'Day Without a Woman' Draws Hundreds to City Hall

In solidarity with the female reporters from our sister newsroom the Examiner, we headed to Civic Center to scope out the scene, and checked in with a few women about why they chose to participate in the day's activities. "Thank you all very much for coming", said Democratic leader of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, addressing those who rallied on Capitol Hill.

Rallies were planned in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Washington and Berkeley, California.

On the event's website, the question is raised: "What about women who can not afford to take the day off work or those who fear they will be fired?" The city of Alexandria, just outside the United States capital, found out on Wednesday as an avalanche of teacher requests for time off to mark International Women's Day forced it to close down its entire public school district.

"We stand in support of all people", Billie Mays, a local activist and organizer of the rally, said.

Nauta also mentioned the high cost of child care (the US ranks 25th out of 29, at 35.1 percent of the average wage) and that there are relatively few women in national government (19.2 percent, also 25th out of 29). "The women of TeenVogue.com are staying home today", reads a letter from editors on the glossy's homepage. "Women there are more educated than men these days (which is also true of the USA, though to a lesser degree); leave by fathers is becoming increasingly normal, and all those things make a big difference". Organizers asked those unable to skip work to wear red in solidarity. "We have never had a time when we've had so many staff members who have submitted a personal leave on the same day".

"We just reacted to the situation", she said.

"It's a way to bring attention to women's rights, better pay, better working conditions - and I would say because I'm a nurse, better health care for women", she said. "We're exposed to many different cultures and many different types of people".

Softening the blow, one of its elementary schools, Patrick Henry, set up a temporary day care costing just $15 so parents did not have to take the day off.

"On International Women's Day, join me in honoring the critical role of women here in America & around the world".

Lovely Monkey Tattoo, a female-owned tattoo parlor in Whitmore Lake, Mich., offered tattoos with messages like "Nevertheless, She Persisted" - a reference to the recent silencing of Sen. He tweeted that he has "tremendous respect for women and the many roles they serve that are vital to the fabric of our society and our economy".

  • Salvatore Jensen