The Global Women’s March was a women-led movement that took place January 21, 2017. This movement being one of the more recent ones took place the day after our newly 45th president elect was sworn into office. “The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.”(Mission & Vision,” n.d) During this election period, there is no denying the gender clash between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. There was no better time to use the new election as a platform to still raise awareness on the issues that still plague our nation, and the neighbors across borders. With an estimation of 500,000 to be present in Washington, 3.3 to 4.6 million took to the protest worldwide. This movement brought to light a broad range of concerns and issues that women are still facing today. They marched for equal rights for women, including equal play in the workplace, reproductive and health rights, and violence against women rights. These weren’t the only issues present during this movement. Many individuals and activist groups joined, regardless of their race, culture, ethnicity, gender, disabilities, or party affiliation. This inclusion had individuals in all seven continents standing in solidarity for LGBTQ rights, immigration rights, environmental rights, religious rights, and workers rights.
“Our liberation is bound in each other’s. That women’s March in Washington includes leaders of organizations and communities that have been building the foundation for social progress for generations. We welcome vibrant collaborative and honor the legacy of the movements before us—the suffragist and abolitionist, the Civil Rights Movement, Occupy Wall Street, Marriage Equality, Black Lives Matter, and more—by employing a decentralized, leader-full structure and focusing on ambitious, fundamental and comprehensive agenda.” (Our Mission, n.d.) The march came to light very spontaneously but they were able to form a female led board. The Women’s March board consisted of: Tamika D. Mallory and Bob Bland as co-presidents, Carmen Perez as treasurer and Linda SarSour as assistant treasurer, Janaye Ingram as secretary, Breanne Butler as Director of States and Global. There was also a national team made up of: Mrinalini Chakraborty and Emma Collum as heads of Field Operations and Strategy, Mariam Eharri as head of Operations and Partnerships, Cassady Fendlay as head of Communications, Alyssa Klein who is the head social media strategist, Sophie Ellman-Golan who is the head deputy of communications, and Jackson Hyland-Lipski as head of web development. There were also additional team members: Sarah Sopie Flicker, Nantasha Williams, Paola Mendoza, Meredith Shepherd, Tabitha St. Bernard, Caitlin Ryan, Ted Jackson, Jenna Arnold, Hannah Rosenzweig, Brea Baker, Mia Ives-Rublee, Aquib Yacoob. There organizational method worked because these leaders all take part in national progressive movements. They have fought for civil rights, criminal justice reform, gun safety, and pay equity. They also used Facebook as a standing platform for attracting their audience. This mix range of board members were able to bring different levels of experience and knowledge in order to make a change, and teach others how they can make changes back home.
The march accomplished many things, and because it is new, we will continue to see the domino effect that will occur. Hopefully there will be legislation laws that go into affect due to this movement, and that the strength of it continues to grow in the years to follow. This outcome of this march globally is one that has never been seen before, making it “… the largest synchronized one-day global mass mobilization in US history, possibly human history.” (Mrinalini Chakraborty, 2017) The numbers involved was just a stepping stone for numerous of achievements to occur. One of the many things that the march was able to accomplish was to raise the focus and energy on the issues that are going on in the world. It was also able to raise the potential energy for action. It pulled for solidarity from a very wide spectrum of individuals. This march was able to send a message, not only to our government, but also to those who could not march in Washington D.C. The social media coverage helped accomplish taking it to a national level. The march went live on Facebook, Instagram, and took to Snapchat to help them stand in solidarity. It helped individuals take direct action, which in return heightens the tension to foster change. Although there were no arrests during the movement, many protested and placed signs in front of the white house directly. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “You may well ask: ‘Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?’ You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored.” This movement also let people achieve their right to free speech and assembly. This is an exercise that sometimes we fail to use freely, so this helped remind those in power who are really in charge. This march wanted to catch the attention of those who are in the most powerful seats, and it was successful in catching Trump’s administrations attention. One of the most important things it was able to accomplish was to challenge the people who are doing nothing. That is the stepping-stone to creating and continuing to see change. “It is also a point of personal pride that the Women’s March movement was able to activate and mobilize hundreds of thousands of first time activist, those who had never taken part in political action or activism in general. We are excited that we have created an entry point for millions of people around the globe to take initiative in their local communities, and to get connected with organizations—both old and new—that are doing vital work in their areas of interest.” (Mrinalini Chakraborty, 2017)
There were such a significant number of things that occurred during this movement. The numbers and creating history speak for themselves. The solidarity of powerful women that came together to create this movement, regardless of the gender clash that had just occurred during the Hilary Clinton and Trump election period. “Our goal was to galvanize the nation through rapid mass mobilization led by women, to turn the fear and desolation that people felt as a result of the elections into direct, positive action that makes a statement: we will not normalize the toxic, divisive rhetoric of the election cycle, and we vow to do everything in our power and come together as a global movement to stand up for and protect the most vulnerable and marginalized among us.” (Mrinalini Chakraborty, 2017) There were also many strong public figures that showed up and marched along side to help do this. Many took to social media to show their solitude and participation in this movement. Angela Davis, Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz, and Latin actress America Ferrera were just some of the few powerful women that were speakers at the march. Angela Davis, who has also been a long time civil rights activist, also spoke out to remind those not to forget about the history that once plagued our nation and to not repeat what was once the norm. “…The freedom of black people that have shaped the very nature of this country’s history cannot be deleted with the sweep of a hand. We cannot be made to forget that Black lives do matter… spreading xenophobia, hurling accusations of murder and rape and building walls will not erase history. No human being is illegal. “(Davis, 2017) Another significance was the turn out of those of color fighting for immigration rights or criminal injustice. This movement for once was not solely based on the white-female/male population to speak for the majority. It offered women of color to be able to run on the board of members and hold higher positions that once deemed impossible.
This movement to me was very powerful, not only did women make history but also was able to really stand together to get our message across. Women’s rights are human rights, and they should not go unnoticed. For years women have had to deal with a patriarchal society and it’s important that although we’ve seen some change, we do not stop the progress. Personally being a woman, it is important that we stop the offensive and abusive talk, especially from those of power. With the gender clash between Clinton and Trump, it was important that we show that women do not need to be degraded or put second. “This march not only showed strength in numbers for women, but for all those that face oppression and discrimination everyday. The inclusiveness of all those regardless of race, gender, sexual preference, gender orientation, and religious practice can come together to stand for their individual rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. “We cannot solve global challenges unless women participate fully in efforts to find solutions. Female participation in the private sector is a crucial economic driver for societies worldwide. Economic security benefits every facet of a woman’s life, with positive effects on the health, education and vitality of families.” (Argon & Miller, 2012)