Many women across the country stayed home from work, zipped up their wallets, wore red and attended rallies in a bid to show their economic strength and impact on society, marking International Women's Day on Wednesday.
"A Day Without a Woman" was the first major action by organizers of the Women's March since their protest the day after President Trump's inauguration. After some activists in New York City aimed to block traffic around Trump International Hotel & Towers, police arrested at least 13 people, The New York Times reported.
“When millions of us stood together in January, we saw clearly that our army of love greatly outnumbers that of fear, greed and hatred,” the Women’s March website read. “Let’s raise our voices together again, to say that women’s rights are human rights, regardless of a woman’s race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age or disability.”
In the U.S., spokeswoman Cassady Findlay said organizers for "A Day Without a Woman" were inspired by the recent "Day Without an Immigrant" protests held last month. She said the action was aimed at highlighting how the paid and unpaid work of women keeps households, communities and economies running.
"We provide all this value and keep the system going and receive unequal benefits from it," Findlay said. She added that it was important for white women to be in solidarity with minority women.
"Throughout history, the strikes that have the biggest impact are the ones when people who are already the target of oppression participate," she said. "It's when women of all backgrounds strike and stand together that we're really going to see the impact."
Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday and asked followers to join him in "honoring the critical role of women" in the U.S. and around the world. He tweeted that he has "tremendous respect for women and the many roles they serve that are vital to the fabric of our society and our economy."
In New York, organizers planned a gathering in Central Park that brought together hundreds of people sporting red, to signify love and sacrifice.
Cheers erupted from the crowd as Faiza N. Ali, an advocate for women and Muslims, said “I strike today for equal pay for equal work because our fight is for economic justice.”
International Women's Day rallies also were planned in Washington, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Milwaukee and Berkeley, California.
Some businesses and institutions have said they would either close or give female employees the day off.
Lovely Monkey Tattoo, a female-owned tattoo parlor in Whitmore Lake, Michigan, offered female-centric tattoos with messages like, "Nevertheless, She Persisted" for $50 to $100, with proceeds going to the Ann Arbor chapter of Planned Parenthood.
According to the U.S. Census, women make up more than 47 percent of the workforce and are dominant in professions including registered nurses, dental assistants, cashiers, accountants and pharmacists. They make up at least a third of physicians and surgeons, as well as lawyers and judges. Women also represent 55 percent of all college students.
Still, census data show American women continue to be paid less than men, earning 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. The median income for women was $40,742 in 2015, compared with $51,212 for men.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.