'Day Without a Woman' Aims to Highlight Female Role in US Economy - NBC New York
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'Day Without a Woman' Aims to Highlight Female Role in US Economy

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Local Business Closes for 'Day Without a Woman'

    A business in North Park decided to close for the day in solidarity with "A Day Without a Woman" in San Diego. NBC 7's Elena Gomez reports. (Published Wednesday, March 8, 2017)

    Some American women stayed home from work, joined rallies or wore red to demonstrate their economic clout Wednesday as part of a multitude of International Women's Day events held around the globe.

    The Day Without a Woman protest in the U.S. was put together by organizers of the vast women's marches that drew more than 1 million Americans into the streets the day after President Donald Trump's inauguration.

    The turnout this time appeared in many places to be far smaller. And there were no immediate estimates of how many women heeded the call to skip work.

    A crowd of about 1,000 people, the vast majority of them women, gathered on Fifth Avenue in the shadow of Trump Tower to demonstrate. Women dressed in red and waved signs reading "Nevertheless she persisted," ''Misogyny out of the White House now" and "Resist like a girl."

    International Women's Day: Rallies, Marches and MilestonesInternational Women's Day: Rallies, Marches and Milestones

    "Trump is terrifying. His entire administration, they have no respect for women or our rights," said 49-year-old Adina Ferber, who took a vacation day from her job at an art gallery to attend the demonstration. "They need to deal with us as an economic force."

    Rallies also took place in Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, San FranciscoBoston and Milwaukee.

    Schools in Alexandria, Virginia, and Prince George's County, Maryland, were forced to closed Wednesday after hundreds of teachers and other employees let it be known they would be out.

    "The decision is based solely on our ability to provide sufficient staff to cover all our classrooms, and the impact of high staff absenteeism on student safety and delivery of instruction," Alvin L. Crawley, superintendent of Alexandria schools, wrote in a letter, noting more than 300 people called off work.

    In Providence, Rhode Island, the municipal court closed for lack of staff members, NBC affiliate WJAR reported.

    'Fearless Girl' Statue Stares Down Charging Bull on Wall Street'Fearless Girl' Statue Stares Down Charging Bull on Wall Street

    A bronze statue of a young girl showed up near the iconic charging bull statue on Wall Street ahead of the International Women's Day.
    (Published Wednesday, March 8, 2017)

    In Washington, more than 20 Democratic female representatives walked out of the Capitol to address a cheering crowd of several hundred people.

    Dressed in red, the lawmakers criticized efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi encouraged more women to go into politics, saying, "You have marched for progress. Now you must run for office."

    Hundreds of women dressed in red and holding signs with photos of their local lawmakers gathered at the Utah Capitol to remind legislators they are closely watching how they handle women's issues.

    Some businesses and institutions said they would either close or give female employees the day off.

    The owners of the Grindcore House in Philadelphia closed their vegan coffee shop, where eight of the 10 employees are women.

    "The place definitely wouldn't run without us," said Whitney Sullivan, a 27-year-old barista who planned to attend a rally.

    The U.S. event — inspired in part by the Day Without an Immigrant protest held last month — was part of the U.N.-designated International Women's Day. 

    Women's March spokeswoman Cassady Findlay said the action is aimed at highlighting the effect of women on the country's socio-economic system and demonstrating how the paid and unpaid work of women keeps households, communities and economies running.

    "We provide all this value and keep the system going and receive unequal benefits from it," Findlay said. 

    In New York, a statue of a fearless-looking girl was placed in front of Wall Street's famous charging bull sculpture. The girl appeared to be staring down the animal. A plaque at her feet read: "Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference." Organizers also planned a gathering in Central Park and a march through downtown Manhattan.  

    As part of the Day Without a Woman protest, women were also urged to refrain from shopping.

    In the Bay Area, women were encouraged to flex their economic muscle and hundreds joined rallies in San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland. 

    Several South Florida women's groups also planned several rallies, including one outside the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Field Office in Miami, NBC Miami reported.

    Former President Barack Obama took to Twitter to acknowledge the important role of females on International Women's Day, tweeting: "@MichelleObama and I are inspired by all of you who embrace your power to drive change."

    Trump also saluted in a tweet "the critical role of women" in the U.S. and around the world. 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."

    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."

    First lady Melania Trump marked the day by hosting a luncheon at the White House for about 50 women.

    The White House said none of its female staff members skipped work in support of International Women's Day.

    Some criticized the strike, warning that many women cannot afford to miss work or find child care. Organizers asked those unable to skip work to wear red in solidarity.

    Monique LaFonta Leone, a 33-year-old health care consultant in Colorado Springs, Colorado, had to work but put on a red shirt and donated to charity, including Planned Parenthood.

    "I have bills to pay, but I wanted to make my voice heard, no matter how quiet," she said. "I also wanted to make a statement to say that women are doing it for themselves. We're out here in the workforce and making a difference every day."

    Women make up more than 47 percent of the U.S. workforce and are dominant among registered nurses, dental assistants, cashiers, accountants and pharmacists, according to the census.

    They make up at least a third of physicians and surgeons, and the same with lawyers and judges. Women also account for 55 percent of all college students.

    At the same time, American women earn 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. The median income for women was $40,742 in 2015, compared with $51,212 for men, according to census data.