International Women’s Day dates back to a protest staged in New York City in 1908. But this year the annual event is the subject of renewed attention. The holiday that was born out of a call for better working conditions and the right to vote has taken on a new sense of urgency for many in the wake of November’s election.
A number of women’s rights organizations that have been instrumental in organizing protests over the past few months have designated today A Day Without a Woman. The one-day demonstration calls for “women and our allies [to] act together for equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity.”
The concerns, sadly, indicate that not nearly enough has changed since IWD was first marked more than a century ago.
Today’s event will be peppered with protests and strikes, with organizers asking participants to wear red, take the day off from work (both paid and unpaid) and avoid shopping “with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses.”
The results have been wide-reaching. The New York Times notes the resulting effective shut down of the municipal court in Providence, Rhode Island and a march in Washington, DC with several hundred people blocking the streets outside the White House.
At a massive protest in New York City, meanwhile, several participants have reportedly been arrested, while down on Wall Street, investment firm State Street Global Advisors has installed a statue of a “Fearless Girl” defiantly staring down the iconic bull.
The above photo, meanwhile, was taken at a rally in front of San Francisco’s City Hall, where London Breed of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors addressed a packed crowd.
Recode notes that a number of tech companies like Uber and Lyft have embraced the event, telling employees they are welcome to participate in the strike.
Here are how some of tech’s other top names are addressing International Women’s Day / A Day Without a Woman.
Birchbox: In a promotion launching tomorrow (so everyone can do their best to avoid shopping today), the subscription service will be offering items for 20.4-percent off, to highlight the average difference between men’s and women’s pay. The service will also donate a portion of proceeds to Glamour’s education nonprofit, The Girl Project.
Facebook: COO Sheryl Sandberg announced Monday that the social network will be hosting #SheMeansBusiness, a 24-hour Facebook Live event featuring conversations with a number of high-profile businesswomen.
Google: The software giant has acknowledged IWD on a number of its different verticals, including, most prominently, the doodle on its home page, which “a young girl goes on a journey to meet 13 female trailblazers from throughout history.” On the YouTube Kids app, meanwhile, former U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios is highlighting videos featuring “Super Women of Our Past.”
Grubhub: The food ordering app is launching an initiative to highlight women in restaurants, noting that less than 20 percent of chefs are women, while only one-third of restaurants are majority owned by women.
Square: Here’s Square standing (well, sitting) in solidarity.
Tinder: Tinder is celebrating the day by donating $250,000 to women’s organizations, including Planned Parenthood, Girls Who Code and UN Women.
Women’s Day Strike 5
Women’s Day Strike 4
Women’s Day Strike 3
Women’s Day Strike 2
Women’s Day Strike 1
London Breed, SF Board of Supervisors at Women’s Day Strike
London Breed, SF Board of Supervisors
We’ll continue to update as more news comes in.