'A movement isn't supposed to be convenient': Dozens protest in Durham for women's rights
Posted March 8
Durham, N.C. — 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.