HYANNIS – Residents across Cape Cod held local rotary demonstrations Wednesday in support of equality for International Women’s Day.
The demonstrations acknowledged “A Day Without a Woman,” which was dedicated to equality, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed individuals.
Women and men gathered with signs of support at the rotaries in Orleans and Mashpee and the airport and west end of Main Street in Hyannis.
West Hyannis Port resident Grove Harris rallied at the West End Rotary.
“Globally, women do an incredible amount of work and are not recognized for it and are not paid for it,” said Grove Harris, of West Hyannis Port, who rallied at the West End Rotary.
Although the day called for women to take the day off from paid or unpaid labor and to avoid shopping, Harris did not expect a lot of women’s work to stop.
“Women are going to be feeding their children, teachers are probably going to school. There’s a lot of work that is going to continue,” Harris said. “The point is to raise the issue around the injustice of the amount of work that’s put on women unseen.”
Harris says she is concerned that civil liberties are being eroded by government corruption.
“It’s not thinking about what actually is good for the country and the people,” Harris said. “It’s just reckless, power-driven concentrations of wealth that are just threatening the heart of our democracy.”
Barnstable Town Council Debra Dagwan, of Hyannis, was also at the West End Rotary to express her support for women’s issues and equality.
“It’s 2017. We’re a little behind in terms of equal rights and equality for women – employment and many other areas,” Dagwan said.
Dagwan said she would like to see more women leaders getting involved in politics.
“I think it would be nice to have a more balanced political system not only in Massachusetts but throughout the country – particularly in Washington D.C.,” Dagwan said.
The precinct 8 town councilor was holding a sign that said “God Bless America.”
“Americans come in all colors and creeds and race,” Dagwan said. “I look at people as a human being. We’re all on this planet and we have to share this planet. If people looked at each other that way it would be a much better world.”
Dagwan said it felt good to hear cars honking to show support as they drove by.
“It makes me feel proud that people care enough to share in this day with us and understand why we are out here,” she said. “It shows they understand and they believe in what we are standing out here for today and what we are trying to prove.”
More than 20 Democraticwomenlawmakers walked out of the Capitol in the early afternoon to speak to several hundred spectators.
The lawmakers are criticized efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood. They also demanded equal justice under the law and thatwomenreceive pay that’s on par with what men receive for performing similar work.
“We are resisting President Trump and congressional Republicans and letting them know we will not go back,” said Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif.
The White House said none of its female staffers skipped work.
Spokesman Sean Spicer said everyone showed up and is working hard to advance President Donald Trump’s agenda.
Spicer adds that the administration recognizes the contributionswomenmake to businesses, their families, the economy and society. He says people have the right to express themselves but thatwomen’scontributions should be recognized 365daysa year.
Melania Trump hosted a luncheon for her first solo White House event as first lady.
Trump welcomed about 50womenseated at tables adorned with floral centerpieces of pharaoh tulips and sweet pea flowers in shades of purple.
Attendees included her stepdaughter, Ivanka Trump; Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen; White House counselor Kellyanne Conway; and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Reporters were led out of the room as the first lady began to speak.
By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter
Material from the Associated Press was used in this article.