Women from all over the world gathered to march in solidarity on Wednesday in a global human rights effort organized by the same people who set up the women's march in Washington in January.
March 8 was called "a day without a woman" and it's part of International Women's Day. organizers said it's about protecting women's rights through a one-day demonstration.
On Wednesday, many women took the day off from paid labor and shopping to show their worth to the economy. Participating women wore red clothing.
In Hartford, Gov. Dannel Malloy addressed hundreds of people at the old judiciary room in the State Capitol on Wednesday morning.
“Investing in the next generation of women leaders must continue to be our collective priority. Listening to and valuing women’s voices in our state has never been more important. Time and time again, these voices have resulted in meaningful policy changes that benefit all families in our state – from raising the minimum wage, to guaranteeing paid sick leave, to ending discriminatory pay secrecy policies. While Connecticut has a rich tradition of equality and leading the nation on issues impacting women, the fact remains that there is still much more we can – and should – do. Promoting gender diversity in my cabinet has been a priority since day one – and the results speak volumes. Let me be clear – Connecticut’s state government would not function without the contributions of women serving at every level, including many of the most senior roles in my administration. Negotiating historic economic development agreements, regulating complex industries, ensuring the welfare and education of our children, protecting our public safety – all of these essential governmental functions, among many others, are accomplished with women at the helm in Connecticut. Today, and every day, I proudly stand with the women of Connecticut," Malloy said in a statement on Wednesday.
Women from all walks of life came to the State Capitol to recognize and honor women.
"Women have come have long way, but we still have many battles that we still have to fight,” Denise Rhone with Young Women Rising said. “We have to climb up that ladder and it’s important to come together."
About 250 people attended Wednesday’s event at the State Capitol.
"We have pay equity. We have paid family medical leave,” Christine Palm with Commission on Women, Children & Seniors said. “There are bills to protect reproductive rights that are being repealed under the affordable care act."
This year, a special tribute was paid to Betty Boukas, who was a state lawmaker who recently died from cancer. Boukas who was champion of Prudence Crandall, who is recognized as a state heroine.
In New Haven, there's a reception at City Hall on Wednesday night. It was part of a series of events to mark women's history month.
"Women should start working across all barriers; social, economic, race, religion and age with no agenda, but to feel strength of courage and conviction," New Haven Mayor Toni Harp said.
Harp was also scheduled to speak at an International Women's Day breakfast on Thursday morning.
Quinnipiac University in Hamden is also recognizing International Women's Day during business hours.
It held a "teach-in" event. Professors and students organized discussions on a number of important issues.
"Continuing a tradition of teach-ins at Quinnipiac University, the theme of the event is 'Empowerment and Vulnerability in the Experience of Women,'" said Anat Biletzki, the Albert Schweitzer of Philosophy at Quinnipiac. "Joining women in the U.S. and all over the world, we are making International Women's Day - and these vital topics - a subject of conversation and solidarity on our campus and in Hamden."
There was also a photography exhibit showcasing a woman, who is an Iraqi refugee who now lives in New Haven.
"We are talking about women's positions, situations and conditions all over the world or in America," QU Professor of Philosophy Anat Biletzki said. "Women as victim sometimes empowerment at other times, vulnerability."
In Washington DC, one restaurant gave women the day off and men are showing support by pulling double shifts. Local organizers haven't aimed their demonstrations at any one person or group. They said instead, it's aimed at hate, greed and fear.
In January, the women's march was squarely focused on President Donald Trump with demonstrators upset by his rhetoric and policies.
Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman also released a statement on International Women's Day.
“Today I join women around the world who are fighting for equality for women. Equal pay and equal representation at every level of government, science, education, and in every economic sector benefits all people. Access to information and healthcare is necessary for caring for our caretakers. Access to academic and professional opportunity creates a diverse workforce, lifts families out of poverty, and inspires the next generation. These, and other issues, are at the forefront of discussion today especially, but we are fighting to ensure they remain a priority all year long. We have hard work ahead of us, but we have great minds and fierce women – and men – with us, and a generation of girls behind us," Wyman said.
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