The Ohio chapter of Women’s March on Washington took to Goodale Park in the Short North to sponsor the A Day Without A Woman rally, part of the nationwide campaign of this year’s International Women’s Day on Wednesday.
Following the momentum of the Women’s March on Washington in January, A Day Without A Woman encouraged women to abstain from paid and unpaid labor for the day and refuse to spend money, except at small or women-owned businesses. This was all in an effort to highlight women’s purchasing power and significance in society. Women who could not participate were encouraged to wear red on Wednesday to show their support.
“Women, we are the pillar to our families, we are supporters financially as well as emotionally, and we just want to bring awareness in that our contributions and how we should be celebrated and recognized for our economic, political and social contributions,” said Rhiannon Childs, co-director of the Women’s March Ohio chapter.
Hundreds of women participated in the rally, including members of Advocates for Women of the World, a student organization at Ohio State whose members said they saw a need for a feminist group on campus that was focused more on taking action than discussing issues.
“Just as a college woman, we’re being taught all the time just to think critically about everything that’s going on in the world around us,” said Sara Wendel, a third-year in public affairs and president of AWOW. “I think coming to events like this really is a chance to gain a new perspective and talk to people who may think a little different than myself, but together we can come and support one issue or one cause and just try to portray that to the wider community.”
Karla Haddad, a first-year in marketing and member of AWOW, said the organization’s commitment to fostering inclusion, diversity and equal rights for women really resonated with her when she decided to take part in the rally.
“You come here and it’s just a bigger community of people who are just as upstanding and just as dedicated, and I think that’s just something that if we wanted to stay true to our mission, it was really important to come out and get involved in the community and just celebrate it with all the other women on this very important day,” Haddad said.
Childs said A Day Without A Woman hits home for her as an African-American woman, a single mother of two and the caretaker for her mother. She said fighting to make the world a better place for her nine-year-old daughter, Milan, is one reason she will continue to play a role in this movement.
“This is my life, this is my struggle,” Childs said. “I just want to stand up for those, for the voiceless and for my daughter who is coming behind me because she deserves a seat at the table, and I don’t want her to continue this fight that I had.”