Bay Area observes Women's Day

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SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- Bay Area women and their supporters gathered throughout the area Wednesday to recognize the contribution of women to society during International Women's Day as several rallies, meetings and protests were held to mark the day. 

A rally and march called "A Day Without a Woman" was held at San Francisco City Hall, according to Women's March Bay Area, which held the popular Women's March at various locations around the region on Jan. 21.

Several people gathered Wednesday afternoon at Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley to observe and celebrate the day as well.

Downtown Oakland's march, baring the same name, was a sea of red, set to begin at 6 p.m. from Frank Ogawa Plaza. Hundreds of women took to the streets along with fellow male demonstrators. They planned to stand for reproductive rights, against gender inequality and also wanted to focus on immigrants' issues in light of recent ICE deportations as well as two variations of travel bans and executive orders regarding refugees signed by the Trump administration.  

By 7 p.m. a large crowd worked its way down 14th Street where activist groups, including, Oakland Women' s Strike Organizing Collective planned on marching to the  front of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office at 14th and Lakeside Drive next to Lake Merritt. The march included signs that read, "Strike Against Sexism" and implying a stand in solidarity against workplace sexual harassment 


And all eight Copperfield's Books in the North Bay, women and men can write postcards to their congressional representatives to advocate for gender equality.

The managers and owner Paul Jaffe wanted to give people a safe place where they could come and talk and voice their opinion without being aggressive.

Copperfield's director of operations Mimi Figlin said, "I want my stores to be part of the social fabric."

Copperfield's spokeswoman Sara Peyton said the postcard-writing idea wasn't something that came from the top down.

"This is something everybody wanted to do," Peyton said.

Jaffe and his managers also are allowing any employee to take the day off to participate in other International Women's Day activities.

At 11:30 a.m., a group of Bay Area women in finance planned to coach underserved middle and high school girls to help them develop their personal missions, improve their business plans and help them become better public speakers.

At noon, a gender strike and feminist rally is scheduled at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco and at 5 p.m. at Frank Ogawa Plaza at 14th Street and Broadway in Oakland, another International Women's Day rally is planned.

The online community UltraViolet will greet marchers in Oakland with a large illuminated banner that says "Women Strike," according to organizers.

UltraViolet co-founder Shaunna Thomas said International Women's Day is meant to make people aware of women's contributions to society, all while earning less than men and sometimes facing discrimination and harassment.

"We stand with women striking, for those fighting to end violence against women and for those fighting to protect the reproductive rights of all," Thomas said in a statement.

The World Affairs Council in San Francisco is hosting a town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. with Musimbi Kanyoro, the president and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, and Linda Calhoun, executive producer of Career Girls.

Bay City News contributed to this report.