#PowerToThePolls: International Women’s March Rallies Millions to Take Political Action

On Saturday, January 20, 2018, nearly one million combined supporters and protesters joined the Women’s March in New York City and its flagship city, Los Vegas, NV. Thousands of others also attended in cities such as Washington, DC, Philadelphia, PA, Austin, TX, and hundreds of others around the world such as Iraq and Nigeria.

While these numbers don’t quite reach those of the exceptional Women’s Marches of 2017,  Saturday’s demonstration comes a year after President Trump’s inauguration and reveals a sustained, impactful resistance powered by women

Many of the protesters were inspired by the #TimesUp and #MeToo social movements that recognize the numerous accounts of powerful men abusing women shared by women in the workplace, entertainment, and a number of other industries.

Furthermore, the march’s title “Power to the Polls” revealed the convenings’ objective to unite and energize women to participate in the next round of congressional elections in November. The government shut down, which occurred just a day before the march, acted as a rallying cry and catalyst for additional unity and support during the marches.

These national marches were also a launch to a voter registration effort aimed to register at least one million people in ten (10) battleground states as our society continues to note the importance of voter participation in all local, and national elections. A notable call from Planned Parenthood President, Cecile Richards, urged White women to do more to “save this country from itself” in comparison to Black and other women of color who have shown up in great number to prevent the election of known offenders in Virginia, Alabama, and Wisconsin.

“All across the country, the Women’s March inspired doctors and teachers and mothers to become activists and organizers and, yes, candidates for office,” Richards said, according to CNN. “And from Virginia to Alabama and to last week in Wisconsin, women have beaten the odds to elect our own to office. … Women of color, transgender women, rural and urban women.”

“So, white women, listen up. We’ve got to do better. … It is not up to women of color to save this country from itself. That’s on all of us. That’s on all of us,” she said.

National speakers also included actors Scarlett Johansson, Viola Davis, Natalie Portman, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi among others.

The women’s march is not only to ensure women’s voting rights are being protected but to protest against all the inequalities women face every day. Since the 2017 Presidential election and the eventual inauguration of the Trump administration, women’s rights have been under attack. Efforts such as the push to defund Planned Parenthood and the increased regulations on the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Act undermined women’s rights to equal pay, health services, and civil rights.

Throughout Trump’s Presidency, there has been an uproar of allegations of sexual harassment that have been ignored by administrators, consequently making it quite apparent that women and the policies, practices, and societal norms that affect them are not taken seriously by the current administration.

This Women’s March was an international demonstration that says to the world that women’s rights are in fact human rights and political action will occur to ensure they are recognized as such.

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Walker's Legacy is a growing global women in business collective founded to establish networks of empowerment and access for women of color in business.