(NEW YORK) — Women across the country stayed home from work and marched in rallies Wednesday to bolster the cause for women’s rights in the workplace as part of International Women’s Day, a protest event that was originally organized by the Socialist Party of America in 1909 and one that has taken on a renewed sense of urgency.
“A Day Without a Woman” protest, one of the many demonstrations taking place in American cities, was organized by the same group that sparked the women’s marches held following Trump’s inauguration.
Wednesday morning, President Trump addressed the protests on Twitter, writing, “I have tremendous respect for women and the many roles they serve that are vital to the fabric of our society and our economy.”
He followed that tweet with one directed more specifically to the events taking place across the country.
“On International Women’s Day, join me in honoring the critical role of women here in America & around the world,” Trump wrote.
Trump has been greeted by a wave of protest by women since taking office, due in part to the circumstances leading up to his election.
In a recording, obtained by The Washington Post last October, Trump boasted about groping women. Subsequently, many women emerged to accuse him of sexual impropriety or assault.
Trump went on to win the election, defeating Hillary Clinton, the first female major party nominee in the country’s history.
Wednesday’s protests targeted issues beyond the president, namely the labor sector, where American women earn just 80 cents for every dollar a man makes, according to census data.
Suzie Colbert, who participated in a rally in Washington, D.C., told ABC News that she believes change can come from protests.
“I just felt a need as a woman and as a women who doesn’t like what’s going on in our country, in our world. I just wanted to be out here and support women because I think that is where the good change is going to come from,” Colbert said.
Janet Butler, a mother who attended the D.C. rally with her daughter, Alexis, told ABC News that “[women] are always doing something for everybody else and putting ourselves last so today is our day to speak up and hear our voice be heard.”
Alexis said she wanted to come with her mother as a way of preparing for her future.
“It is very important to me because I’m also going to be a woman one day so this is important,” she said.
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