Hundreds of thousands of women filled the streets of over 250 cities around the world including New York, Los Angeles, Washington and Chicago, to mark the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s presidency.
As women’s rights activists held anti-trump banners, hoping to channel the emotions into political gains during mid-term elections later this year, the President of the United States tweeted out sarcastic comment, bragging about the ‘economic success’ in his first 12 months in office which had created more jobs for women than ever before.
Celebrities Come Out to Show Support
Saturday’s march, attended by a number of familiar faces from the entertainment industry including Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, was undoubtedly one of the most pivotal moments in the struggle for women’s rights – especially after the revolutionary #TimesUp and #MeToo social media movements to condemn intimate assault and harassment against women across various professional fields including politics and Hollywood.
Virginia’s Sara Piper, a 59-year-old geologist said that she saw the march as a united effort to resist a president whose actions and policies go against what feminism stands for. The crowd in Los Angeles was studded with big Hollywood stars who gave moving speeches in front of thousands of demonstrators. Among the marchers was ‘Desperate Housewives’ actress Eva Longoria who thanked the women for standing up and making the world feel their presence.
Academy Award winner, Natalie Portman didn’t hesitate to lend her voice to the powerful movement either. While addressing the large crowds, she recalled one of the scariest and most personal moments of acting career when a fan wrote her a detailed fantasy of intimately assaulting her when she was only a teenager.
The official page of Los Angeles’ Women’s March showed that almost 37,000 were expected to turn up at the event – a number much lower than the astounding 5 million in January 2017. But as one demonstrator named Michelle Saunders, a 41-year-old saleswoman based in Chicago said, a small number doesn’t undermine the importance of a cause, and women still feel the same way about Donald Trump’s presidency as they did a year ago.
Other women said that while the elections were the main reason why most people protested last year, 2018’s march has a number of causes including the Affordable Care Act, DACA, Trump’s ineffective governance and the pressing issue of the environment. Joyce Pleva and her two daughters, Elizabeth and Jamie, were among the demonstrators and spoke to the news reporters on their thoughts on Obama’s Affordable Care Act which had been crucial for their family as one of Pelva’s daughters recently lost her battle against cancer.
The march organizers picked Nevada for 2018’s main event to pay respect to the victims of one of the deadliest mass shooting incidents that took place last year rocking the entire nation. The leader of the Women’s March, Tamika Mallory, made a statement ahead of the event, saying that female leaders across the world are rising with a newly ignited fire of activism and movement aims to change the landscape of American politics before the midterms later this year.
Hopes to Inspire Strong Female Leaders to Enter Politics
The U.S. wasn’t the only country that rallied on Saturday; unofficial marches were also planned in other international cities including Bangkok, London, Sydney and Kampala with one powerful message resonating across all global demonstrations: to end violence and discrimination against women. In Rome, actress Asia Argento, who had previously made headlines in intimate assault allegations against Hollywood heartthrob Harvey Weinstein, also joined marchers to denounce violence in the apparently-glamorous film industry.
The Women’s March on Saturday surely took a new turn in political activism and the event organizers were hopeful to use the movement to inspire strong female leaders to enter politics at the national level and give women across the country a much-needed representation in the field.
Rosiland Jordan, a reporter at one of the demonstrations in Washington DC said that the current administration seems to be becoming more complacent with the lack of female representation at the table which is why women – especially women of color – need to set the record straight and prove to everyone that they are more than capable or running a house, school, business and even an entire nation.