What begun as a small Facebook post right after the elections, bloomed into a unifying protest that tackled issues like reproductive rights, civil rights, and immigration. Saturday, January 21, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, the Women’s March on Washington marked a day in history that empowered women, not only in the United States but women all over the world. The march, originally centered around Washington D.C., included major cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Denver, London, Paris, and even Des Moines. The March also included many celebrity appearances including singer Janelle Monae, actress Scarlett Johansson, and many more. Even Hillary Clinton expressed support through a tweet saying “Thanks for standing, speaking, and marching for our values @womensmarch. Important as ever. I truly believe we’re always Stronger Together” (@HillaryClinton). It was estimated that 3 million people attended the march all over seven continents, with 600 individual sister marches. About 500,000 people attended in just Washington D.C, more than the estimated 193,000 people who attended Trump’s inauguration.
In my opinion, the women’s march was a game changer for the fight for equality. The outright demand for equality of the sexes has been ignored for too long. When talking about the event with my friends, they questioned what the march was actually fighting for. Well there’s no question for what they were fighting for. The Women’s March actually came out with an official platform prior to the event entitled “Guiding Visions and Defining Principles.” It’s all about bringing people together of all backgrounds, the second principle listed on the “Values and Principles” page being “We believe Gender Justice is Racial Justice is Economic Justice. We must create a society in which all women—including Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, Muslim women, lesbian, queer and trans women—are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments.”
Yes, the women’s march was a fabulously unifying protest, but another significant part of the march were ALL THOSE MARVELOUS SIGNS. Signs that sported phrases like “Build Kindness Not Walls,” and “This Is What Democracy Looks Like.” Another sign that was shown to me by my journalism teacher read “Marching for my disabled children who deserve respect from their president,” shows that it’s not just about women’s rights, it’s about HUMAN rights.
Even though the Women’s March on Washington was protesting Trump and his treatment of women, a.k.a. his demeaning comments about women and the numerous sexual harassment allegations against him, it was way more than just a anti-Trump protest. This important event allowed women’s, and men’s, voices to be heard all around the world.