March is the month the United States recognizes women’s history. And on the eighth day of the third month, the country celebrates International Women’s Day.
This year, “A Day Without a Woman” rallies were coordinated by Women’s March following successful demonstrations in January. This month, the movement calls to recognize the economic importance of women and their impact on society.
In Lawrence, local businesses like Ladybird Cafe halted business to join in on the rally at Buford Park.
“The agenda of a walkout is that it’s inconvenient for people,” owner Meg Heriford said. “I’m sorry, there are no pancakes today and it’s because there are issues that deserve attention by our lawmakers.”
Heriford owns the Massachusetts Street diner which is half-staffed by women. The rally encourages women to take off work and avoid shopping, with the exception of women and minority owned small businesses.
Heriford says her cafe closed its doors so its employees could join her in speaking at Buford, just around the block on Kentucky Street.
Heriford believes small businesses — like hers — are not exempt from addressing issues like discrimination.
“I am always involved,” Heriford said. “I’m always looking for ways to raise consciousness for issues that are affecting marginalized people.”