Marching for Equality

By Kelly Hammond

On January 20, only one year after the march in protest of the newly inaugurated Trump, women across America and other countries gathered in their cities to show their continuing disapproval of the president’s policies as well as support the fight for gender equality.  Thousands of people gathered in their local streets once again to display their feelings about the unfair pay gap, lack of women in political offices, and the recent spark of the #Metoo movement.  Protesters wore their famous pink hats from last year’s march as a symbolic message of female empowerment once again.  

The unexpected US government shutdown that fell on the day of the march was put into effect after the political debate concerning legalities of immigrants.  However, this only fueled women’s motivation to fill the streets and use their voices to fight for the rights of immigrants too.  The shutdown stirred up even more emotions from protesters who were already against the recent actions taken by Trump’s administration.

Although a majority of the protesters had differing political views from the Trump administration, including the support of Planned Parenthood and the pro-choice movement,  it is also important to point out the religious diversity that was at this march.  Hundreds of men and women joined the wave of female empowerment on this day with their Feminism and Faith in Unity rally.  People of the Catholic, Episcopalian, Muslim, Unitarian, Lakota Sioux, and Buddhist faiths all gathered to pray for rally participants and the equality of all women.  Lizzie Berne DeGear, a member of the The Women Who Stayed- a religious organization that supports the equality of men and women- said, “Thanks for this opportunity to bring our faith to our feminism, and our feminism to our faith.”

Before the march, a 42-year-old protester named Claudia Grubbs explained,

“I feel like going to the march will help re-center me, refocus me and not make me feel like I don’t know what is happening to our country. I feel like it’ll help me gain a sense of balance and a sense of purpose, and help me pursue things that I want to pursue.”

Like Grubbs, many women used this opportunity to reiterate their goals in this journey towards women’s equality.  While supporting the march in Las Vegas, singer and feminist, Cher, said “This is one of the worst times in our history and that’s why I honestly believe women are going to fix it.”

To check out more about this historic march and see pictures of protesters around the world, visit: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/01/21/protest-movement-women-march-around-globe/1051822001/ & https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/20/us/womens-march.html

Picture by Chris J Ratcliffe, Getty Images: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/01/21/protest-movement-women-march-around-globe/105182200

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