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Why Millions are Marching Globally in Support of Women

By Azriel ReShel on Tuesday January 24th, 2017

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Protecting Women's Rights

Not since the protest marches of the sixties have women taken to the streets in such solidarity – and never before in such numbers. In a revival of sisterhood, women and men flooded the streets of America over the weekend in a bold statement for women’s rights, while their sisters came out in force around the Eiffel Tower, on the streets of London, outside Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, in icy Antarctica, outside Parliament in Cape Town, in the main square of Prague, and throughout many other cities around the world.

Even in icy Antarctica there were protestors.Even in icy Antarctica there were protestors.

On all seven continents, there were women marching and gathering, along with many groups of men in support of women’s rights. What is sprouting here is the seed of a movement, and while it has been sparked by a Trump presidency and the threat of greater oppression of women, it will gain momentum and demand change for women, not only in America, but also around the world.

Many groups of men came out in support of women's rights.Many groups of men came out in support of women’s rights.

With over 600 rallies in 60 countries, the message is clear: Women are standing together, and will be heard. A wave of feminine dissent rolled across the world as women from all walks of life took to the streets to have their voices heard. Men and children marched in solidarity with their sisters, wives, and mothers. And they dispatched a clear missive of unity and power on the first day of the Trump presidency.

Protesters throughout the world agreed that this is not just America’s problem, but a global issue of misogyny, hatred, sexism, environmental destruction, and racism, which needs to be confronted. It’s high time women are heard, treated with respect, and are given equal rights. It’s time women are given a real voice by taking up power in the highest echelons of society, as leaders, and as heads of governments and organisations.

Women are standing together, and will be heard.Women are standing together, and will be heard.

With marches taking place in over 500 US cities, and nearly four million people turning out in support of women, analysts say this is the largest day of action ever. Erica Chenoweth, an expert on political protests and civil resistance, from the University of Denver, told Vox news that it was the single largest day of demonstration in the US.

The Women’s March in Washington was also the most widely attended political event in the U.S. capital over the weekend, overshadowing even the inauguration. It was this initial march – the inspiration of Hawaiian grandmother and former attorney, Teresa Shook, who created the march by putting out a Facebook invite as a response to the Trump electoral victory back in November – that inspired sister marches across the U.S. and all over the world.

The Women's March in Washington was the most widely attended political event in the U.S.The Women’s March in Washington was the most widely attended political event in the U.S.

In fact, the Trump inauguration managed to unite sisters across the globe in an unprecedented and phenomenally potent way, bringing millions together across the world. The blatant objectification of women by someone in a position of such power and influence has brought many people out of a state of apathy and into one of action. The line has been crossed one time too many, and the miracle has begun, with a glorious unification of women and men all over the world. These protestors are fighting for both human values and the values of the sacred feminine: serving the greater good, inclusiveness, giving everyone a voice, kindness, compassion, recognising the sacredness of all life, and being a custodian of the environment.

The Trump inauguration managed to unite sisters across the globe.The Trump inauguration managed to unite sisters across the globe.

“Girl Power vs Trump Tower,” read a protestor’s sign in Sydney as the crowd chanted: “When women’s rights are under attack, what do we do, stand up, fight back.” Women’s marches also took place in Australia and New Zealand with an estimated 3000 protesters on the streets of Sydney, and 5000 in Melbourne. In Cape Town, the march passed the city’s parliament and there were many slogans including: “So over mediocre men running things” and “It’s time for women to stop being politely angry.” In London, 100 000 people converged on the capital, and thousands turned out across Europe. In Asia, there were protesters in Tokyo and other cities, while the African continent had its share of protesters with hundreds marching in Nairobi.

One little boy held a small hand-written sign with the words: “Boys Rock. Girls Rock.The End.”

Even kids stood up for women's rights.Even kids stood up for women’s rights.

There has been a long and embattled history for women to be treated equally and to have the same rights as men. Despite the advances of the feminist movement of the 60’s, and the fight for equality and the attempts to smash glass ceilings, women still do not have the same rights, advantages, pay and opportunities as men, in all areas of life.

A Huffington Post article reported that  6488 American troops were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012. Yet, during this time 11 766 American women were murdered by their current or ex-male partners, nearly double the casualties lost during the war. In America, one out of every six women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape. Globally women are still suffering at the hands of some men.

Women still do not have the same rights, advantages, pay and opportunities as men. Women still do not have the same rights, advantages, pay and opportunities as men.

Although Trump was the spark that lit this fire, he may not have had as much to do with starting this movement as it appears. Four Million people do not rise up and gather if there is not a compelling reason to do so. It’s possible to see the Women’s March as a reaction against something, but the reality of its potency has much more to do with a moment whose time has come. When women gather, magic happens. A magic that goes beyond any ideology or political cause.

Now we have witnessed a giant rising from its slumber, and the power of this is only likely to grow. There is no one reason that millions are marching and gathering, but the reasons, although important, are not the most important thing. The most important thing is the power of gathering itself and the empowerment that creates. We still have a long way to go in creating a beautiful world that supports all people, minorities, women, and other marginalised groups. Let’s hope this powerful new movement will bring hope for a future we all want to be part of and will be proud to leave to our children.

How do you feel about this article? Join the conversation.

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Azriel ReShel

Writer, Yoga Teacher & Healing Facilitator

 

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  • Cathy Wilkie Ziegler

    “And they dispatched a clear missive of unity and power on the first day of the Trump presidency. Protesters throughout the world agreed that this is not just America’s problem, but a global issue of misogyny, hatred, sexism, environmental destruction, and racism, which needs to be confronted.” OK so… what’s the supposedly clear missive? is it unity of Democrats and power to protest against a Republican President? Are hatred, environmental destruction, and racism considered “women’s issues” now? I agree that we should confront the issues; but I do not believe that I have to “resist” the current administration in order to do that.

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