Marching toward equality


Men and women from across the country gathered in the nation’s capital January 21 for the first Women’s March on Washington in an effort to stand up for women’s rights. Participants of the event hoped to increase awareness of inequalities that minorities face, particularly for women. 
According to, Ms. Teresa Shook, a retired attorney who resides in Hawaii, started a Facebook page which sparked the movement of the Women’s March on Washington after the 2016 election.
The primary purpose of the march was not to demur President Donald Trump, but rather to highlight the power of women in the American democracy, according to CNN.  The event attracted citizens who felt offended during the election, thus enabling them to move forward as a country. 
“The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many [women],” according to  

The event started at 10 a.m. in front of the United States Capitol with a rally, which featured advocates, musical artists, and entertainers who gave speeches. Women’s rights activist and event co-chair Ms. Gloria Steinem, civil rights activist Ms. Angela Davis, actresses Mrs. America Ferrera and Mrs. Scarlett Johansson, and singers Madonna and Mrs. Alicia Keys were some of the keynote speakers at the march.
Over half a million people gathered for the Women’s March on Washington. Courtesy of Nina Larson

In her speech, Ms. Steinem spoke about the American democracy and the voice of every person around the world.
 “We are here and around the world for a deep democracy that says we will not be quiet. We will not be controlled. We will work for a world in which all countries are connected,” Ms. Steinem said.
Ms. Davis spoke about the necessity for feminism and acceptance of all races, religions, and social classes.
“This is a women’s march, and this women’s march represents the promise of feminism as against the pernicious powers of state violence and inclusive and intersectional feminism that calls upon all of us to join the resistance to racism, to Islamophobia, to anti-Semitism, to misogyny, to capitalist exploitation,” Ms. Davis said.
Over one million people were in attendance. Actresses Ms. Amy Poehler and Ms. Zendaya Coleman and singers Ms. Katy Perry and Ms. Cherilyn Sarkisian were among members of the crowd.

Sacred Heart Greenwich senior Francesca Lippolis attended the march in Washington, D.C. with friends from her hometown.  Her local assemblywoman, Ms. Amy Paulin, sponsored three buses full of supporters to take the trip to Washington.  
I participated in the Women’s March on Washington to show the world that women of all races, sexualities, and religions are powerful, strong, and have a voice that must be heard,” Francesca said.
Francesca also clarified that the march brought the country together and was not a political protest.
The Women’s March on Washington inspired 616 sister marches globally, which all took place January 21. The sister marches shared the same goals as the Women’s March on Washington. Volunteers hosted the sister marches to give men and women the opportunity to participate in the movement globally.
Sacred Heart junior Nathalie Perreault attended the sister march in Manhattan with her mother. The march started at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at East 48 Street and First Avenue and ended in front of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.  Over 250,000 people attended the march in Manhattan.

Posters at the Women's March in Manhattan. Courtesy of Nathalie Perrault '18
Posters at the Women’s March in Manhattan. Courtesy of Nathalie Perrault ’18

“I marched because I believe that the president should represent everyone, not just one group of people in America,” Nathalie said. “It’s important for minorities and women to be heard in our culture. It did not matter what ethnicity, socio-economic background, or gender orientation you were, everyone was marching for the same equalities in life.”
President Mr. Donald Trump reacted to the marches via Twitter.  President Trump watched the marches but did not necessarily agree with their respective messages.
“Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don’t always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views,” Mr.  Trump tweeted.
Millions of people gathered across the world on Saturday to stand up for women’s rights and equality.
“The Women’s March on Washington [sent] a bold message to [the] new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights,” according to  
-Jackie Shannon, Staff Writer