A day after the inaugural function for President Donald Trump, that is, 21st January 2017, hundreds and thousands of people were gathered at the national mall in Washington as part of the Women’s March.
This was considered the largest single-day demonstration in the history of United States.
How did it begin?
A Facebook event was created to protest President Donald Trump’s inauguration by a retired attorney Teresa Shook. Soon after the page was created, thousands of people started joining. Initially, the event was named as ‘Million Women March’. She changed the name later as she was accused of cultural appropriation because the name referred to a gathering of black women in 1997 at Philadelphia. Shook later handed over the authority to female activists in New York, who later renamed the event as The Women’s March on Washington. This new name was a reference to a demonstration of civil rights which took place in 1963.
The Women’s March has hundreds of proud partners amongst who are the organizations Planned Parenthood and NRDC (Natural Resource Defence Council).
What was on their agenda?
This march was organized in lieu of the offensive remarks made by President Donald Trump during his campaign. It was organized in order to show their protest against him and to promote- Women’s rights are human rights. It was a peaceful protest which did not witness a single arrest in Washington D.C.
The women’s March’s goal was to ensure the protection of the citizen’s rights and their safety in their community. They were also marching in order to promote women’s rights, reproductive rights, LGBT rights, gender equality, Immigration reform, Planned Parenthood, Worker’s rights, Healthcare, Environmental rights, Racial equality and much more.
The Women’s March drew as much as 500,000 people and the worldwide participation for the same has been estimated to be around five million. A total of 673 marches took place across the world. 29 marches took place in Canada, 20 in Mexico, and Antarctica also witnessed one march!
Why is this important?
We are living in the 21st century where problems like racial discrimination and improper health care are still prevalent. The women’s march generated a strong dialogue amongst the citizens about the necessity of basic rights for humans. It is high time we understand the importance of eradication of these evils from our society. The issues of racial discrimination, sexual violence, and environmental problems have a deep impact on the society.
The march also focused on the rights of LGBTQ groups, Islamic groups, and Immigrants. Just because these people are different does not mean they are not equal. People do not need to be discriminated on the basis of their sexuality, ethnicity or religion. We are all humans and deserve to be treated equally and with respect.
Apart from these, women’s right over their own bodies is another serious issue. Their right to reproductive care, abortion, maternity leave needs to be addressed. Throughout history, women have witnessed oppression because of – Patriarchy. Women’s needs differ from men’s. Women are biologically different from men and this should be acknowledged. Instead of using this difference as a tool for stating their lower status in the society, amendments should be made to make sure they are provided with equal opportunities. Because Women’s rights are Human Rights!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This article is written by Manjulika Chellappan, our intern.