US group calls for a ‘day with­out women’

New Straits Times - - World -

Or­gan­is­ers of Jan­uary’s Women’s March have called for women to take the day off and en­cour­aged them not to spend money to show their eco­nomic strength and im­pact on Amer­i­can so­ci­ety.

“A Day With­out a Woman” yes­ter­day is the first ma­jor ac­tion by or­gan­is­ers since the na­tion­wide marches held the day af­ter Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s in­au­gu­ra­tion that drew mil­lions of women in protest against misog­yny, in­equal­ity and op­pres­sion.

Though it is un­clear how many women could par­tic­i­pate, thou­sands across the coun­try had sig­nalled their sup­port and in­ter­est online and to em­ploy­ers.

The event co­in­cides with the United Na­tions-des­ig­nated In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day, and or­gan­is­ers said they wanted to “stand with women around the globe”.

Spokesman Cas­sady Find­lay said or­gan­is­ers were in­spired by the re­cent “Day With­out an Im­mi­grant” protests last month.

She said the ac­tion is aimed at high­light­ing the ef­fect of women on the coun­try’s so­cio-eco­nomic sys­tem, and would demon­strate how the paid and un­paid work of women kept house­holds, com­mu­ni­ties and economies run­ning.

United States Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump took to Twit­ter yes­ter­day and asked fol­low­ers to join him in “hon­our­ing the crit­i­cal role of women”.

He said he has “tremen­dous re­spect for women and the many roles they serve that are vi­tal to the fab­ric of so­ci­ety and econ­omy”.

Ivanka Trump echoed her fa­ther’s sen­ti­ments, tweet­ing: “To­day, we cel­e­brate women and are re­minded of our col­lec­tive voice and the pow­er­ful im­pact we have on our so­ci­eties and economies.”

Un­like the Women’s March, yes­ter­day’s protest focused on the ab­sence of women, who were be­ing steered to ral­lies, com­mu­nity groups and away from work or shop­ping.

In New York, or­gan­is­ers are plan­ning a gath­er­ing in Cen­tral Park. In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day ral­lies also are planned in Philadel­phia, Bal­ti­more, Mil­wau­kee, Washington and Berke­ley, Cal­i­for­nia.

The role of women in Amer­i­can so­ci­ety is sig­nif­i­cant.

Ac­cord­ing to the US Cen­sus, women make up more than 47 per cent of the work­force and are dom­i­nant in pro­fes­sions like nurses, den­tal as­sis­tants, cashiers, ac­coun­tants and phar­ma­cists. They make up at least a third of physi­cians and sur­geons, as well as lawyers and judges.

Still, Amer­i­can women con­tin­ued to be paid less than men, earn­ing 80 cents (RM3.50) for ev­ery dol­lar (RM4.40) a man makes.

The me­dian in­come for women was US$40,742 in 2015, com­pared with $51,212 for men, ac­cord­ing to cen­sus data.

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