Female Tucson leaders speak out on International Women's Day - Tucson News Now

Female Tucson leaders speak out on International Women's Day

Antigone Books, which is owned by women, pledged to donate 10 percent of the the day's sales Wednesday to Planned Parenthood. (Source: KOLD News 13) Antigone Books, which is owned by women, pledged to donate 10 percent of the the day's sales Wednesday to Planned Parenthood. (Source: KOLD News 13)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

People were packed in tightly with a strong message to be heard at the YWCA in Tucson. The news conference Wednesday, March 8, brought Tucson's female leaders to the microphone.

"We can't just insist on being at the table anymore. Like you heard from all of our speakers today, we need to insist on being at the dais. We need to be there where the policy making is happening," said Eva Carrillo Dong, a Sunnyside Unified School District board member.

Their message was loud and proud, as rallies and strikes took place across the nation for A Day Without Women.

"Women's rights are human rights," exclaimed Kelly Fryer, the CEO of YWCA Southern Arizona.

People who participated said they wanted to highlight the gender pay gap and problems with sexual harassment and discrimination. Local leaders discussed education, healthcare, and equity on International Women’s Day, scheduled annually for March 8. It echoed the national movement, calling on women to skip work, wear red, and avoid shopping.

It was quite the difference from the subtle but strong approach taken by Antigone Books. The women-owned store on Fourth Avenue in Tucson also made a statement, by not closing its doors Wednesday.

"I really love that they embrace our community, as well as the bigger issues of the day," said Carol Anderson, shopping for books.

Instead of closing, employees like Karen Thomas welcomed shoppers to open their pocketbooks for Planned Parenthood. The store pledged to donate 10 percent of the the day's sales Wednesday to the women's health care organization.

"Individual women are really taking the day, and taking the time from what they would normally be doing, to support organizations that they care about," Thomas said.

She is following the lead of the store's owners, both female, who say they understand the need for equality.

"The way we run our bookstore, I think that we have more of an eye towards that kind of equity, than we do (being concerned about) are you a male or female," co-owner Trudy Mills said.

The Tucson community embraced its power with one unified message, something Anderson is taking to heart.

"My personal action today is just to support a women-owned business on International Women's Day."

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