A Global Women’s Strike Is Happening. Here’s What To Do

Roya Ann Miller

International Women’s Day 2017 is this Wednesday 8 March. To celebrate, women across the world are hoping to bring daily life to a standstill as we take part in a global strike called ‘One Day Without A Woman’.

Women of all professions and backgrounds are expected to sit down or walk out in protest against gender inequality – that nasty form of social and cultural discrimination that sees one in four women become victims of gender-based violence, women not paid the same as men, women slandered and talked down to, objectified, forced to legally declare their marital status all the time and… Are you not angry yet? You should be. Because we could go on and on. And this happens to us every day.

There are different levels of protest you can get involved with on Wednesday, not all of which need to conclude with you getting fired from work. From the least to the most, here are the efforts we can all make in solidarity with the sisterhood across the world.

At the least, we can all…

Wear red, the official colour declared as the tone of International Women’s Day this year. The official symbol is apparently a broom, as the bristles are stronger together, but if you don’t have one to hand, a crimson jumper will more than do. 

At the most and best, we can…

Down tools! Take leave from “paid or unpaid work” to go on strike. Londoners can also join a protest outside the family court in Holborn from 9.45am. According to Nina Lopez, who organised the Global Women’s Strike, there will also be a “speak out” outside of Parliament. 

And if we miss it or really can’t join in, we can also…

Head to London on Sunday 12 March to join the women’s march. It starts with a welcome from Helen Pankhurst – granddaughter of famous suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst – followed by debates, live performances by Emeli Sandé and Laura Mvula, and talks from Sadiq Khan and Annie Lennox. At 1.20pm, activists will march across Tower Bridge, which will be closed especially for the occasion. It will finish at 2.20pm.

The Mayor of London said ahead of the march that it was “unacceptable that in 2017 in London, the most progressive city in the world, your gender can still determine how much you get paid”.

Photo by Shutterstock

Additionally, we can…

Drag our fathers, brothers, boyfriends and friends along. “Equal rights is not just a fight for women – all of us need to stand in solidarity with our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends to say that discrimination, in all shapes and forms, will not be tolerated,” the Mayor added. “Ahead of International Women’s Day, I am honoured to stand shoulder to shoulder with Londoners from all backgrounds to spread the message that London is open and a place where we celebrate everyone, from every walk of life, regardless of their gender.”

Photo by Shutterstock

And in case they ask…

Yes, there is an International Men’s Day. Its on 19 November, and is to promote positive mental health, positive male role models and raise awareness about specific male health issues, like prostate cancer. It IS NOT because men are the downtrodden gender. We live in a patriarchal (male-dominated and ruled) society, and sadly, while gender inequality still exists, we must fight to keep challenging it. The more men that join us and agree with us, the better. So if this question gets thrown at you, feel free to repeat the above until they get it.