We Are Women, Watch Us Rally | Women's Agenda

We Are Women, Watch Us Rally

Ruth Clark Creative
Ruth Clark Creative
Women’s March on Sydney

By now, you would have read or seen or heard the news.

Over the weekend an estimated two million citizens around the world – from Nairobi to New York, from London to Lisbon, Antarctica to Amsterdam – took to the streets to protest not merely the 45th President of the United States. They marched and they rallied and they united against the racism, the sexism, the misogyny, the bigotry that Donald Trump represents.

The Women’s March on Washington, held the day after Trump was sworn in, dwarfed the crowd that attended the inauguration itself. The New York Times reported that it is likely the biggest inauguration-related protest in America’s history.

“Thank you for understanding that sometimes we must put our bodies where our beliefs are,” feminist icon Gloria Steinem told the hundreds of thousands who gathered in Washington. “Pressing ‘send’ is not enough.”

Demonstrations dotted around the world prove there is a willingness to do exactly that. In Sydney, the Women’s March organisers were expecting 2,000 people to march: the number was closer to 10,000. Women and men of all ages were in attendance, with children of various ages and infants in tow.

Tracey Spicer, Jenny Munro, Jane Caro, Ronni Kahn, Dr Mindy Frieband and Mariam Veiszadeh were among the women who delivered powerful, rallying cries to the crowd. “Enough!” Spicer began her rousing address. Veiszadeh echoed Steinem “We have gone beyond liking something on Facebook. You are here because you care.”

 

Excuse the expletives, but seriously?! #businesschicks #womensmarch #feminism RG @pamelalove

A photo posted by Business Chicks Australia (@businesschicks) on

“I can’t believe we are STILL fighting” for these rights, Jane Caro began, capturing a sentiment many posters and speakers around the world repeated. But we are still fighting for women’s rights. And, at least, we are now “united in the face of a common enemy in Donald Trump”.

Of course there is skepticism. America has democratically elected Trump so why the protest? Why are women in Australia and Antartica and Africa marching? As Sydney March co-founder Dr Mindy Freiband told the crowd in Sydney: sexism, racism, hate, inequality and bigotry are not American problems. They affect all of us. And while the protests might have been sparked by Trump, it is bigger than him. “Some may say we are anti-Trump”, Tracey Spicer said. “And they may say that, but more than that we are anti-bigotry, anti-misogyny, anti-hatred.” 

Trump himself took to Twitter to question the protests.

If he turned his mind to the fact that Hillary Clinton received 2.86 million more votes than he did, he might better understand the voter discord.

“Welcome to your first day, we will not go away!” marchers in Washington chanted over and over. And we won’t. The various marches around the world are just the beginning. As Oz-Harvest’s Ronni Kahn said on Saturday: “Leave this march feeling proud for taking action but know that is just the beginning.” We need to maintain the unity and focus. We need to do more than merely ‘liking’ something on social media. We need to turn up.

Because as Aboriginal elder and original “bosswoman” Jenny Munro said in an exercise in understatement: we are in for a wild ride.

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