Inspired by striking Yemeni bodega owners in NY and the Day Without Immigrants, organizers of the Women's March called for the strike.
"I'm striking against wealth inequality", one woman said.
While women in the USA have collectively made great strides, the undervaluation of women's work, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, job insecurity, equal pay, and family leave remain pressing issues.
International Women's Day started in 1911 to campaign for women's rights to work and vote, amongst other concerns, according to the campaign's website. Those women might have also been surrounded by male workers who, if they were aware of the march, scoffed at its requirements.
"We understand that when schools close there is an impact on families, who may have to find unanticipated childcare", Crawley said.
"The decision from Alexandria City Public Schools was not a political decision - and we need to make that very clear", Lloyd said. A similar decision was made in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where superintendent Jim Causby informed parents that after surveying school principals to see how many teachers would be absent, it was his "determination that we will not have enough staff to safely run our school district".
The complaints bore echoes of broader debate about the strike's message if only those who can afford to take the day off to participate.
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It said: "It is entirely about the safety of students and the district's inability to operate with a high number of staff absences".
"Wednesday's "Day without a Woman" reflects a return to issues and practices of 1970s feminism tempered with lessons learned since", says Duke University historian Jocelyn Olcott. Chef and owner of Pizzeria Paradiso Ruth Gresser will serve half of her food and draft beer to reinforce the impact of a day without women. "Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools values and supports its female employees", the district said in a statement.
Olivia Macaron, another woman-owned business at 3222 M Street NW, is also giving out a free 8-ounce coffee all day to celebrate.
Across the USA, more than three-quarters of teachers are women.
Wednesday's strike is reminiscent of "A Day Without Immigrants", which took place on February 16.