Wednesday, March 8, 2017
As millions of women around the globe celebrated International Women's Day, most were encouraged to take the day off. In Australia, for example, child care workers left their jobs at 3:20 pm, the time of day at which they begin working for free in comparison with what men are paid. In Dublin, women protested the Catholic Church's control over their bodies through anti-abortion policies. In Dakar women demonstrated their solidarity while planning a larger demonstration on July 31, African Women's Day. While women did leave their jobs in many instances, some could not afford either financially of professionally to abandon their jobs. Particularly, caregivers. But their voices were heard nonetheless.
What women could do was show up and be counted. Whether marching or wearing red at work, women gave witness to ongoing oppression. Since the Women's Marches in Washington, DC and around the world, women have been active in ways not seen since the '70s. And there is much to protest.
President Trump tweeted that he respects women (a la Billy Bush). Yesterday Trump demanded that planned parenthood agree to stop performing abortions or lose its federal funding and a threat was made to women and children at the borders. And let's not forget the global gag rule, prohibiting any overseas organization from receiving federal funding if abortion is offered as an option. The President respects the role that women play in our economy. One is hard pressed to find a women in a significant role in this administration. If the women in Trump world took the day off, the male team would hardly notice. BFF Vladimir Putin praised women for their "beauty and vitality" and for that apparently remarkable yet underappreciated ability to show up on time. Meanwhile, seven women were arrested outside of the Kremlin for demonstrating against 200 years of male leadership.
Women protested around the world "for equal rights and in the United States against Donald Trump." Their mobilization is not a fluke. It is a sustained effort to protect women's rights globally. The movement, like their members, has staying power.