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The 2018 Women’s March: The Importance of Speaking Up for Equality

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On January 20th of 2018, thousands of men, women, and children worldwide stood in solidarity once again on the anniversary of the 2017 Women’s March to protest the abuse and injustices perpetrated against women and minorities. Demonstrations occurred across the country in cities like Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Austin, Texas, and Miami as well as across the world in cities in France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Sweden and Canada.  Hollywood actresses and artists like Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Viola Davis, and Halsey all came out and spoke to the crowds who had gathered in some of the world’s most influential cities.

The symbolic date of the march was chosen to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump, someone who has worried those concerned with women’s and minority’s rights, as president of the United States. The international gathering of thousands of individuals represented their resistance to Donald Trump and his ideals.

This year’s march focused primary on Power to the Polls, which brought to light the importance of woman and progressives generally getting elected to office and participating in the voting process.  In addition, the march dealt with other important issues like a woman’s right to an abortion, protecting Planned Parenthood, the gender wage gap, the prevalence of racism, and sexual abuse—a topic that has received increasing spotlight in the past year amid numerous sexual misconduct accusations against people in positions of power. There was also an emphasis placed on the importance of the female vote so that the interests of women are represented in the government and policy making.

Demonstrations like the Women’s March and movements like Time’s Up are so important because they bring together a community of individuals who struggled to find the space to speak out on these major issues.  By having strong, revered women in Hollywood speaking out and support the solidarity of these movements, young girls and victimized populations are empowered to look at the world a little differently. These movements give women and minorities the chance to fight against the injustices of the wage gap, institutional racism, sexual abuse, or a man telling a woman what she can and cannot do with her body.

Senior Rachel Bell, who attended the march in Miami, said, “the women’s march was an incredible opportunity to convene with like minded individuals and have our voices be heard. Many speakers, who would not be given a voice in the mainstream, gave incredibly empowering speeches that were so moving and uplifting to hear.”

It is also crucial to acknowledge the importance of men in this movement. Senior Elliot Reich, who also attended the March in Miami, confirms “no matter who you are or what gender you are, it is incredibly important to be out there fighting for women’s rights and for true equality.” Without the support of men, movements like the Women’s March remain only open to women, which could have an even more polarizing and aversive effect to creating a collective and powerful movement. To truly correct the abuses and injustices being protested, it takes cooperation from both sides of the aisle. Because, at the end of the day, our children will be raised by a society of men and women, so a crucial step in stamping out systems of inequality is to raise boys to respect their equal female counterpart. The only way to make actual change in a society through cooperation in realizing equality.

The Women’s March, a campaign that spans the entire globe, is a step in the right direction. Women and minorities who were once silenced on issues regarding their rights, now have a growing platform. It will be interesting in the coming months and years to see the changes that result from these progressive movements.

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The 2018 Women’s March: The Importance of Speaking Up for Equality