March 8 is International Women’s Day and, this year, organizers of the historic Women’s Marches have designated today as a women’s strike they are calling “A Day Without a Woman.”
From the announcement: “In the same spirit of love and liberation that inspired the Women’s March, we join together in making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, recognizing the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system–while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity. We recognize that trans and gender nonconforming people face heightened levels of discrimination, social oppression and political targeting. We believe in gender justice.”
Today, we express solidarity with women around the globe by showing up for our 15,681st day of work as the legal arm of the women’s equality movement in Pennsylvania, fighting against gender discrimination in all its forms, wherever it occurs: at work, in school, on the athletic field, in healthcare and in the criminal justice system.
Our mission, always urgent, is even more so today as we strategize against an regressive federal agenda and a state Legislature obsessed with depriving Pennsylvania women of access to safe and legal abortion, while failing to enact basic employment protections, including: temporary, minor accommodations for pregnant workers; a sanitary space for new mothers to express breast milk to feed the baby she was, in many cases, economically coerced to abandon before ready or recommended due to federal policy of providing zero weeks parental leave; and closing loopholes in our state equal pay law. They have also failed to raise the minimum wage above $7.25 per hour in Pennsylvania, where women represent two-thirds of minimum wage workers and are the breadwinner or co-breadwinner in two-thirds of families.
In Pennsylvania policy and politics, a day without a woman means another typical day where a group of predominantly white men attempt to deprive us of our rights to control our own bodies, and fail to address systemic discrimination that creates barriers to enabling us to support our families. So we’re in the office today, and appreciate all women who are showing up for equality today, wherever and however best they can.
The Women’s Law Project is the only public interest law center in Pennsylvania devoted to advancing the rights of women and girls.
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