International Women's Day rallies held in San Francisco, Oakland

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- There was a big turnout for International Women's Day in parts of the Bay Area on Wednesday.

A crowd gathered for a rally in front of San Francisco City Hall and at Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland.

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People have been asked to support women and minority-owned businesses in honor of International Women's Day and in San Francisco, many stuck to that promise.

Hundreds took part in the rally in San Francisco, where many wore pink hats, the kind now used to show solidarity with the January Women's March.

Part of the mandate was to envision a day without women. "A day without women would be very unproductive and an unsatisfying day," supporter Maggie Shapiro said.

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But the dominate color for the day was red. Elizabeth Lanyon helped organize Wednesday's rally outside San Francisco's City Hall. "This is how we make change. We organize and if we don't show up, we can't organize and can't make change," Lanyon said.

Women were asked to stay home to highlight their role in the work place. "They encouraged us to be here today at Google and Youtube and to be a part of the protests, show up and be present," supporter Kathy Bush said.

Another suggestion was to shop only at minority-owned businesses. "If you are going to go out and spend money, spend money on women's businesses and that's what I'm going to do," supporter Ali Rivera said.

ABC7 News found a good number of supporters at nearby Taco Cala. "But it only shows that we still need it, like we still need to bring attention to these inequality issues, unfortunately," Taco Cala chef and owner Gabriela Camara said.

Nancy Destefanis has attended many marches. "You know what I find very encouraging, is the number of young men and women that are coming out and that's why I say it's incumbent on people like me with silver hair to get them involved and get them organized," longtime marcher Nancy Destefanis said.

She and others have begun to mentor some of the newcomers willing to take the lead.

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