The organizers behind January’s successful Women’s March are honoring International Women’s Day this Wednesday, March 8 by asking women around the world to take the day off from paid and unpaid labor.
Titled ‘A Day Without a Woman,’ the purpose of the protest is to show the enormous socioeconomic impact that women have on the world despite being subject to things like lower wages, discrimination and sexual harassment. However, the event has been on the receiving end of criticism in recent days since many are saying it unfairly favors privileged women who can afford to take a day off of work.
In response to the criticism, a pair of females creatives at digital agency 360i have created an initiative called ‘#EqualVoices’ to show solidary with women who can’t afford to or are unable to participate in the ‘A Day Without a Woman' strike. Women who cannot participate can go to the ‘#EqualVoices’ website to fill out their names and reasons why they can’t take part in the protest; on March 8, 360i staffers participating in ‘A Day Without a Woman’ activities will carry signs that bear the names of these women.
360i is currently promoting the initiative on its website and though its social channels. According to the agency, the effort “recognizes the privileged position of employees at 360i – where paid time off and flexible working schedules are standard – and uses it to acknowledge the women who will benefit most from the Women’s March and International Women’s Day messages but are not in a position to participate themselves.”
The organizers of ‘A Day Without a Woman’ have offered up other ways for women to show their support of the protest that don’t involve taking time off of work. Women who want to participate can also wear red on March 8 and avoid shopping that day (with the exception of small, women- and minority-owned businesses).
On the Women’s March website, the issue of whether or not the event caters to the privileged is addressed in an FAQ section where the organizers explain why they believe privileged women and allies should leverage their resources for good.