Scenes from Day Without a Woman strike in Minnesota

- On Wednesday, Minnesotans offered their support of International Women’s Day by marching, by their clothes, by their voices and more.

DOWNTOWN MINNEAPOLIS MARCH

At the Minneapolis YWCA, parents, children and staff marched throughout the building. The march was planned for Nicollet mall, but moved inside due to the wind.

“We hope that voice continues to amplify as they grow older,” said Luz Maria Frias, the CEO of the Minneapolis YWCA.

The same organizers behind the Women’s March, which followed President Trump’s inauguration, called Wednesday a “Day Without Woman,” inviting women to skip work or find other ways to participate.

“We’ve declared it a day without women. So women who are able to are striking, taking off from their jobs or regular duties. Other women who can’t participate that way are wearing red, writing to their legislative officials so their voice is heard, they’re supporting local women-owned businesses,” said Bethany Bradley, a leader of Women’s March Minnesota.

Hundreds of children, teachers, staff and parents gathered to “recognize the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system – while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment and job insecurity,” they said in a release.

Meanwhile, at Black Dog Lowertown in St.Paul, the women-owned business allowed employees to take the day off, and offered a ten-percent discount to customers wearing red in support of women.

“Over half of our employees are female, we’ve got one right now having a baby, we have another who juggles child care, I myself have a son. We wouldn’t be able to function without our female employees,” Sara Remke, one of Black Dog’s owners, told Fox 9.

CAPITOL RALLY

At the Minnesota Capitol, hundreds of women rallied in support of an Equal Rights Amendment to the state and federal constitutions.

“The super highway to equal rights is the Equal Rights Amendment,” said Betty Folliard, one of the organizers.

Some parents brought their daughters to the Capitol on Thursday to experience living history.

“This is a completely different kind of education for them. It’s participatory in their community. I’m raising two young feminists. They really do not like that women do not have the same rights as men do,” Gretchen Peterson told Fox 9. Her daughter, Johanna, said “it’s really cool everyone is coming together to speak up for something they believe is wrong, and trying to get it changed.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar brought one of her daughters to work, telling Fox 9, “I think that’s what a lot of young people are learning today, we have to come to the people’s house and fight for the rights we believe we should have.”

Her daughter, Isra, said, “It’s been empowering. It’s been a lot of fun and I think we do deserve equal rights.”

SCHOOLS CLOSED, TEACHERS JOIN MOVEMENT - Districts in North Carolina and Virginia closed schools on Wednesday after hundreds of teachers took the day off to join the strike.

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