What is A Day Without A Woman?

March 8th is A Day Without A Woman, a women’s strike brought to you by the women who organized the Women’s March. On Wednesday, you’re encouraged to wear red, strike from your job or school, and not spend any money in stores. If you must, only shop at small businesses owned by women or people of color. Women are also encouraged to refrain from doing any unpaid labor, which refers to work like cooking and cleaning and care-taking, all of which are tasks that take significant time but don’t provide any money in return.

How Does A Women’s Strike Work?

The strike is meant to show the world the value of women. Imagine what your day would be like if there were no women around to teach at schools or to run businesses across the country. Think about the chaos that would take over if women weren’t around for a single day to be waitresses in restaurants, do research in laboratories or treat sick patients in doctor’s offices.

Yes, Women Are Striking From Unpaid Labor Too.

Now consider what would happen in homes across the country if women didn’t perform unpaid labor either. No women making breakfast or being caregivers or even doing emotional labor like helping men deal with their personal burdens. On the day of the strike, women are encouraged to take the day off from performing the role of housekeeper or “unpaid therapist”. Generally speaking, if it’s any type of work, March 8th is the day to shut it down so the people around you can see just how valuable women’s time and effort really is.

What Should I Do With My Day Off?

First, give your teacher or supervisor a heads up. Here’s a letter created by the organizers of the strike for you to share with your boss to let them know you’ll be striking and to ask for their support. Next, make sure to tell the world you’ll be striking and tell them why on social media using #IStrikeFor; you never know who else you might convince to join the movement. On the day of the strike, you can spend your time volunteering with women’s organizations in your area, building community with other women who are striking or anything else that makes you feel empowered. Some cities like New York and DC will be hosting rallies on the day of the strike that you can attend.

How Can Men Support Women Who Strike?

If you’re not a woman, but you’re still down for the cause, think about how you can support the women striking in your life. You should start by wearing red in solidarity. Maybe you make a copy of your notes from class for your female friends or offer to babysit. If you work part-time, see if any of your co-workers are striking and reach out to cover your female co-workers’ shifts. You can also spend the day at work speaking up for women in the workplace and issues like equal pay. Once you’ve done that, make sure to get other guy friends to pitch in to support the women in your life going on strike and be sure to spread the word on social media.

Respond and let us know how you’ll be supporting the women’s strike! For more information on the strike and how you can take action on gender equality, check out strike.mtv.com.