Join the International Women’s Strike on March 8!

March_8_Shareable.jpg

Dear Linden Families,

"What happens when you put a girl in the story?" At Linden, we always ask our students to analyze any topic they are studying from their own perspective and that of millions of girls and women around the world. This March 8, we will be joining the International Women’s Strike in solidarity with women and girls all over the world, and are asking our students to imagine a day without a girl in the story.

Instead of coming to work, woman-identified faculty and staff at Linden will have the choice to participate in strike action, acknowledging that we have the privilege to strike while many do not. We encourage families to allow their daughters to observe the strike action as well, although participation is entirely up to your personal choice. The school will remain open for all students and although regular classes will not be held, all-day relevant educational activities will be planned for those students who choose to be here.

We believe that the strike is an important learning activity, and faculty will spend time in classes before and after the strike to explain its purpose, importance, and historical precedents.

If your daughter will join the strike on March 8 and won't attend school, please RSVP here so that our safe arrival program doesn't get invoked. After School Care and snacks will be offered as usual for junior school students.

Sincerely,

Janice Gladstone
Principal


Girls and women are encouraged to participate by doing the following:

  • Celebrating solidarity and wearing red
  • Sharing our actions on social media: 
    1. Copy and share these images on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
    March_8_Shareable.jpg
    I_LOVE_NEIGHBOR.png
    2. Download, print, and distribute our "I Heart My Neighbour" flyer
    3. Go to the bottom of this page to share it on Facebook and Twitter
  • Joining a march or protest
  • Taking time to learn about actions that support human rights
  • Spending time together talking about human rights
  • Avoiding paid and unpaid work
  • Not spending money #GrabYourWallet #DivestDAPL

Men and boys can be supportive by doing the following:

  • Taking the action seriously
  • Celebrating solidarity and wearing red
  • Sharing our actions on social media: 
    1. Copy and share these images on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
    March_8_Shareable.jpg
    I_LOVE_NEIGHBOR.png
    2. Download, print, and distribute our "I Heart My Neighbour" flyer
    3. Go to the bottom of this page to share it on Facebook and Twitter
  • Learn about the reasons for the action
  • Ask questions about why girls and women are participating
  • Take over only essential work usually performed by women, but leave other work undone
  • Vocalize your support by writing to elective representatives, on social media, etc.
  • Commit to fighting for human rights, including the rights of girls and women, every day
  • Participate in #GrabYourWallet #DivestDAPL

March 8th: Day Without a Woman, FAQs

What is Day Without A Woman?
On International Women's Day, March 8th, we will act together for equity, justice and the human rights of all women by organizing a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity to support feminists of color and grassroots groups calling for the International Women’s Strike. In the same spirit of love and liberation that inspired the Women's March in Washington, January 2017, we will mark the day by recognizing the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system—while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity.  

Anyone, anywhere, can join by making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, in one or all of the following ways:

  1. Women take the day off, from paid and unpaid labour
  2. Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses)
  3. Wear RED in solidarity with A Day Without A Woman

Why is Linden taking part?
In accordance with our mission, in solidarity with women around the world, and recognizing that we have the privilege to strike (while many do not), the woman- and girl-identified members of the Linden community are encouraged to take part in the General Strike on March 8th.

How will Linden participate in the strike?
Instead of coming to work, woman-identified faculty and staff at Linden will have the choice to participate in strike action, acknowledging that we have the privilege to strike while many do not. We encourage families to allow their daughters to observe the strike action as well, although participation is entirely up to your personal choice. The school will remain open for all students and although regular classes will not be held, all-day relevant educational activities will be planned for those students who choose to be here. We believe that the strike is an important learning activity, and faculty will spend time in classes before and after the strike to explain its purpose, importance, and historical precedents.

What is a General Strike?
A General Strike is an action taken by many types of industries, typically involving large parts of a community—sometimes across more than one country. General Strikes first rose to prominence in the 19th century to promote workers’ rights, including safe working conditions, fair pay, and an end to abusive labour practices. General Strikes are typically held to advance the cause of human rights. The intention is to disrupt economic systems to gain attention from legislators and others in power. One of the most influential general strikes in Canadian history was the Winnipeg General Strike in 1919, which was organized to demand higher wages and better job conditions. Strikers were labeled as Bolsheviks, and the action was ended by force. However, this action was part of a larger workers’ movement that is responsible for many of the privileges Canadians enjoy today, such as protection from unsafe working conditions, minimum wage, and even weekends off.

Will this strike accomplish anything?
We are concerned that recent actions taken by the U.S. government have eroded human rights at an alarming rate, including women’s reproductive rights, rights for transgender students, voters’ rights, the right to protest, the right to freedom of religious expression, most notably for Muslims, and the right to a free press. Although we do not live in the U.S., their policies affect people globally, especially Canada, which has experienced increasing anti-immigrant sentiment. By participating in this strike, we stand with those who refuse to accept the erosion of our values and human rights. Although many of us are privileged, we show those who are less privileged that they are not ignored. Finally, we take the time to reflect on ways in which our daily actions can make the world a better place, and remind ourselves that together, we can be powerful changemakers. Our actions are sure to succeed even if we don’t see an immediate or direct effect on government policy.

Why would you withhold teaching for the sake of political action?  
The Linden School's mission empowers us to integrate global engagement and feminist values with our course material. The strike serves as an excellent teaching opportunity. The conversations generated around dinner tables and in our classrooms are creating rich learning for our girls about civic action where students are encouraged towards intersectional thinking and can learn about: 

  • Current socio-political affairs within the north American and global context
  • The evolution of the feminist movement and its relevance to Canadian girls and women in the 21st Century, especially from an educational perspective
  • Creating a framework to organize and advocate: The history of political and social dissent, what organized protests/strikes entail from an organizational perspective
  • Critical analysis: debating the pros and cons of striking, hearing different voices and opinions to develop a better understanding of today's issues and form one's own opinions

Linden is not the only school participating in the strike. An entire school district in North Carolina has decided to cancel classes because so many of its female teachers are planning to strike. Instead of canceling classes, Linden is open for supervised activities all day.  

Taking action at Linden will have little impact on the people who need change the most.    
We must not underestimate actions of solidarity. Taking a stand and making a statement in solidarity with women everywhere can be very empowering and impactful. This action is bound to inspire our students for years to come. 

Additional reading that we are using in our classes and conversations:

Striking on International Women’s Day Is Not a Privilege, The Nation. Feb 24, 2017

The "Day Without a Woman" strike, explained, Vox.com, March 3. 2017

https://www.womenstrikeus.org/resources/

References: www.womensmarch.com/womensday