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‘A Day Without a Woman’ march planned for Wednesday in SLO

As many as 10,000 people participated in the San Luis Obispo Women’s March on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017.
As many as 10,000 people participated in the San Luis Obispo Women’s March on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

In honor of International Women’s Day, the San Luis Obispo chapter of the Women’s March and Kindness Matters SLO are planning a march in solidarity with “A Day Without a Woman” on Wednesday.

The goal of “A Day Without a Woman,” which was organized by the Women’s March on Washington, is “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,” according to the national Women’s March website.

Dawn Addis, one of the chief organizers of the Women’s March in San Luis Obispo, said that since the Women’s March in January, the organization has been hearing from local women that “they feel more able to share their voice and be bold for change.”

The march is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. at Meadow Park, and participants will walk from the park to Mission Plaza. Addis said the march is sidewalk-only, and the group asks that everyone obeys traffic rules. Participants can gather in the park beforehand to drop off donations for the Women’s Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo County.

When the march culminates at the Mission, there is a planned moment of silence from noon to 12:15 p.m. in solidarity with women and other communities who don’t have a choice in their silence, Addis said.

Nationally, “A Day Without a Woman” calls for women to take the day off from paid and unpaid labor.

“There’s also other ways for people to participate if they’re not able to strike or march,” Addis said. “They can come to the Mission for the moment of silence, which is basically around lunch break time.”

Addis said businesses could close for the day or people could wear red in solidarity. Organizers hope to draw attention to women’s economic impact by encouraging supporters to consider divesting from certain businesses or donating to organizations that the Women’s March SLO hosted at its Call to Action rally.

Locally, the chapter is not calling for a school strike, Addis said.

Kindness Matters SLO, which has partnered with the Women’s March for the event, is a local “huddle group” that focuses on women’s rights and equity issues, Addis said. The organizer of Kindness Matters SLO, Debbie Gedayloo, took the initiative to start the group following the January march, Addis said.

“It’s exciting to see local women taking the initiative,” Addis said.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

After gathering at a rally in Mitchell Park, 7,000-plus people participated in the Women's March through downtown San Luis Obispo on Saturday, January 21, 2017, despite the pouring rain.

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