My professor went on strike for International Women’s Day

She handed out letters explaining before walking out of the class

International Women’s Day is a day to acknowledge and praise the strength of women and all that they do. But did anyone know that women across the country are using the day to strike?

Today at the University of Iowa, female teaching staff are walking out of classes to make a statement about their rights as teachers.

One of my own professors did exactly this. As students arrived for our 3:30pm writing commons class, our adjunct professor Gemma de Choisey handed out letters she wrote for every student and urged us to speak out about the issues discussed in her letter before walking out of the classroom.

“I’m truly sorry that this has to impact you. I’d like to explain myself,” the letter read. “I’m striking because TAs and adjunct professors teach the majority of classes… with no health insurance, no sick leave, and no bargaining rights. Most of us are women.”

She went on to say how she’s striking for her peers who “can’t afford to” because she will not be teaching next year and has nothing to lose.

Other UI teachers, TA’s and adjunct professors alike, participated in the strike. Those who were unable to join because they could not afford the risk, as Gemma stated in her letter, wore red today in support. Even female students participated, also wearing red to their classes.

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