News Tip: Expert Available to Comment on ‘Day Without a Woman’
Organizers of the recent Women’s March on Washington have called for a “Day Without a Woman” on Wednesday, March 8, a nationwide protest in which females are urged to stay home from work to raise awareness of women’s value to the U.S. economy and society.
“Wednesday’s ‘Day without a Woman’ reflects a return to issues and practices of 1970s feminism tempered with lessons learned since,” says Duke University historian Jocelyn Olcott. “The Women’s March organizers followed up their unanticipated, galvanizing success with calls for a hundred actions in the first hundred days of the Trump administration. The first actions drew straight from the 1970s playbook.”
“Calls for supporters to send postcards to their Senators seemed almost quaint in the age of the Twitter presidency, but having hundreds of thousands of postcards arrive with the ‘Hear Our Voice’ logo on them communicated clearly that this was a movement, albeit one in which priorities came from the participants themselves rather than from the leadership. March organizers then urged women to form “huddles” that looked like more structured incarnations of 1970s consciousness-raising sessions.”
“Wednesday’s ‘Day without a Woman’ conjures recent women’s work stoppages in Latin America to protest violence against women. But it also resembles the 1970 Women’s Strike for Equality in New York City, which focused on equal opportunities in politics, education and employment. By calling the action for International Women’s Day, originally known as International Workingwomen’s Day, the organizers seek to highlight the vast amounts and array of women’s labor, much of which remains un- or under-appreciated.
“These issues occupied a central place in the agenda of 1970s feminists, such as the ‘wages for housework’ campaign. And in the decades since, they have become intertwined with questions of immigrant rights, as immigrants continue to take up many caring and household labors that many women previously performed without pay.”
Jocelyn Olcott is an associate professor of history and gender, sexuality and feminist studies at Duke University. She can discuss the history of the women’s movement and is the author of “International Women’s Year: The Greatest Consciousness-Raising Event in History” (http://bit.ly/2lAr1hi).
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• For additional comment, contact Jocelyn Olcott at:
(919) 668-5398; (919) 358-4540; firstname.lastname@example.org.