Chicago women prepare for 'A Day Without Women'

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Women across America and 30 more countries across the world are holding a women's strike on International Women's Day Wednesday.

Women are called on to skip work, avoid domestic work and avoid spending money all to show their power and impact on society.

Two women participating in the movement want their voices and the voices of other black women to be heard.

"Black women specifically are always at someone else's table. We decided to form our own table," Pamela Blaylock, said.

"Everybody's coming for their own initiatives, for whatever is inspiring them. It's an opportunity for solidarity," C.M. Winter, said.

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A demonstration in Chicago served as a warm up for a nationwide movement on Wednesday.

The two Facebook friends are co-founders of Black Women Speak and are among the growing number of African-American women taking part in Wednesday's International Women's Strike Demonstration in Chicago.

In Bucktown, a female-owned fitness studio will be full of women, many of them strangers, all there to celebrate their voice.

"We're going to have a discussion about what modern day feminism is. We're finding our grounding in our bodies," said Kira Elliott, fitness instructor.

In Alexandria, Va., schools are closed because 300 people have called out for the day to strike.

"We're opening our doors to any woman or woman-identified regardless of whether or not she can strike," Elliott said.

It's the first national action by organizers of January's Women's March since the nationwide marches held a day after President Trump's inauguration.

"Everyone has great ideas at the bar and on Facebook. What we're doing is trying to take that one step further because we are black women," Winter said.

The International Women's strike also known as A Day Without Women urges women around the world to stay home from work Wednesday March 8 to demonstrate their importance to the job force and demand employers pay them at the same rate as their male counterparts.

The event which echoes last month's Day Without Immigrants strike is part of a larger global work strike by women in honor of International Women's Day.

Organizers are asking women to wear red to signify love and sacrifice.

And while Chicago area women said it's unclear how many will participate, they said women, especially those of color, can't afford not to.

"We've got too many people sitting by the sidelines not doing anything," Blaylock said.
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