International Women’s Day has its roots in protest. A 1909 strike by the Women Garment Workers of New York against unsafe working conditions is considered to be the first ever women’s day. More than a century later, the day continues to bring attention to injustices facing women, in America and around the world, and has frequently sparked organized efforts in the fight for equality.
One of those recent efforts was yesterday’s general strike, known as A Day Without a Woman. Organized by the team behind the Women’s March this past January, A Day Without a Woman asked participants to “act together for equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity.” Organizers called for women to refrain from work, paid and unpaid if possible, only spending money if necessary (and only at women-owned businesses), and to wear red.
Although the strike didn’t draw nearly as many people as the Women’s March, people in New York City took to the streets yesterday. I photographed two gatherings in Manhattan, one at 59th Street and one at Washington Square Park. Homemade signs proclaimed slogans such as “Nevertheless, She Persisted,” quotes from Ida B. Wells, support for intersectional feminism, and trans rights. Whatever the message, those attending the rallies used the moment to make it clear that, for women around the world, the day was not business as usual.
Photography by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge