Monday, July 16, 2018
News Roundup

What you need to know for International Women's Day, including Tampa Bay events

Today, the world is celebrating women.

It's International Women's Day, an annual global holiday that recognizes women's achievements and campaigns for gender equality.

And this year, after the record-shattering international turnout for the Women's March on Washington on Jan. 21, the march's organizers are staging "A Day Without a Woman" protest in dozens of cities today to coincide with holiday — including the Tampa Bay area.

In downtown St. Petersburg, organizers from the Women's March Pinellas Chapter are hosting a series of speakers at Williams Park in downtown from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In Tampa, a forum is scheduled at the John F. Germany Library at 900 N Ashley Dr. at 6 p.m. The event, hosted by the Women's March Hillsborough Chapter and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, will have presentations until around 7:15 when the group will set off on a candlelight march to Gaslight Square Park, 410 N. Franklin St.

The candlelight vigil and special ceremony will "honor the important women in our lives," according to the event's Facebook page.

"The goal of A Day Without a Woman is to highlight the economic power and significance that women have in the U. S. and global economies," said Marina Welch, captain of the Tampa chapter, "while calling attention to the economic injustices women continue to face."

The International Women's Day official color is purple — in connection with the women's suffrage days of the early 1900s — but the #ADayWithoutAWoman organizers ask participants to wear red. Organizers also tell women who want to get involved to not work that day and avoid spending money at businesses that don't support gender equality.

While the #ADayWithoutAWoman protest was planned to occur on International Women's Day, it is not the holiday's official theme.

According to the International Women's Day website, this year's theme is "Be Bold For Change."

The website refers to the World Economic Forum prediction that the gender gap won't close entirely until the year 2186.

"This is too long a wait," the site's statement reads. "For International Women's Day 2017, we're asking you to #BeBoldForChange. Call on the masses or call on yourself to help forge a better working world — a more gender inclusive world.

"IWD can be an important catalyst and vehicle for driving greater change for women and moving closer to gender parity."

Contact Samantha Putterman at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @samputterman.

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