Why The Women’s March on Washington Mattered
The numbers were too great to ignore and I was one of them. The Women's March on Washington happened on President Donald Trump's first day in office on January 21st. Here's a look into my personal experience participating in the march and a few reasons why this march has empowered and inspired me.
The Women’s March on Washington is being noted as the biggest protest in history. Millions of women and their allies from all over the world marched for one reason – equality. We live in a patriarchal society in which wealthy, white males have always been on top. Yes our country has progressed, but our people are still not equal.
Some looking in from the outside believe the message was unclear because there were so many different causes being represented. Our new president is threatening things that truly make America great; our rights, our diversity, our beautiful natural lands and the arts are all on the chopping block.
During his first week in office President Trump has already halted funding to companies that provide family planning services and safe abortions for millions of women in developing countries. Not to mention his plans to defund Planned Parenthood here in the United States, which is a direct threat to women’s healthcare. Of course this was the first thing to go; could you even imagine a group of women signing laws to govern men’s reproductive rights?
Let me use facts, not alternative ones, to make a point. According to Planned Parenthood’s 2013 annual report, only three percent of 10.6 million services provided were abortions.When you defund Planned Parenthood, you are taking away women’s safe and affordable access to so many different services including STI tests and treatments, contraception related services, cancer screenings including breast exams and pap smears, pregnancy tests and prenatal services. Women need the right to choose what they can and cannot do with their own bodies. Not to mention that the Hyde amendment makes it illegal for taxpayer dollars to be used for abortions.
The march was not just for women’s rights, now millions of American's are afraid of losing their health care through the ACA. President Trump is also trying to push the construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone Oil Pipelines forward, even after long months of thousands protesting the site. His cabinet picks do the opposite of what they are supposed to stand for and protect. We live in a country in which our president believes that climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese and his EPA pick once sued the agency he is now leading. He is trying to divide our country even further by threatening sanctuary cities and making his promise of building the border wall into a bizarre reality.
This march has started a movement. The Women's March website clearly outlines their next steps with a 10 Actions in 100 Days campaign. Several other advocate groups are using the buzz from the march to create more social justice events to protest Trump's actions. This is causing more citizens to get involved with their government on a local and national scale. It's our right to protest, have a voice and criticize our elected officials.
I constantly get the argument that our country is the fairest and greatest it’s ever been and while that may be true, it is a continuous fight. I guess women’s suffrage protesters were all just a bunch of special snowflakes that accomplished nothing, right? I will not back down; I will not apologize for standing up for what I believe in. Never forget it’s the people who hold the power in our nation.