In the spirit of the highly successful Women's March on Jan. 21, the International Women's Strike was organized to raise awareness of the seen and unseen ways women and girls contribute to the economy, all while receiving lower wages, enduring toxic and unsafe work environments, and facing discrimination.
Organizers also encourage participants to avoid emotional labor and shopping for one day, with exceptions for minority- and woman-owned businesses.
Of course, many women, femmes, and gender-oppressed people do not have the economic security to take off from work, child care, or home duties for a day. That's part of the problem. Those who can strike will strike for them.
If you're unable to take off work (or are looking for something to do while on strike), here are 21 things you can do to support the Women's Strike.
A Day Without a Woman is held on International Women's Day. Cities around the world are hosting events before, the day of, and the following weekend. RSVP to a local march, listening session, or talk in your neighborhood.
Organizers selected red as a bold, determined color "signifying revolutionary love and sacrifice." Need something red? Consider adding one of these red shirts to your wardrobe, as each one supports the American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" campaign.
Understanding the vital role women play in the labor movement — particularly women of color and women living in poverty — is vital to understanding how we move forward and improve working conditions for all women. Start your research by exploring the contributions of women like Rose Pesotta, May Chen, and Hattie Canty (no relation). And check out this book about the first successful all-women sit-in.
If you must shop during the Women's Strike, support a small, woman-, or minority-owned business or restaurant. That money stays in your community and goes right into the pocket of a woman who needs it. Aren't sure where to find woman- or minority-owned businesses? Maybe...
Chambers of commerce work to grow, support, and sustain businesses in specific communities or run by specific populations. You can join your local women's chamber as a community member or business owner, or see if your employer is a corporate member. Funds go to support training, business resources, marketing materials, and more. Check out and support local black, Latino, and LGBTQ chambers of commerce as well.
Support the art and stories of female filmmakers and take a few hours to watch some of their work. Some of my favorites streaming now on Netflix include "Pariah" (Dee Rees), "Paris Is Burning" (Jennie Livingston), "Clueless" (Amy Heckerling), and "Girlhood" (Céline Sciamma).
No matter where you live, there are talented women on the rise who could use your support. Stand-up comedy, music, art, and other live performances are often free or low-cost and a great way to support the arts scene in your city.
Here's a list of black women that fit the bill exactly. Your timeline will thank you.
These are not solely women's issues; they're issues that affect the health and success of everyone in this country. If women can't succeed, our country won't succeed either. Or better yet...
Take your message straight to the people in charge by seeking out and attending a town hall. If your rep hasn't hosted one in a while, request one — and remind your representative that they work for you.
Donate your time and money to local groups empowering and uplifting women and girls in your area. If you need some ideas, check out Black Girls Code, The Malala Fund, or the National Women's Law Center.
The Girl Scouts have helped generations of girls take risks, explore the outdoors, learn new skills, and lead with confidence. Money raised from cookies helps fund these life-changing experiences. Plus, you know, cookies.
There are women in your life who would make great elected officials. Maybe they're already thinking about it or maybe it's off their radar. Mention it. Let them know you believe in them. Check out the great resources from Emily's List, Running Start, and She Should Run for women interested in pursuing political office.
At 83, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the oldest and one of the strongest voices for women and progressive issues on the U.S. Supreme Court. She works out with a personal trainer to keep her mind and body strong so she can continue to do her job at "full steam." Channel your inner RBG and try it out for yourself. No robe required.
A call, text, note, or high five can go a long way to let the important women and girls in your life know you see them and value their contributions to your family, neighborhood, or community.
It's never too early to encourage children to dream, explore, and lead. Check out "The Apple-Pip Princess," "Molly, by Golly! The Legend of Molly Williams, America’s First Female Firefighter," and "Rosie Revere, Engineer" next time you're at the library.
No woman should have to choose between menstrual products and their next meal, but that's a reality many women face when they're experiencing homelessness. Reach out to the shelters and domestic violence resource centers in your area to learn more and drop off donations. Or connect with national groups like Support the Girls that focus largely on this issue.
Yogurt, candle, and chocolate commercials are constantly asking women to take time for themselves, but we rarely do. Self-care and taking a moment to reflect, breathe, and relax are critical. If we don't care for ourselves first, we can't care for the ones we love or stay strong in the fight for equality.
Support, repeat, and give credit for good ideas in meetings like the women of the Obama administration; keep and share a running list of back-up child care providers; offer to be a mentor or listening ear to new hires; work together to push back against sexist dress codes or natural hair bias; and encourage community, not competition.
There are plenty of videos online from the national march in D.C. and satellite events around the globe. Take a few minutes to remember the enthusiasm, unity, and revolutionary spirit of the day and use it to fuel your action going forward.
Be sure to use the hashtags #DayWithoutAWoman and #IStrikeFor.
If your job isn't secure or you don't feel comfortable sharing online, confide in a person you trust. Telling our stories is key to helping everyone understand that our challenges, struggles, and issues are not exceptions to the rule — in fact, they're all too common.
This is your movement, your day, your chance to take part in a global show of support for women, femmes, and gender-oppressed people. Make it your own, and make it count.