Every year we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th. We use the day to celebrate the incredible achievements of women throughout history and call attention to the work yet to be done for complete social, economic, and political equality.
This year, International Women’s Day takes on a whole new sense of urgency. With Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and the rest of his backwards, mysoginistic, hateful cabinet working every day to roll back the clock on women’s rights, it’s no surprise that unprecedented acts of resistance are popping up across the United States and around the world.
Think about it – just two days after the Women’s March on Washington put Donald Trump’s inauguration crowds to shame and galvanized millions of women to don their activist hats, Trump signed the Global Gag Rule, which endangers the lives of thousands of women in the poorest corners of the world.
Then, Trump named Neil Gorsuch, infamous for siding with religious zealots in the Hobby Lobby case, as his nominee for the vacant Supreme Court seat. And in the last few days we’ve seen the Trump agenda laid bare in the GOPs Affordable Care Act replacement plan. Trumpcare would cut funding for Planned Parenthood, allow private healthcare plans to deny coverage for abortion, and threaten women’s access to birth control. That’s a trifecta of terrible for America’s women.
So for International Women’s Day, we dusted off our own activist hats (not that they’ve had a chance to gather much dust this year) and jumped in on the action.
Resist Trump. Stop The Gag.
This morning NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia activists joined hundreds of men and women in a march to the White House to protest President Trump’s Global Gag Rule. Wearing red and chanting “When women’s rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up fight back!” the crowd gathered outside the White House to condemn the global gag right in Trump’s backyard. NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue gave a rousing speech, saying “When we resist, we will rise.”
Students Choose Silence
Across the Commonwealth women took part in ‘A Day Without Women,’ organized by the leaders of the Women’s March. In Alexandria, over 300 teachers and administrators requested the day off – so many that the entire school district shut down for the day. That’s a powerful reminder that women play vital roles in educating our children, staffing our hospitals, running our economies, and so much more. To quote our executive director Tarina Keene, “The world simply cannot function without us.”
Not everyone can take the day off, so supporters got creative to show solidarity for ‘A Day Without Women.’ Our student activists at Emory & Henry College staged a silent protest by showing up at all of their classes but choosing not to participate – or even speak. They each wore the photo of a woman history (and the current administration) has tried to silence, like Nikki Mossafer Rahmati, Ciara McElveen, and LeAnne Walters.
Wearing Red and Shopping Local
We’re all showing solidarity with the movement by wearing red – a color signifying revolutionary love – and spending money only at local, woman-, or immigrant-owned businesses. No matter how you celebrate International Women’s Day, we’d love to hear about it! And don’t let the resistance end today, check out our events page for upcoming activities near you!