If ever there was proof that one person could start something big, then this Women’s March on Washington is it.
The story goes that Teresa Shook created a Facebook page after the US election suggesting a protest. When she went to bed she counted 40 replies. But the next morning, when she woke up, there were over than ten thousand.
Now hundreds of thousands of women – regardless of race, religion, nationality and political leanings – are expected to march on Saturday to show their support for women’s rights in the face of changes that a Trump presidency might bring. OK, we’ve all heard about Trump’s wandering octopus hands, but Mike Pence his VP is perhaps even more dangerous. The evangelical Catholic is a supporter of state law rather than federal law, which means that some states with more conservative views on women’s reproductive rights could make their own laws on abortion.
The organisers have tried to sidestep the political divide by stressing that the march is not necessarily anti-Trump (yeah, right) but rather way to let the new administration that ‘women’s rights are human rights.’ And that a lot of people care about them.
Filmmaker Tanya Selvaratnam has produced an informative video #WHYIMARCH which tells you everything you need to know if you’re planning on marching tomorrow. ‘I collaborated with Hannah Rosenzweig and Sarah Matusek to make a video that captured everything a Marcher would need to know, such as the rally location and legal hotline info.
‘The video offers our Women’s March community the confidence to commit to this historic day while stressing the importance of self-care. It’s also a way to say: Yes, we’re on.’
Within 24 hours of its release on January 13, it received more than 1 million views (watch it here). The march is predicted to gather more people than the President’s inauguration today. Janelle Monáe, Maxwell, and Angélique Kidjo are the headline names while the speakers include Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, Ashley Judd and Scarlett Johansson.
Beyoncé posted on her FB page:
‘Together with Chime for Change, we raise our voices as mothers, as artists, and as activists. As #GlobalCitizens, we can make our voices heard and turn awareness into meaningful action and positive change. #WomensMarch.’
Will she perform?!!
But even if you can’t make it to Washington, there are lots of ways to get involved. There are sister marches happening all over the continent – in Kinshasa, in Nairobi, in Madagascar and Malawi, as well as Cape Town Durban and Dar es Salaam.
Let us know how it goes – tell us about the solidarity you felt, the issues discussed, the different women you met. We’ll be retweeting images and messages from sister marches all over the continent at @_TRUEAfrica.