Local News

'A movement isn't supposed to be convenient': Dozens protest in Durham for women's rights

Posted March 8

— Across the country, women on Wednesday were encouraged to stay home from work, wear red and avoid shopping to show how different the world would be without their contributions.

Organizers of "A Day Without A Woman" asked women and men of every race and religion to stand together for women's rights.

Dozens of protesters filled CCB Plaza in Durham for a rally. The common themes were equal pay for equal work and reproductive rights.

"Equal pay for equal work should have happened years ago," said Rebecca Denton-Struass.

Denton-Strauss took the day off from her teaching job at Montessori Day School in Chapel Hill.

"So many of the staff chose to take it off that they ended up closing the school," she said.

The same thing happened at Chapel Hill-Carborro City Schools. Administrators canceled class last week when they realized how many teachers wouldn't be there.

"A movement isn't supposed to be convenient. A movement is inconvenient," said Denton-Strauss. "That's the only way that you get people to pay attention."

More than 80 percent of the educators in North Carolina are women.

"We're the ones that we're fighting for. We don't have adequate living wages," said NaShonda Cooke, a fifth grade teacher at Durham Public Schools.

Cooke took the day off on her own dime.

"I do have to pay out of my own salary to be here today, but I felt it was important because a lot of the educators felt like since they didn't have that option, they needed somebody here to advocate on their behalf," she said.

Matthew Edwards missed work to have to bring his two sons to the rally. Both are Chapel Hill students and were off of school already.

"We have to use our sort of unearned privilege, particularity as white males, to stand up for people who are not given the same chance from the day they were born," Edwards said.

"Really, in my life, most of my heroes were women. And it's also always been very clear to me the ways in which they aren't treated equally and never have been."

Wednesday also marks International Women's Day.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Judy Loftin Mar 9, 9:02 a.m.
    user avatar

    It was a flop, and everyone knows it. I saw no women protesting.

  • Ed Ray Mar 9, 6:35 a.m.
    user avatar

    Well A day without a woman was about has effective as a day without a immigrant was. I however did enjoy the empty roads. Just like the immigrant day I was at work faster than any day with immigrants and women. Maybe the immigrant and women should take the day off. So people that have real lives they have to pay for can get to the places they need to be a lot faster.

  • Kiara Babel Mar 9, 5:15 a.m.
    user avatar

    This protest is liberal political stunt to try and make trump look bad, just like the duke energy coal ash issue that was never a problem until a republican took office and the bathroom gender issue which charlotte started that knowing the election was coming up.

  • Thomas Williams Mar 8, 11:12 p.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Ain't that the truth! Boy, am I glad I got out of the office almost two years ago. I can't even describe how glad I am to get away from all the "stuff" that the office environment exposes one to. It got worse year by year, and I hate to say it, but there is no telling what it will be like in a few more years. Protestors, for gosh sakes, be thankful you have it as good as you do. Here in the U.S. women have it better than probably any other place in the whole world, and they still want to protest, complain, etc.? It is already against the law to discriminate based on gender, right? What else do they want?

  • Nathaniel Lincoln Mar 8, 10:27 p.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    im 45 and any "breaks" or bending of rules purposely set in place to favor one gender or race over another in my lifetime have certainly not been bent in favor of white males. The workplace is now full of females and races of all nationalities in charge. Heck just just had a black president for 8 years . What Is Your Problem??

  • Matt Edwards Mar 8, 9:33 p.m.
    user avatar

    Not saying you owe anyone anything Chris Holcomb, but if you don't think you have been given breaks throughout life that would not have been given to women or people of color, we simply see the world differently and I respectfully disagree.

  • Jim Dunn Mar 8, 8:53 p.m.
    user avatar

    If women truly earned less than men in all professions, then I would hire only women to increase profits. Do you see this happening in the USA? NO. Equal pay has been the norm for all of my professional career as an engineer since 1985.

  • Nathaniel Lincoln Mar 8, 8:52 p.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Attention 1984 man. Men and women are still different in 2017. I know you libs like to create victims out of thin air but what are you really looking for? On the books you have equality. Pansy protesting will get you no where . Performance is what made America great and performance is the only thing that will keep it great. Artificially trying to level playing fields so everyone gets a trophy is not only a Losers game but an insult to the tough women that made it without your help in this world! And there are many. You should be ashamed of yourself. Big Brother .

  • Jim Dunn Mar 8, 8:49 p.m.
    user avatar

    The equal pay has been debunked time after time. You cannot look at overall averages. You have to look at pay within common careers. In engineering, men out number women 10 to 1 or more. In teaching, women out number men 10 to 1 or more. Engineers are paid 2 to 3 times that of a teacher. You cannot average the two and get any meaningful information.

  • Patrick Morningstar Mar 8, 7:43 p.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    You'll never get an answer. The more important question is of the timing of this garbage. Why no protests last year or the year before and so on...