Last week I wrote to you about March 8th, International Women's Day. Our Union, the AAUP-AFT, has endorsed the call for action on this historic date. We'll be standing in solidarity with women around the world who want to call attention to gendered violence, reproductive rights, low-wage labor, unpaid labor at home and a host of other issues that impact women.
A recent piece in Huffington Post summarizes the goal of the March 8th actions as follows: "If you can, take the day off from paid and unpaid labor. Women comprise nearly half of the United States labor force, and their absence there would certainly be felt. But they also do the bulk of the unpaid work, cooking, cleaning and caring for children."
Your Union has not organized or called for a women's strike at Rutgers this March 8th, but we do want to build towards such actions in the months to come. In my previous email I listed various actions you can take next Wednesday such as wearing red to work (whether you are a man or a woman), putting up our Union March 8th poster, taking account of the gendered and racial division of labor in your department and, if unjust, working with your union to change it.
The Union will also be participating in rallies in New York City and Philadelphia and we support the Rutgers graduate student-initiated Walk-out to Teach-in at Voorhees Mall at 2pm that day. Please look for the Union banner at these actions to join your colleagues.
Deepa Kumar, Vice-President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Associate Professor, Journalism and Media Studies (School of Communication & Information, New Brunswick)