A group of female Democratic lawmakers walked out of the House chamber Wednesday in solidarity with those participating in “A Day Without a Woman” protests across the country.
It wasn’t a terribly large showing, however, as only about 10 women left the chamber, although they were joined by dozens more a few minutes later to speak at a rally in front of the Capitol.
“We stand with the millions around the nation who have walked out today. And today, we are walking out for them,” said California Rep. Barbara Lee before leaving the House floor.
Organizers for the protest encouraged people to take a day off work, wear red or spend money at only women and minority-owned businesses. They are the same organizers behind the anti-Trump “Women’s March on Washington” that drew an estimated 3 million people in cities across the U.S.
Schools in Alexandria, Va.; Chapel Hill-Carrboro, N.C.; and Prince George’s County, Md., closed for the day on Wednesday because of widespread absences from staff participating in the strike.
Rep. Lois Frankel (Fla.), chairwoman of the Democratic Women’s Working Group, told The Hill on Tuesday that members had considered abstaining from votes on Wednesday to participate in A Day Without a Woman. But they ultimately decided against it, opting to go with a symbolic House floor walkout and rally in front of the Capitol.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel noted that the women participating in today’s demonstrations do not represent the views of all women.
“The women striking today promote the ideals of a small subset of women in this country. While they make their TV appearances in the name of championing all women, the message rings remarkably tone deaf to the struggles of so many women across our country who do not enjoy the same privilege,” she wrote in Independent Journal Review.