Katarina Hybenova

Owner & Editorial Director of Bushwick Daily

March 8 is International Women’s Day, and this year it comes especially urgently. Our current administration continues to cast a shadow of uncertain future on basically every issue compassionate people care about. In this atmosphere women’s equality and rights are especially threatened, and that’s why so many women decided to join or support a general strike known as A Day Without a Woman.

It is no secret that Bushwick Daily is owned by yours truly, an immigrant woman, and our editorial board is fully female with a prevailing number of our contributors being women. Many websites focused on women, including Bustle and Teen Vogue, are not publishing any content today, and many women will be taking a day off work. We have decided to support the strike, but we will not be joining in the not working part.

Here’s why.

Work, for me personally, is the most important and interesting part about being alive. Our ability as humans to create something out of nothing, to serve others, to create and to exchange value, is something I marvel at every day. To work often means being in charge of our own life and destiny. Work is a privilege that hasn’t always been available to women in the past. I personally relish the fact that as an immigrant woman I am able to own a media publication. This probably wouldn’t have been possible just 50 years ago.

In fact I feel at my strongest when I’m working.

I understand that especially in large corporations that don’t give women equal pay and where women are often silenced and generally taken less seriously than their male counterparts, not showing up for work sends a strong message. But Bushwick Daily embodies that message every single day. All of our freelance collaborators (Bushwick Daily is too small to have full-time employees) are encouraged to do as their heart tells them, and if they want to withhold working today, I fully respect that.

Many female-owned businesses in Bushwick and the surrounding area cannot afford to close for a day but will be supporting the movement in spirit or donating a portion of their sales today to Planned Parenthood and other organizations threatened in this political climate. Bar at 40 St. Nicholas Ave., Pearl’s Social and Billy Club, owned by Betsy Maher will be donating all the proceeds from the sale of their red slushies to Planned Parenthood. Betsy has also tagged many Bushwick’s women-owned businesses on her Facebook page

I would like to encourage you all, dear readers, to support your local women-owned businesses today and every day.