Two days after the Women’s March on Washington, Trump signed the “global gag rule,” surrounded by seven white men. Millions of women and our allies worldwide marched for equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people mere hours before, and yet Trump, as one of his first actions as President of the “free world,” chose to deny women control over their own bodies.
Those who oppose reproductive choice frame the “global gag rule”–which prohibits international organizations who receive aid from providing accurate and comprehensive reproductive healthcare, as a “moral” decision. But, Trump isn’t moral. He is driven by power and control. He, and the people he surrounds himself with, benefit when women receive lower wages and experience greater inequities, when women are vulnerable to discrimination and sexual harassment, and when women experience job insecurity.
The whole point of birth control isn’t to challenge religion, as those in power would have you believe. It’s to provide women with control over their reproductive health, control that leads to higher rates of college completion, labor force participation, increased wages, and family income.
On March 8, women from across the world will stand together again. The Women’s March on Washington, alongside an International Women’s Strike are calling on women and our allies to bring attention to the economic injustices women and gender nonconforming people continue to face by participating in ‘A Day Without a Woman.’
Trump may have started his reign with the “global gag rule,” but since taking office, his administration has continuously sought power at the exclusion of all others. Whether it be his attacks to the LGBTQ community by reversing a Title IX interpretation; or his greed over the Dakota Access Pipeline at the expense of human lives; or his demonization of immigrants and a proposal to separate mothers from children; or his repeal of common sense gun reforms. His actions and his words have brought violence, hate, and in some cases death, to Muslim Americans, Jewish Americans, Transgender Americans, Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Women.
Not all women, or our allies, can take Wednesday, March 8 off from work and responsibilities. But you needn’t have to. Women across the globe will take off for you, either from paid work or work within the home. You can participate in other ways, like by wearing red in solidarity with the strike, by avoiding shopping for one day (with the exception of women and minority owned businesses), by making a donation to an organization that supports women, or by sending a message of positivity on social media.
We each hold differing degrees of privilege and so wearing red for one person might be as bold or as risky as staying out of work for another. The most important thing is that we all have a role to play and we all stand together. The beauty of the Women’s March was that for one day, millions of people came together worldwide to say that women’s rights are human rights, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age, or disability.
Let’s do that again! Let’s remind this administration and the world that we hold economic power, that we are significant, and that we demand to be heard. Strike! Who’s with me!?