In Maryland, the Prince George’s county schools have been closed for the day as a large portion of their staff has joined “A Day Without a Woman” protests.
On March 8th, women around the world joined together on International Women’s Day to march in protests created around the concept of “A Day Without a Woman.” Many of the organizers of this set of protests credit two previous marches for their inspiration: “A Day Without an Immigrant” and the massive Women’s Marches launched shortly after Donald Trump was sworn in as president.
The goal of the protests is to highlight the impact women have in the economy and society, and how important it is to ensure equal rights for everyone in the workplace. People are encouraged to show support by wearing red, not shopping, and most significantly, taking the day off of work. Protests around the world are aimed at letting lawmakers know the crucial roles women play in the future development of nations.
And the protest has had no small success demonstrating the crucial role women play in the economy, with thousands of workers taking the day off and protesting around the globe. The Prince George’s County schools are a prime example of how important women are in the workforce.
In a move which caught many parents by surprise, hundreds of Prince George County teachers and staff called out to join the protests. According to WTOP, the CEO of the Prince George County schools announced late Tuesday night that “the school system — the second largest in Maryland — would close its doors Wednesday after 1,700 teachers and 30 percent of the transportation staff requested the day off,” telling parents that “We cannot transport students and provide safe, productive learning environments without adequate staff…. As a result, schools will be closed tomorrow for students.”
Prince George County is not alone in the strike. Several other schools around the US have also chosen to shut down due to a significant number of staff leaving for the strike. Public schools in Alexandria, Virginia, closed after around 300 staff members called in, which represents about 20 percent of the total staff involved in running the schools.
The majority of schools, including those in Prince George County, are taught primarily by females, with the female/male teacher ratios in recent years being as high as 76 percent overall for schools in favor of females according to the Department of Education. Daycare/Childcare facilities are also primarily run by women.
In fact, the Prince George County strike/protest resulted in many parents having to scramble to find some sort of care for their children, as in many cases the announcement was given with little advance warning. At least one school chose to have the teachers who came in simply provide the care needed for students, despite having no classes, in order to help ease the burden of parents.
Prince George County is a perfect example of the importance of women in the workplace. Without them, the education system would have a massive dearth of teachers. Both public and private facilities would be unable to function with just male teachers.
Of course, women fill many, many other important roles in the economy, but there are few spots where the sheer scope and power of that influence are highlighted more prominently than in the education system. Prince George County had 1,700 teachers call out not counting additional staff from bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and other essential jobs.
So what are your thoughts on the “A Day Without a Woman” protests? Know of any other locations that had to shut down like those in Prince George County? Tell us what you think in the comments section below!
[Featured Image by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images]