The Women’s March on Washington: “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights”

Women’s rights are human rights—that’s the message the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington want to send to our new government on Trump’s first day in office. It’s a sentiment that has resonated. As of today, 193,000 people have indicated on Facebook that they will be attending the march on January 21 in Washington, D.C.; 255,000 more have expressed their interest in attending. There are 270 additional solidarity marches happening in cities across the United States and around the world. [For details about the Women’s March on New York City, also to be held on January 21, visit  here.]

Despite scheduling the Women’s March the day after Trump’s inauguration, organizers of the Women’s March stress that the event is not an anti-Trump protest. Cassady Fendlay, a spokeswoman for the Women’s March, told The Guardian, “We’re not targeting Trump specifically. It’s much more about being proactive about women’s rights.”

In the early stages of planning for the Women’s March, some women wondered if their rights were included in the organizers’ plan. Conceived of by a grandmother in Hawaii and originally organized primarily by white women, the Women’s March on Washington initially suffered from a lack of diverse representation. To remedy the situation, Tamika D. Mallory, Carmen Perez, and Linda Sarsour—seasoned social justice activists—were invited to co-chair the march.

Under their leadership, interest in the Women’s March swelled. Gloria Steinem and Harry Belafonte—who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the 1963 March on Washington—were named honorary co-chairs.

Celebrities have also flocked to the event. In a January 12 update, organizers announced that America Ferrera would serve as the chair for an impressive artist table that includes Uzo Aduba, Cristela Alonzo, Sophia Amoruso, Patricia Arquette, Danielle Brooks, Cher, Lea DeLaria, Diane Guerrero, Danai Gurira, Chelsea Handler, Scarlett Johansson, Margo Jefferson, Angelique Kidjo, Padma Lakshmi, Stephanie March, Shantell Martin, Debra Messing, Frances McDormand, Julianne Moore, Hari Nef, Katy Perry, Monica Raymond, Amy Schumer, Yara Shahidi, Alia Sharrief, Amandla Stenberg, Kara Walker, Olivia Wilde, Constance Wu, and Zendaya.

“As artists, women, and most importantly dedicated Americans, it is critical that we stand together in solidarity for the protection, dignity and rights of our communities,” said Ferrera. “Immigrant rights, worker rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, racial justice and environmental rights are not special interests, they affect us all and should be every American’s concern.”

For more details about joining the Women’s March on Washington on January 21 or donating to support the event, visit the Women’s March official webpage: www.womensmarch.com.

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  • Abigail congdon January 19, 2017 at 7:50 am

    I fully support these marches and am ProChoice. I am sorry that the organizers appear to not be welcoming women who are not Pro Chice. If we have learned anything in this election year it’s that we must listen to different opinions with respect. Good luck to all the marchers and march under a big inclusive tent !