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"Women Taking Care of Women" in Iowa Today

"A Day Without Women" highlights the inequalities faced by women in Iowa and around the U.S. (Pixabay)
"A Day Without Women" highlights the inequalities faced by women in Iowa and around the U.S. (Pixabay)
March 8, 2017

DES MOINES, Iowa – If workplaces are short-staffed today, it might be because people across the globe are taking a day to speak out about the plight of women and their need for equality. "A Day Without Women" is part of International Women's Day.

Rallies, marches, protests and special events are all being held to bring attention to issues such as gender equality, while also touting the social, economic, cultural and political successes of women.

Sandy Mostaert, the founder of the Women's March Iowa, says women are being asked to skip work, shop only at women-owned businesses and wear red today.

"This is us women taking care of women," she said. "Take a day off and show that we do have relevance and that we have a huge impact, not only in our economy but in our home and anywhere women are touching the surface."

She hopes today's action will highlight the persistent types of discrimination women often face, including lower wages, job insecurity and sexual harassment. Marches and rallies are scheduled across Iowa today.

A Day Without Women stems from the Women's Marches held across the nation in January. Mostaert says Iowa women are fighting against inequality, and are in it for the long haul.

"It's a marathon, not a sprint," she added. "This is just an initiative to really give awareness that we are still united - and we, as large numbers, will make a difference and will make change."

And she notes Iowans are becoming more politically active than ever, following what's happening in the news and speaking out. Women's March organizers are helping them stay in touch.

"We have people having town halls; they're making their postcard parties," said Mostaert. "We're recruiting these action plans and having national grassroots activists develop these 'huddles,' and giving them resources so they can take on those issues that they're interested in."

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IA