Last year women in sixty-four countries went on strike to celebrate themselves and the work they do, while also demanding drastic change in their communities and worldwide. On Thursday Hope College will join in this day of action.

On Thursday, March 8, students, faculty, and staff will gather in the Maas Conference Room from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. to celebrate Global Women's Day.

The Global Women's Day strike is organized by the International Wages for Housework Campaign, and has an official web site that links together the many women planning to participate.

The aim of the Global Women's Day Strike is to advocate for all women to have an equal place in society. Hope College's Women's Issues Organization (WIO) is coordinating this event because the organization feels very strongly about many of the issues that are to be addressed. This includes payment for all caring work-in wages, pensions, land, and other resources. Other concerns for the students, faculty and staff of the college include paid maternity leave, breast-feeding breaks, and safe, available day care. Additional concerns that WIO would like to continue to address stretch outside the Holland community and around the world. Among them is the damage that "unforgiven-third-world-debt" continues to have on developing nations, as well as harmful working situations in sweatshops.

Hope's demonstration will be a forum for raising consciousness and giving voice to the wide range of needs that are not being met, or are simply being overlooked by today's society. Education and awareness are always important cornerstones for WIO events. Information about issues of concern will be displayed in the form of banners and posters that are intended to raise awareness and provoke thoughtful discussion.

Students and faculty are encouraged to bring their lunches to the Maas Conference Room during community hour (11-12) to participate in the event. Speakers, both from Hope College and the surrounding community, will be speaking about various issues ranging from pay inequity to female genital mutilation. The Reverend Kathy Davelaar of Hope Reformed Church will start the event, speaking about women in the church. Sara Armstrong Reed, who is associated with the Holland/Zeeland chapter of the La Leche League, will also be speaking, as well as a mother of a Hope student. The speakers will be followed by a time to share the poetry and music of women.