Women across South Florida rally for 'Day Without a Woman' strike

Posted at 5:57 PM, Mar 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-08 18:54:03-05

Women in South Florida rallied for International Women's Day.

"A Day Without A Woman" movement encouraged women to call out from work, wear red in solidarity and even avoid shopping.

A candlelight vigil, organized by the Women's March Florida West Palm Beach chapter, wrapped up the day outside city hall Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil.

But earlier in the day, some women skipped work and spent the day at the beach -- taking part in a beach cleanup in the name of women's rights.

"I have an opportunity to do something worthwhile," said Mardi O'Shaughnessy. "We're all in this together. It's not just today for women -- it's for everyone."

As some women took the day off from work today for the Women's Strike, the group decided to use it to clean up Boynton Beach's inlet park.

"We wanted to give people an opportunity to do something productive with their day," said Alex Newell Taylor, captain of the local chapter for Women's March Florida. "Just to highlight all of the work that women do paid and unpaid in our society."

Newell Taylor said the rally comes amid what she called an attack on women's health.

"Bill just came down yesterday to de-fund Planned Parenthood which is the biggest provider of affordable health care to women in this country. Not to mention what is going on with the ACA repeal," she said. "Women's rights go beyond what's happening with the reproductive system. Immigrant rights are women's rights. Environmental issues are women's issues."

Down the road at the Cascade Lakes community in Boynton Beach, about 100 men and women celebrated the day wearing all red.

And in Miami, dozens protested outside the U.S. Immigration Services office. Click here to read more.

"A lot of division right now and that's not doing anybody any favors on either side," said Amanda Kopecz, who took part in the Boynton Beach cleanup.

Newell Taylor hopes the strike today will start more conversations.

"We deserve to be valued, our health deserves to be valued, our economic justice deserves to be valued just like men," she said.

Many of the women we spoke to are stay at home moms or work at jobs that allowed them to miss work.

On the flip side, some school districts across the country were forced to shut down school on Wednesday, with hundreds of teachers in one district not showing up to class.

We checked with Palm Beach County schools and were told the attendance was normal on Wednesday with no issues.

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