On 21 January, an estimated three million people in nearly 700 cities and on every continent came together for the historic Women's March and sister marches. Women, men, boys and girls showed the world that injustice, inequality and hate have no place in society -- and they're ready to join the fight to keep it that way! Read on for our favorite moments and for next steps to keep the momentum going.
We’re still riding high from last Saturday! What began as a social media post and one initial location exploded into a worldwide validation of the power of women’s leadership, grassroots activism and of people's duty to hold their governments and elected officials accountable. With the world seemingly at a tipping point, the Women’s March on Washington – and in thousands of sister marches around the globe – became a movement that the world hasn’t seen in a long time.
In April, Equality Now will celebrate 25 years of action and activism for women's and girls’ rights, so the Women’s March couldn’t have come at a better time. Our staff, supporters, Board members, friends and partners marched for equality and human rights in Washington, London, Los Angeles, New York, Park City and San Francisco. Their enthusiasm and dedication to move forward, not back was abundantly clear:
“What this does is ENCOURAGE every woman and girl that they are not alone!”
“The sense of unity, the focused and positive energy, the sense of kindness and the smiles – that’s what I’m taking away from the march.”
“Holy cow. What a morning. Proud to march with Equality Now and my homies.”
“People talk about issues behind closed doors. This showed that those doors are now open and it’s much bigger than the individual.”
“We were there with six children in tow; it was incredible to see the next generation get involved too.”
“It was great to be there - we got there early and watched the incredibly diverse crowd swell. We have to carry the momentum forward!”
“It was about sharing a much broader message with governments about the need to build bridges not walls, and a wholehearted rejection of politics fueled by fear and division.”
VIEW: Women's March on Washington photo album (click image)
WATCH: Women's March on Washington speech by Equality Now Board Member, Gloria Steinem
VIEW: Women's March Los Angeles photo album (click image)
WATCH: Women's March Los Angeles speech by Equality Now Advisory Board Member, Christine Lahti
VIEW: Women's March London photo album (click image)
READ: "The Women’s March was a huge success. What comes next?” by Equality Now's Niki Kandirikirira
READ: "Tackling Violence Against Women," an interview with Equality Now's Faiza Jama Mohamed
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
– Mahatma Ghandi
US foreign policy has a direct effect on laws, policies and behaviors in other countries. Equality Now is working with partners to develop strategies to protect women’s and girls’ rights based on ongoing developments arising from Trump Administration plans. We’ll keep you updated on how to help.
In the meantime, here are 10 things you can do right now and over the coming weeks to build on the momentum and spirit of activism from the Women’s Marches!
1. US supporters - Call your Senators to stop Jeff Sessions from becoming the next Attorney General
Call 1-877-959-6082 and tell your Senator to vote NO on Senator Jeff Sessions becoming the next US Attorney General! The Senate Judiciary Committee has delayed the confirmation vote until 31 January, so there’s still time to speak up. Jeff Sessions' record is bad on women’s rights, civil rights and human rights and he seemingly doesn’t know that grabbing a woman’s genitals is sexual assault. He is unfit to be the nation’s top law enforcement agent.
2. TAKE ACTION to stop sex tourism
Operating sex tours is illegal in the US, but right now a company in Los Angeles, California -- Global Fantasies -- is openly offering sex tours to 16 locations around the world. Help shut them down! It only takes a minute to add your name.
Sex tourism, an estimated $1 billion per year industry, typically involves men – usually from Western countries – traveling to buy sex from women and girls who are often from poor and marginalized communities.
Share: Urgent: Take Action to shut down sex tour operators in California http://bit.ly/2j0Wxn2 #EndSexTourism #ListentoSurvivors
3. Educate yourself on the US Global Gag Rule (also known as the Mexico City policy)
Taking aim at women’s reproductive rights, it bans NGOs from receiving foreign aid or federal funds if they even mention or provide any information about abortion, no matter the context. Even worse than past iterations, it “apparently will cover all kinds of health services, including efforts to tackle polio or Zika or H.I.V., even programs to help women who have been trafficked into brothels.” The lives of thousands of women, particularly poor and vulnerable women, will be in serious danger if this legislation passes. Stay tuned for our Urgent Alert!
International NGOs, help us build a solid legal strategy to fight back against the legislation, please share specifics on how a US global gag rule would directly affect you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enter your email to receive our newsletters, petitions and updates on issues affecting women and girls around the world – and tell your friends to do so as well! In our shared spirit of partnership, you can help be our eyes and ears in your communities on specific laws and policies affecting women and girls rights. Share via email@example.com.
5. Raise your voice to end sexism in the law
We’ve compiled 44 laws around the world that do not treat women and men equally, usually in direct violation of the country’s Constitution. We’ve timed it and it takes about three minutes to take action on all of them combined. Explore the laws and Take Action!
6. Run for office
Go big! Ever thought about running for office? Now is the perfect time to make it happen. There are plenty of organizations around the world that offer tools and training to help, eg. She Should Run, 50/50 Sierra Leone, British Council.
7. Be vigilant – knowledge is power
In the US, the Trump administration has announced plans to defund the Department of Justice's Violence Against Women programs, which encompass programs aimed at stopping sexual assault and providing support to survivors. This includes 25 grants established under the 1994 Violence Against Women Act. Keep up to date on Executive Orders, nominations and legislation announcements as they are announced and contact your government representatives to put a stop to harmful legislation.
8. Support issues and organizations you care about
Reproductive rights, Equal Pay, the International Violence Against Women Act, Sex Trafficking, Women in STEM, Female Genital Mutilation, Sex Trafficking, Sexism in the Law, Title IX, Affordable Health Care – whatever you care about, don’t remain silent.
Your government is supposed to work for you, so call, write, visit your elected officials and policymakers. Attend rallies, local community meetings, volunteer, talk to your friends and family about the issues, educate yourself and support the causes you care about however you can!
9. Stop the planned US defunding of the United Nations
President Trump is expected to sign Executive Orders imminently to drastically cut funding to the United Nations (UN). The cuts would severely cripple UN agencies such as the UN Refugee Agency, UNICEF and the World Food Program. It also calls for changes to how the US contributes to the UN, which would lead to radical funding reductions and our withdrawal from the body the US helped to establish. Sign A Better World Campaign's petition (US).