It’s been two years since the historic Women’s March in 2017 which brought more women to the streets around the world than ever before in human history. Two years later, the fight for equality is far from done, and once again women took to the streets on Saturday to make their voices heard. Here, three women from New York, Washington and Sydney reveal why they got out of bed to take a stand.
Jessica Leahy, Sydney Women’s March
“I showed up because I felt it was important to march and show that women aren’t going to politely sit and wait for action on issues about our health, our safety and our right to the same things men in power take for granted. I saw a sign that said, ‘I march because someone once marched for me.’ I think that’s true; movements like this are intrinsically linked to our past and future struggles. I feel connected to that.
I felt so many things. I think the energy was electric and exciting, but we couldn’t ignore the core reason that we were all there. Women are still being treated like second-class citizens in this country in so many ways. Imagine if one wealthy white man was killed every week for no reason at all? There would be army tanks on every corner of every street trying to put a stop to it. I felt the injustice of it all while I was marching too.
I think Yumi Stynes spoke on the day about being advised to leave people on a ‘good’ or ‘hopeful’ note; she seemed frustrated about that. While the situation isn’t hopeless—it’s pretty dire. It’s 2019 and women still have to protest about this equality sh*t? Are you kidding me?! I just left feeling fed up. I’m not accepting any excuses from anyone until women aren’t feeling like they’re being preyed upon because they dare to be female and walk on the street, or leave an abusive partner, or ask for a pay rise. I feel like the change needs to be urgent because we can’t have another generation of women put up with fearing what men can do to us.”
Jessica Leahy is a writer and model. You can follow her @jessicavanderleahy.
Uli Beutter Cohen, New York Women’s March
“There are too many unresolved injustices that still need our full and undivided attention not to march. We are at a point where children are dying at the border and are shot on our streets. The Midterms gave me some hope but the road ahead is long and we’re far from being ‘done’.
I wanted to do something productive in the middle of all the controversy. So my husband Alec, my dear friend Simmone, and I went to register new voters with The League of Women Voters, an organization that is turning 100-years-old, during the March.
I don’t think there has ever been a time when talking to and high-fiving strangers in New York hasn’t given me hope. Being there with a positive mission was awesome. I think it’s good to remember that there is a lot we can do between being all in and doing nothing.”
Emily Gannam, Washington, D.C. Women’s March
“I attended the Women’s March because I like to show up for causes and people I believe in, and expose myself to new moments and being a part of a moment.
I felt curious and excited during the march. People might assume that there is one narrative or one story at marches like this, but the reality is there are thousands of people wanting to be heard sharing different messages. Reading peoples’ signs and listening to their conversations, I was struck by the nuances and complexities behind everyone’s experiences. Despite these nuances, all were coming together to fight against oppression and inequity, in its many forms.
I came to the march feeling hopeful and left feeling hopeful. I also left feeling hyper aware of the split worlds we live in in the United States ideologically and politically, and thoughtful about what it would take to build a United States that actually enables opportunity and a chance at prosperity for all.”
Emily Gannam is a is Senior Associate, Strategic Partnerships at Acumen.
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