Ladies around the country — and even around the globe — are banding together for International Women’s Day, showing their importance by not showing up.
The organizers behind the widely-attended anti-Trump Women’s March, which gathered thousands of women in cities across the globe the day after President Donald Trump‘s inauguration, have planned a women’s strike dubbed “A Day Without Women.”
Today, the group is encouraging women to abstain from doing paid or unpaid work, avoid spending money (except at small or women-owned businesses) and to wear red in solidarity. Businesses are encouraged to support the strike by closing their doors or giving their female employees the day off.
The day is inspired in part by the Yemeni New York City bodega workers who led a strike in response to President Trump’s controversial first travel ban, as well as the “Day Without Immigrants” strike last month.
Teachers Walk Out
The impact of “A Day Without a Woman” was felt before the event hit.
Several districts across the nation announced that schools would be closed on Wednesday due to the high number of anticipated absences.
Schools in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Alexandria, Virginia; and Prince George’s County, Maryland are closed Wednesday due to the number of educators who have asked to participate in the Women’s Strike.
In Brooklyn, New York, a preschool sent a letter to parents saying it supports teachers who are calling out of work because it shows kids “we do actually practice all that we teach them,” according to the Huffington Post.
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Lady Liberty (Unintentionally) Participates
Twitter erupted when the Statue of Liberty’s lights went out for over an hour on the eve of International Women’s Day, with many assuming she was kicking off the movement. However, the National Park Service, which operates the monument, denied that it had anything to do with the planned strike.
“A portion of the lighting system that illuminates the Statue of Liberty experienced a temporary, unplanned outage tonight,” National Park Service public affairs officer Jerry Willis told USA Today. “The outage was most likely due to work related to an ongoing project to activate a new emergency backup generator that is part of our last remaining Hurricane Sandy recovery projects.”
Still, the timing was just too coincidental to ignore.
Standing Up to the Bull
One change to an iconic New York City landmark was no accident.
State Street Global Advisors, a nearly $2.5 trillion investor, placed a bronze statue of a defiant little girl standing in front of the Wall Street bull.
“To celebrate International Women’s Day, State Street Global Advisors offered a new symbol of women in leadership,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement shared on their website. “Standing strong and confident, a new iconic landmark arrives in the one place no one can ignore — New York City’s financial district.”
State Street vowed to push for more women to serve on the corporate boards of companies they work with.
“Standing proudly for the promise and power of women in leadership, she is right where she belongs,” the spokesperson said.
President Donald Trump‘s Message Is Met with Criticism
Trump, 70, took to Twitter early Wednesday with a message praising women.
“I have tremendous respect for women and the many roles they serve that are vital to the fabric of our society and our economy,” he wrote. “On International Women’s Day, join me in honoring the critical role of women here in America & around the world.”
However, many users were quick to point out times where the commander-in-chief was notably less than respectful to woman, citing Trump’s previous comments about public figures such as Megyn Kelly and Arianna Huffington.
“Was calling Megyn Kelley a ‘news bimbo’ showing tremendous respect?” wrote one commenter.
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Celebrities Join In
Just like the Women’s March, Hollywood is lending their star power to the movement.
Kerry Washington donned a red dress during her appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden, confirming its significance by retweeting a fan who praised her participation.