The Women’s March on Washington incited more than 600 sister marches around the globe, inspiring an estimated 5 million people of all genders, races and ages to join. A United Denton estimated more than 2,500 people joined the Women’s Rally in Denton’s historic downtown square.
The movement aimed to “affirm the worth and human rights of all” regardless of religion, skin color, sexuality and economic status. “We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us,” read an official statement from the Women’s March organizers.
“For me, I’m a 50-year-old, white, privileged woman who happens to be gay, and I’ve been silent all my life. I’ve never protested anything, but I can’t stay silent anymore. It’s time for everybody to unite, and it’s time to speak up for everybody that doesn’t have a voice,” said Dyana Lee from Las Colinas at the Denton rally. “It’s not about my voice. It’s about your voice, your child’s voice, people in other countries who have no voice. So [the march is] just saying, ‘Hey, you know, I want to be a decent human being. I want to contribute to humanity. I want people to see what we can be. Not what others want us to be but what we can be. And it’s not just about women’s rights. It’s about everybody’s rights—human rights.”
The order eliminates foreign aid to health care providers in other countries who mention abortion as an option for family planning. Since its inception in the Reagan era, the policy has been volleying between Democratic and Republican administrations suspending and reinstating it respectively.
Countries that greatly relied on funding from the U.S. for reproductive health services saw a rise in abortion rates, not a decline, when the policy was in effect, according to research from Stanford University. The International Planned Parenthood Federation said it would continue to promote abortion and sacrifice the $100 million it annually receives from federal assistance so as to not deny life-saving services to the world’s poorest women.
Trump is our president for the next four years. A march on Washington is not enough to prompt change, to make sure women are being taken care of.
The worldwide movement, which has been estimated to be the largest one-day protest in U.S. history, is only a warm-up. What will you do now, ladies and gentlemen, now that the march is over? Well here are a few things to consider acting on.
March organizers have started a new initiative called 10 Actions for the First 100 Days, in which every 10 days a new action is presented for people to make their voices heard. The first action is to write a postcard to your U.S. Senators about issues that matter to you and how you will continue to fight for those issues. The 10 Actions website offers a printable postcard, advice for content and asks that writers, before sending, snap a photo of their postcard and tag it #WhyIMarch when posting to social media.
Another way to continue fighting for the rights of everyone is to join other movements that represent other marginalized groups. A common critique of the march was the last-minute inclusivity of it all. Solidarity isn’t a one-time instance. To proclaim you’re speaking up for all humans and their rights is undermined when you avert your eyes from those protesting race-based police brutality or you ignore the movements pleading for clean water.
“I’m glad you’re doing something. But… weren’t we worth it before? Why weren’t we reason enough? Where have you been? And where will you be once this doesn’t impact you directly anymore?” writer and activist Ijeoma Oluo posed on Facebook.
Equally important in continuing the movement is writing down Nov. 6, 2018 in your calendar. Tell your friends, your family and your neighbors to get ready to be informed voters as 33 Senate seats and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives will be up for re-election. On a state and territorial level, 39 governorships and various local seats will also be contested. Make sure you’re registered and your sister is registered and your neighbor is registered.
Your vote does matter. You can make change through your state and local representatives. Don’t forget, you can become a state or local representative. You have a year and nine months to prepare.
Women only made up 21 percent of the Texas legislature in 2013. For all state legislatures combined, it hovered around 24 percent. Women made up 18.3 percent of Congress.
Women were 50.8 percent of the United States’ population in July of 2015. Ladies, our representation in government is lagging. Our voices are muffled—if they’re being heard at all.
“We not only need women in leadership, we need people who have the same mindset to protect all people, protect the children, women, men. Equality across the board,” Jennifer Gigl of Carrollton said at the Denton rally. Gigl was there with her sister and her mother and said she wanted to run for Congress. “Our education system, our social services system and the other systems that aren’t doing their job—we need some powerful people to make that change.”
Editor’s note: I did not come up with the headline. To throw your money at the entity that did, visit Wicked Clothes online.