23 January 2017
If you switched on the news this weekend, you might have noticed something incredible taking place on the first day of Donald Trump’s presidency: millions of women, men and children in over 60 countries joined the Women’s March – a call for tolerance, inclusion and women’s rights.
We were there at the Women’s March on London, along with more people than anyone expected! The march clearly struck a chord with many of us and, in the aftermath of this global moment, it’s time to ask: what can we do next to stand up for women’s rights?
What happened at the Women’s March?
As we arrived in central London on Saturday, it was already obvious: this march was going to be huge. Surrounded by some incredible placards, it took two hours just to get the whole march out of the Square where it started.
Official counts from the march organisers confirmed it: there had been more than 100,000 of us marching across the UK, more than 5 million women, men and children marched globally, and protests had taken place in over 60 countries – and even in Antarctica!
The atmosphere was incredible, with marchers speaking out against sexism and rape culture, against homophobia and xenophobia, and calling for an end to hate and oppression. We were surrounded by marchers of all ages and genders demanding we build bridges, not walls, between communities and nations.
As the head of our United States office wrote this weekend, we will always take sides with those living in poverty and exclusion. Our work is founded on equality, solidarity and mutual understanding, and we do not believe in being silent when we see these values under threat. Seeing how many people stood up on Saturday, in countries from Colombia to Kenya, it’s clear that many of us are feeling the same.
What’s next after the Women’s March?
The march was a huge, global shout on behalf of women’s rights, but now we need to take the next step. Now is not the time to go back to normal – it’s the time to get involved, and stay involved, in the worldwide fight for women’s rights.
Along with partner organisations on five continents, we fight for the world’s poorest women and girls, campaigning to challenge the root causes of poverty. Through committed activism, our thousands of campaigners put pressure on governments and corporations to change lives, for good.
When we all come together, we can and will change the world for the better. Become an ActionAid campaigner now to join the fight.
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