Today is International Women’s Day and some women are choosing to mark the occasion by participating in A Day Without A Women strike. Whether or not participating in the strike is how you want — or are able — to make your impact felt, we want to take a moment to acknowledge the value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system and overall well-being.
It’s not surprising that the A Day Without A Woman strike has drawn smart analysis from all sides given that today’s women have a more varied and complicated relationship to work than ever before. As Sady Doyle points out in her fantastic piece on the strike in Elle magazine, “Women’s strikes have typically succeeded when they have some clear idea of what women’s work is…”
Doyle goes on to point out that, “Protest signs like Don’t Cook Dinner—Starve a Rat Today or [feminist, Betty] Friedan’s specific calls to waitresses and cleaning women, made sense because, at the time, women’s work meant something specific: undervalued, often unpaid domestic and care work, or low-ranking support jobs whose effects no one noticed.”
While the lines aren’t as clear as they used to be, a couple of things are clear: Women are, by and large, paid less than their male counterparts and do a significantly higher percentage of the emotional and invisible labor in their homes and communities.
Women in the changing world of work | UN Women
What is invisible labor, you ask? Take a look at this eye-opening post at Love That Max you’ll not only find an answer, but you will also instantly become aware of all the invisible labor that you do on a daily basis. And everything that goes into feeding your family is probably on that list.
Statistically speaking, doing the food shopping, stocking the pantry, packing lunches, making sure that everyone has snacks before practice or play group, knowing who eats what, managing food allergies, coping with picky eater meltdowns, thinking (ad nauseam) about how to get your kids to eat more healthfully, and doing everything you can to ensure that your children have three meals a day, whether home cooked, ordered in, or provided by school, falls in your camp, mom. Yes, even if you also work outside of the home.
In other words, for the most part, women feed our families. And that’s not even touching on the women who feed their families while also working in fields, food plants, and other parts of the food system to make sure that we all have access to food.
So, yea, today is a day that we had to acknowledge here at Cool Mom Eats.
However you choose to acknowledge the day — and Liz has suggested 11 ways to honor International Women’s Day to make an impact long after March 8 whether or not you decide to strike — we hope that you will take time to feed yourself healthfully to make sure that you, too, are well nourished.