Malvern will partake in special activities to celebrate National Women’s Day.
Across the United States, women are planning to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8 with actions designed to call attention to “A Day Without a Woman,” according to the website for the Women’s March.
The organization is calling for women and their allies to “act together for equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity.”
Recommendations for participants include taking the day off work, avoiding shopping, and wearing red in solidarity. For some schools and districts nationwide, a day without women means a day without school.
However, Malvern will have their own take on the day, according to English Teacher Ms. Nicole Wilkinson.
According to Wilkinson, faculty and staff are signing up to participate in an all-day teach-in in the Duffy Center.
Faculty are encouraged to sign up for 15-minute increments to participate. Any faculty member – including men – are invited to teach a lesson, read poetry or stories, sing, or otherwise showcase work by women.
“People are starting to sign up and a couple others e-mailed me to see if there are still open spots,” Wilkinson said. “Some might be taking their classes over, while some are just preparing something for whoever shows up.”
Wilkinson believes that International Women’s Day has some special significance at Malvern Prep.
“We work in in an all boys school, and this used to be a male dominated culture,” she said. “I think it is important for the students and the faculty to notice our accomplished, successful people who contribute a lot to Malvern. We want to show what we add to Malvern and really share our stories and tell them tomorrow.”
At Malvern, Mrs. Wilkinson thought it was important to celebrate women, rather than go on strike.
“I guess what is happening tomorrow for National Women’s Day, the strikes, can be seen as a continuation of the Women’s March on Washington for the inauguration,” she said. “This one, however, is supposed to be more of a labor strike, to spotlight how much of an impact women have on the work force and other contributions.”
The movement’s goal is to show the work women do that no one really notices, Wilkinson said.
“I read in one article, and this is so true, that women do the ‘unnoticed’ work because women notice details,” Wilkinson said. “One component is also for women to refrain from housework, traditional women’s duties so that the idea of women not being present will bring to attention how much women really contribute.”
Rather than women not being present at Malvern Prep for International Women’s Day, Wilkinson would like to see Malvern highlight their accomplishments.
“I feel like a better way to recognize the contributions women make is to spotlight them on campus and the work that we do in this environment,” she said. “I think there is a lot to being a woman at Malvern that is a unique experience and the women here can be really great role models. We have a lot of accomplished women on campus, and so I thought, why should we drop out of the community for the day when we can celebrate what we do to contribute to the community here at Malvern.”
“But I probably still won’t do any house work tomorrow,” she added.