Why the women’s marches are important

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“I don’t see the point of the women’s marches, why don’t they march about something important like climate change”

It was estimated that 4,797,500 people in 673 marches across the world participated in this movement that was started by a woman named Teresa Shook on Facebook. Despite the incessant need for some individuals to label it as an anti-trump march, the founding principles were more than that, it was to focus on the values and rights his policies might threaten and to reinforce the message that “women’s rights are human rights”. The phrase that directly links back to Hilary Clinton’s 1995 speech on women’s issues in Beijing.

The point of having “women” in the title was not to exclaim exclusivity but to show that this was women-led, to rally for women’s issues, not to give Trump another headline. As much as women’s rights may have improved, they have not improved enough from the days of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. The statement of principles for the march in Washington included issues such as:

  • Accountability and justice for police brutality” and “dismantl[ing] the gender and racial inequities within the criminal justice system”
  • Freedom from sexual violence
  • Ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution that would guarantee equal protection based on gender
  • Affirming that all domestic and caretaking work is work, even if unpaid; and that women — especially women of color — bear the brunt of that burden
  • “The right to organize and fight for a living minimum wage” for all workers, labor protections for undocumented and migrant workers, and “solidarity with sex workers’ rights movements”
  • Comprehensive reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, and immigrant and refugee rights

As Emma Watson, the UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador said, “feminism is a matter of human rights, not of enlightened self interest” so why can’t some people understand that? To want rights for women is not to diminish the rights for men, feminism strives for equality and for that not to be a reason to march, then what is.

Of course there was a variety of reasons why people personally wanted to march but they all had one goal in common: solidarity. To stand, to walk, to march in solidarity displays to the people in power or who want to evoke fear that there will always be more than one person to stand against them. The women’s marches show that the spirit of solidarity has not diminished and nor will it.

Articles I found interesting:

Womens marches explained: news.com.au

GQ magazine

Vox

The Guardian: pictures from the day

 

Emily Simms (feeling rather more political than usual): 20:12

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