The city of Alexandria in Virginia announced that it will close its public schools on Wednesday, International Women’s Day, after 300 members of staff asked to take leave for “A Day Without Women.” Administrators in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools in North Carolina made the same decision after a “significant” number of teachers said they were taking the day off in observance of the cause.
Alexandria superintendent Alvin L. Crawley noted in a statement that the closure was not an expression of any political affiliation, CNN reports. Instead, he explained, the schools were forced to close their doors for the day due to inadequate staffing. “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,” he explained.
But staff members who plan to participate in “A Day Without Women” are most certainly making a political statement. The initiative, which coincides with International Women’s Day, was the brainchild of the team behind the Women’s March on Washington. Organizers are urging women to refrain from engaging in paid and unpaid work on Wednesday, as a strike for “equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity.”
Similar initiatives have taken place across the globe in recent months. In November, for example, women across France left work at precisely 4:34 to protest the gender pay gap.
Read the full story at CNN.