NEW YORK, N.Y.—On Wednesday, a small group of around 100 protesters, largely female, gathered just before noon outside the 59th street Apple store in midtown Manhattan for a planned protest called “A Day Without a Woman.”
A makeshift stage had been set up, with many women wearing red as recommended by the organizers, and some donning their “pussyhats” from January’s Women’s March. Soon, the crowd grew, with women flooding in from all directions. By 12:30 p.m., there were some 400 protesters spilling into Manhattan’s Grand Army Plaza in front of the Plaza Hotel, with at least a dozen protesters climbing onto the Pulitzer fountain for a better view of the rally.
As with the Women’s March, homemade signs were plentiful, taking aim at a variety of issues including the gender-pay gap, reproductive rights, and general anti-Trump sentiments. The scope of the Women’s March was fairly broad, though many who attended were concerned that President Trump’s policies would worsen economic inequality for women. A Day Without a Woman, in a sense, picked up on that thread, attempting to show the economic power of women and what the American economy would look like without female labor or consumers.
“Anytime us ladies show up, we show up,” said Ashley Louise, an employee at Vimeo. Louise is part of the organization Ladies Get Paid, whose 4,000 members focus on workplace equality. Louise said she was striking for equal pay, and her employer was supportive of her actions: “We have to show the value women bring to the workplace.”