The Women’s March on Washington, What We Know
The Women’s March on Washington will take place one day after the inauguration of President Elect Donald Trump. There has been great misinformation spread by those opposed to the Women’s March so those who have worked to organize the event, released a statement on the platform for the Women’s March to explain the goals of those involved. There have been some who thought the march was mainly for women of color, but the march is open to women of all colors.
The official platform of the march includes the fight of reproductive rights, includes sections to end racial inequality in the criminal justice system and extend the rights of LGBTQ people. The platform states that, “We believe Gender Justice is Racial Justice is Economic Justice. “We must create a society in which women, in particular women — in particular Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, Muslim women, and queer and trans women — are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments.”
In striking back at the those who want to limit the availability of reproductive needs, the platform states that, “We believe in Reproductive Freedom. We do not accept any federal, state or local rollbacks, cuts or restrictions on our ability to access quality reproductive health care services, birth control, HIV/AIDS care and prevention, or medically accurate sexuality education. This means open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education.”
President Elect Trump has indicated that if he can, he would have the Supreme Court overrule or turn back the Roe vs. Wade, that gave women the right to choose. When asked what his plans would be if Roe vs. Wade was in fact overturned, Trump stated he wanted the decision to go back to the states. When asked if a state outlawed abortion, how could a woman who wishes to end her pregnancy in that particular state, Trump stated, “I guess she would have to move or go to another state.” This basically would end equal protection under the law. In other words, a Pennsylvania woman would have more rights to decide her reproductive needs than, say a woman in Florida if Roe vs. Wade.
Another piece of the Women’s March’s platform is equal pay for equal work. The platform states that, “We believe in equal pay for equal work and the right of all women to be paid equitably. We must end the pay and hiring discrimination that women, particularly mothers, women of color, lesbian, queer and trans women still face each day in our nation. Many mothers have always worked and in our modern labor force; and women are now 50% of all family breadwinners. We stand for the 82% of women who become moms, particularly moms of color, being paid, judged, and treated fairly. Equal pay for equal work will lift families out of poverty and boost our nation’s economy.” Nothing radical, just demanding that women, all women, are treated and paid equally.
The platform that the Women’s March created is not just a document to help women, but to help many men too, especially those who in need such as, immigrants, civil rights of those accused of a crime and for those who protect the public. “We must protect and restore all the Constitutionally-mandated rights to all our citizens, including voting rights, freedom to worship without fear of intimidation or harassment, freedom of speech, and protections for all citizens regardless of race, gender, age or disability.”
The platform includes language to protect our water supplies so that another Flint, Michigan happens again. The platform states that, “We believe that our environment and our climate must be protected, and that our land and natural resources cannot be exploited for corporate gain or greed—especially at the risk of public safety and health.”
The Women’s March on Washington. D.C. is not radical unless one considers civil rights radical. The work of women from the time of the suffragettes to those who hoped to end a war to those who fought for equal pay and education is what the march hopes to illuminate. The march is to be inclusive not exclusive. Kaylin Whittingham, the President of the Association of Black Women Attorneys describes the march as “a march of this magnitude, across this diversity of issues has never happened before,” and that, “We all have to stand together as a force no one can ignore.”
One of the march’s organizer Linda Sarsour said the march is necessary and she believes “we have no choice. We need to stand up against an administration that threatens everything we believe in, in what we hope will become one of the largest grassroots, progressive movements ever seen.” The march won’t be happening only in Washington. According to Sarsour, more than 300 simultaneous local women’s marches will also take place across all 50 states, with support marches are planned in 30 other countries.”
Sarsour, who is in charge of fundraising, also pointed out that this march is not just about the problems of white women. The protest and this march on Washington D.C encompasses all races and sexuality. Sarsour, who is a civil rights activist in New York and is of Arab American with Palestinian roots, said of the march “Some people think we are tokens, but I’m not just a pretty Muslim face – we’re leading this together.”
There are those who are still not buying the idea of the march as it incorporates many different ideas, but all have a theme of equality, but Jon O’Brien, who is attending the march as president of event partner Catholics for Choice, said the march is about “true solidarity”. “There will be all kinds of people there,” he said. “White, black, LGBT, straight, Democrat, moderate Republican, rich, poor – in other words, America,” with that being exactly what the march is all about.