WESTPORT, Conn. — When Westport resident Melissa Kane leaves her house Wednesday morning, she'll be wearing red in honor of a "Day Without A Woman.”
In this one-day demonstration of economic solidarity that coincides with International Women’s Day, many will unite for equity, justice and the human rights of women.
It's the same spirit as the Women’s Marches that took place across the nation the day after President Donald Trump took office. Women are honoring March 8 by taking the day off from work, shopping only in small women- and minority-owned businesses, wearing red and making donations to organizations that support women.
Kane plans to make a donation to Planned Parenthood.
"On a personal level, a Day Without A Woman is a response to the administration in power that is marginalizing women and minorities," said Kane, chairwoman of the Westport Democratic Town Committee and a member of the Women’s March, Connecticut Chapter.
“The Executive Order that President Donald Trump signed defunding international organizations that provide women's reproductive healthcare services is a death sentence for millions of women around the world," she said.
A Day Without A Woman "is a way to highlight the tremendous value that all women add to our socio-economic system," she said.
Kane is also helping to organize an event called We March On-Fairfield County Forum on Saturday, April 1, to sustain the momentum from the Women’s March.
Ridgefield resident Aimee Berger-Girvalo feared that following the Women's Day directive to the letter could hurt local businesses.
Instead, she helped to print 80 signs that say, "We Support Women and Minorities," and placed them in store windows throughout town. "Women will know which businesses are honoring the Day Without A Woman and be able to patronize accordingly," she said.
And although many women are taking off from work on Wednesday, Penny Kessler, cantor at the United Jewish Center in Danbury, plans to go to her job.
"I'm going to my job in honor of the 'mentor' who told me that while he was willing to help me become a cantor, he really didn't think that women should be cantors," said Kessler, a Bethel resident.
Kessler said she stands with a Day Without A Woman and "supports the effort to bring awareness to women's issues: [unequal] salaries, abuse and denigration."
On Wednesday, Bethel resident Laura Collins is teaching a free class on how to crochet and make pink pussy hats, a trademark accessory of the Women's March, in the Bethel Library courtyard from 2 to 5 p.m.
"I wanted to organize this kind of activity because I think it's important that women are visible in the community. Also, I want to provide a constructive activity that women can do together to learn something new," said Collins, a member of Action Together Connecticut and the Bethel Democratic Town Committee.
"Bring yarn and hooks if you have them, but I have a few extras. People who already know how to crochet or knit are very welcome to attend, as well as newbies," she said.
Nancy Gould, who owns the Sheep Shoppe in Newtown, will keep her doors open Wednesday
"I don't feel right closing since we serve mostly women," Gould posted on Facebook. She offered one enticement for shoppers: "We have nice washable pink wool for hats."
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