Today is International Women’s Day, a day created by the United Nations set aside to call attention to the need for equality, education and rights for women worldwide.
This year, a movement has decided to host “A Day Without A Woman” on today in order to call attention to the importance of women to the economy.
Women were encouraged by organizers to wear red, not go to work or spend any money and to engage in solidarity activities.
In some schools systems nationwide, so many teachers and bus drivers called off that school had to be called off for all students today.
Several schools in at least four states were closed Wednesday so teachers can participate in gender equality demonstration.
Although the Day was planned before the US election and the school systems insist that the days off aren’t political, some are equating the movement to a protest against the Trump administration.
It is not without reason because the organizers of the historic Women’s March on Washington in January, which drew hundreds of thousands in protest of Trump, are supporting the strike.
Among the groups supporting Wednesday’s demonstration are Planned Parenthood, MoveOn.org and Amnesty International, according to the Women’s March website.
On Monday, school officials in Alexandria, Va., North Carolina’s Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School District and New York announced they are canceling classes in anticipation of staff shortages due to the event.
In a last minute decision, school officials in Prince George’s County in Maryland closed school for today, Wednesday, after 1,700 teachers asked for the day off to participate in the protest. About 30 percent of the transportation staff also requested an absense.
In Virginia, Alexandria City Public Schools after more than 300 staff members requested a leave.
“This is not a decision that was made lightly,” Alexandria Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley said in an email Monday to parents.
“We have been closely monitoring requests for leave on March 8, including communicating with school leaders and our education association,” Crawley said. “The decision is based solely on our ability to provide sufficient staff to cover all our classrooms, and the impact of high staff absenteeism on student safety and delivery of instruction. It is not based on a political stance or position.”
The announcement had many parents scrambling to make child care arrangements, or, in some cases, request a leave of absence from work to stay home with their children.
The Alexandria City Public School district’s Facebook page has become a forum for parents to share their opinions over the cancellation of classes.