Following the massive turnouts at women’s marches around the world on Jan. 21, eight feminist activists have organized an “international women’s strike” for today with the purpose of forging a better working and more gender-inclusive world.
In observance of International Women’s Day, campuswide Tutoring Coordinator Brandy Gibson has organized a Contra Costa College Women’s Day of Action today in the Campus Center Plaza from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The event will allow students and faculty to gain the knowledge the day aims to provide without deviating from life’s daily course.
“I wanted to observe the national strike but wanted to be here because I’m committed to my students and their commitment to success,” Gibson said. “Some of my colleagues felt the same way. They wanted to support the action but didn’t want to take the day off.”
The event will feature tables where students can get information about the issues that are faced by women and people of LGBTQ+ backgrounds.
Information about access to health care, jobs and education will be available.
The overall theme of the event is access to information while offering pathways to enact change.
“We will also have the ability for students to contact their members of Congress, where to send postcards and how to email public officials,” Gibson said.
Bringing the event to campus was impromptu and was organized in just six days by Gibson after gaining approval from CCC President Mojdeh Mehdizadeh. Since observance varies so much from region to region, many have not heard of the 2017 event deemed a “Day Without Women.”
Medical assistant instructor Susan Reno said, “I need to educate myself on their movement, their stand and how that affects the school.”
The nationwide agenda is to mobilize women, including transgender women and all who support them, for a day of striking, marching, blocking roads and bridges.
They hope allies abstain from domestic care and sex while calling out misogynistic politicians and companies, and also striking in educational institutions.
The first Women’s Day observance was held on Feb. 28, 1909, in New York in remembrance of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union strike of 1908. That strike saw as many as 20,000 women commit a mass 14-day walkout that eventually gained them improved wages, working conditions and hours.
Although actions are planned locally and across the country, at CCC educators want to make sure students who want to take an active role in the future of their community have a clear path.
“Not only do women gain knowledge from events like this, it plants a seed of interest in them that develops into speaking out and addressing issues,” business administration major Angelica Espinal said.