Women's March on Washington: A Show of Diversity and Solidarity

By: DiversityWorking Press
Date Posted: January 24, 2017

When push comes to shove, trust women to stand together and put up a strong fight against injustice and inequity, as history has shown.

Much like how it was on July 13, 1848, when a small group of women's conversation on the situation of American at the time led into what is now known as the Women's Rights Movement, the Women's March to Washington and the coordinated marches in other parts of the country and the world started with one woman's discontent – regarding the result of the recent American presidential election - and spread into a social conversation on social media.

The seed of discontent that sparked a conversation among a group of friends became national conversation, that grew to a peaceful struggle against women oppression and restriction of rights.

Back in 1848, the context was different, so women then had different specific issues – and though it all boiled down to the unjust, even tyrannical treatment and lack of opportunities women were suffering from, their struggle conveyed something uplifting. “These were patriotic women, sharing the ideal of improving the new republic. They saw their mission as helping the republic keep its promise of better, more egalitarian lives for its citizens.” (History of the Women's Rights Movements, NWHP.org)

In contrast, the recent Women's March to Washington signified more than a protest against unfairness and discrimination. It was a protest against hate, bigotry and misogyny; against loss of identity and of one's voice, and against fear. To think that this was taking place in the 21st century.

The protest march platform raised several issues. “The platform calls for a broad range of reforms to address not only gender inequity but also racial and economic inequality. It supports paid family leave; anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans; access to affordable reproductive health care, including contraception and abortion; an end to the use of military-style weapons and tactics by the police in minority communities; a living minimum wage; immigration reform, with a path to citizenship; and protection of the environment and public lands.” (What the Women’s March Stands For, New York Times)

The Women's March was a show of diversity and solidarity, as well. Various reports noted the massive turnout. Women of all ages, skin color, races, as well as men and children came together.

And their reasons? The responses given to Vox were classified under these themes:
* To demand my rights;
* To stand with my family;
* To fight for science;

So what happens next? The March is just the beginning; the momentum is there.
Saturday’s march attendees seemed to grasp the fact that just protesting wouldn’t be enough, and that the event should be a first step toward something larger. “Today we march, tomorrow we run for office,” read one sign. “A demonstration without follow-up is just … Occupy Wall Street,” said Nancy Xiao, a college senior who had driven from New Jersey to take part. “We feel a different sense of urgency. Instead of saying, ‘Oh, I have to get this and that experience first,’ friends of mine are thinking of running for office now.” Others spoke of networking with like-minded groups, hopefully to form connections that might take root at home. (What's Next after the Women's March? The Washington Post)

Inspiring quotes to ponder:

"The best protection any woman can have...is courage." - Elizabeth Cady Stanton, leading figure of the early Women's Rights movement, Social Activist and Suffragist

"For no country is a true democracy whose women have not have an equal share in life with, and until we realize this we shall never achieve real democracy on this earth." - Pearl S. Buck, Novelist, Civil Rights Activist, Women's Rights Activist

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead, Anthropologist, Women's Rights Activist

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