX. "Local teachers defend decision to attend 'A Day Without a Woman' rallies in DC". WTTG. Archived from the original on March 9, 2017. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  33. ^ a b Kenney, Tanasia (March 8, 2017). "'A Day Without a Woman' Strike Sparks Renewed Debate Over White Female Privilege". Atlanta Black Star. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  34. ^ Redden, Molly (March 8, 2017). "'A Day Without a Woman' faces a pivotal question – what woman is it for?". The Guardian. Retrieved March 9, 2017.

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