Illustration: Ashley SIebels
Look around your office today. How many women are in it and how many of them are missing?
On March 8, the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington are holding A Day Without a Woman, a one-day demonstration to raise awareness of the economic injustice faced by women and people of nonbinary gender.
Women are encouraged to take the day off from their jobs and take to the streets. If you can’t participate in the strike, you’re asked to refrain from shopping and to wear red —the color they say signifies love and sacrifice— in solidarity.
Organizers said they were inspired by the success of the bodega and taxi strikes in New York City and the “Day Without an Immigrant” strike held last month. By showing how global economies need women to function, the organizers want to shine a light on the seen and unseen labor of women and gender-nonconforming people everywhere.
Just north of Trump Tower, over 1,000 striking women rally — women driving past driving delivery trucks honk in solidarity. pic.twitter.com/hY0Cjk22eK
— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) March 8, 2017
Here are a few facts you can bring up today to show how women around the world are vital, significant economic force to be reckoned with—and why women at work still have far so far to go.
Without women, almost half of the global workforce disappears
New Pew Research Center analysis shows how a global day without women could crash economies. Using labor force statistics from 114 nations with data from 2010 to 2016, the Pew Research Center found that women are at least 40% of the workforce in more than 80 countries.
Sub-Saharan African countries have the most working women—but their jobs can leave them more at risk
Zimbabwe, Malawi, the Gambia, Liberia and Tanzania all had the highest female participation rate with at least 50% of their workers being women. But women in sub-Saharan African countries were also more likely to be doing informal employment like unpaid family work that leaves them more vulnerable.
Without female educators, schools in the U.S. cannot function
School systems in North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia are being shut down today because large numbers of their female staffers are striking. In Prince George’s County alone — a suburb of Washington — around 700 teachers requested the day off. It makes sense why schools in particular are feeling the hit.
A Time study found that 84% of preschool, kindergarten, elementary and middle school teachers were in the U.S. are women.
Education is not the only industry where women overwhelmingly dominate. Health professions are a stronghold for women, with 91% of all registered nurses and 96.3% of all dental assistants, according to U.S. census data. And nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers in America are women.
The gender pay gap could close by 2044 for some women, but right now it’s alive and well
White women earn about 79 cents compared to every dollar earned by men, while black women make 66 cents and Latinas earn only 59 cents. But for some women, there’s hope on the horizon.
For young women in developed markets, Accenture said in a report on Tuesday that they could achieve pay equity by 2044. For this to happen, young women would need to be savvy about their careers and focus on digital fluency and tech immersion, the report outlined. Until then, women will keep marching and protesting and negotiating for that better future.