A year ago this weekend, women across the nation gathered in their respective cities and many traveled to Washington D.C. to unite together in protest. A movement of more than two million women and their allies across the globe became known as the Women’s March of 2017. They stood for, and continue to stand for, women’s rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, human rights, disability rights, worker’s rights, and environmental rights. It was the largest single-day protest in U.S. history and it’s returning this weekend across the nation.
Many people believe that the March was organized to protest Donald Trump’s first full day in office. This is true, to an extent; the movement intended to send a message to the administration that their voices would not be silenced in the wake of threats to women’s healthcare, but the March turned out to be so much more than that.
The movement began on Facebook after Trump was elected president. Women began creating events to march in protest. Thousands signed up, and all of the events were consolidated to become the Women’s March on Washington.
Linda Sarsour, Tamika D. Mallory, Carmen Perez and Bob Bland were brought together by Vanessa Wruble, the co-founder of the Women’s March, to serve as the national co-chairs of the movement, from that point on the March became so much bigger than Donald Trump.
“He’s just one person,” the co-chairs said at Her Conference 2017, a Her Campus event. Instead, they believe in attacking the forces of evil, not people doing evil. To accomplish this mission, they have created an intersectional platform.
The Women’s March Website lists their “Unity Principles,” which outlines their platform. It consists of ending violence, advocating for reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, worker’s rights, civil rights, disability rights, immigrant rights and environmental justice. All of these beliefs are also grounded with intersectionality in mind, meaning that all of these advocacy notions are inclusive and sometimes focused on women of color, women with disabilities, LGBTQIA people, women of different ethnicities and more.
The women involved in the March believe that violence against women is an issue that deserves justice and that violence disproportionately affects women of color. They do not accept any limitations on reproductive health or birth control. They also demand accurate sexuality education and to expand the rights for the LGBTQIA community. Another issue important to the cause is equal pay between genders as well as access to sick days and paid leave. The March also believes that workers should be able to unionize.
Women’s March participants believe in civil protections, such as the right to vote and worship for all, and they strive to fully include disabled members of the community. Immigration is another important issue and the movement believes that no human is illegal. Finally, the Women’s March strongly believes that everyone in our nation has a right to clean resources and public lands. Natural resources must be protected.
The Women’s March was created by a diverse group of women who saw a deficit in the political world on the behalf of women. When asked why the organization was created at Her Conference 2017, Linda Sarsour had a question for the nation instead.
“Why are so many people silent? Is it because they actually profit off the oppression of others?”
Will you be participating in the Women’s March this year?
Author: Sam Raudins
Author Bio: Sam is a journalism major at Ohio State who lives for football and good iced chai lattes. She is an intern at Harness, a reporter at The Lantern and Senior Editor at Her Campus Ohio State. In the past, Sam has created her own blog and developed a football column at Her Campus called “Femme Football.”
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