SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Bay Area residents are recognizing the contribution of women to society during International Women’s Day Wednesday with a variety of events ranging from rallies to marches to talks.

At 11 a.m., women gathered for “A Day Without a Woman” rally and march at San Francisco City Hall, according to Women’s March Bay Area, which held the popular Women’s March at various locations around the region on Jan. 21.

Hundreds of women came to the rally, most dressed in symbolic red that has become one of the themes of the rally.

Carol Jean Wisnieski brought a ping-pong paddle with a proverb.

“When sleeping women awaken, mountains move,” said Wisnieski. “A day without women is a day without anything.”

Many of the people gathered at the Civic Center took the day off work to highlight women’s economic power.

“Sometimes it’s easy to be overlooked, especially when oftentimes we’re doing as much or more work than the male counterparts,” said attendee Emily Gonzales.

Gonzales and 20 of her co-workers went to management at Grey Advertising in San Francisco.

“Didn’t ask permission. That was really important,” said Christine Bussenius, who also works at Grey Advertising. “We went to them to say, ‘This is our plan. We’re going to leave you in good hands.'”

And with that, one-third of the agency attended the rally.

Organizers used social media to send out a rallying cry to call attention to economic injustices on March 8th.

“We are in a difficult time and we have to show solidarity,” said rally attendee Eve Tarquino.

At noon, a gender strike and feminist rally is scheduled at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco and at 5 p.m. at Frank Ogawa Plaza at 14th Street and Broadway in Oakland, another International Women’s Day rally is planned.

The online community UltraViolet will greet marchers in Oakland with a large illuminated banner that says “Women Strike,” according to organizers.

UltraViolet co-founder Shaunna Thomas said International Women’s Day is meant to make people aware of women’s contributions to society, all while earning less than men and sometimes facing discrimination and harassment.

“We stand with women striking, for those fighting to end violence against women and for those fighting to protect the reproductive rights of all,” Thomas said in a statement.

The World Affairs Council in San Francisco is hosting a town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. with Musimbi Kanyoro, the president and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, and Linda Calhoun, executive producer of Career Girls.

TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

  1. March 8th marked International Women’s Day (IWD), a global celebration of women’s economic, political and social achievements and a rallying cry to further women’s rights at a time when they are under serious threat in a number of countries. Unfortunately, there continues to be an unrelenting assault against women around the world, especially from Islamic extremist groups who have sought to drastically turn back the clock and treat women as livestock or possessions to be sold, bartered, enslaved and abused. Sitting at the heart of all of these abuse of women lays the greatest offender of all: the Iranian regime. Iran’s autocratic and theocratic regime ruled by iconoclastic mullahs regularly oppresses the women of Iran in order to bend them into conforming to its harsh and unyielding views of the role of women in the society that is both oppressive and actually against the teachings of Islam. So, the next time women march for Women’s Day, it might be worth remembering the millions of Iranian women who are denied their futures and can’t even march in protest for fear of arrest and imprisonment.

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