US group calls for a ‘day without women’
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.