13 July 2018
As Donald Trump meets with Theresa May and the Queen today, ActionAid USA Director Marie Clarke explains why it’s so important we take a stand for women’s rights.
On Friday 13th July, Donald Trump will meet with his counterpart in the United Kingdom, Theresa May. While Trump and May are looking to reinforce their alliance through this encounter, many people in the UK are stepping up to disrupt it in support of women’s rights.
My Body Is Mine
Inspired by women and girls across the U.S. — and the world — who are standing up to Trump’s attacks on their rights and their bodies, our colleagues in the UK are teaming up with Women’s March to oppose Trump’s visit. They are rallying people across London to stand against the politics of hate and fear that are being fuelled by Trump’s presidency.
Each of us has a right to our body, and any act that violates this right is an act of violence.
From this side of the Atlantic, we are raising our voices with them to say what we already know to be true: that each of us has a right to our body, and any act that violates this right is an act of violence. We’re joining them to say that violence has no place here – not in our homes, not in our workplaces, not in our streets, and not in our elected officials’ meeting rooms.
Sexual harassment isn’t new
Oppression of women isn’t new. State-sanctioned terrorism against immigrants and people of colour is not new. I chose to come from a life mostly lived overseas to a college in California in the early nineties when anti-immigration propositions were flying through the legislature and Mexican-Americans in my college were chanting, “We didn’t cross the borders – the borders crossed us.”
Since that time, I have seen headline after headline and heard story after story that makes it painfully clear that “this land is made for you and me” only if “you and me” are white, cisgender, landowning, Christian males. And none of it is okay.
Yes, it’s 2018 – and more than two decades later, as the crisis on our Southwestern border demonstrates, it is still true.
Bring The Noise
In the face of the violence that has marked Trump’s politics, our sisters in the UK are banding together to #BringTheNoise. Where violence is used to tear families apart, build walls, deny women safety from domestic abuse, and destroy our planet, women and girls are rising up in hopeful defiance. They are rising up to say enough is enough.
Where violence is used to tear families apart, build walls, deny women safety from domestic abuse, and destroy our planet, women and girls are rising up to say enough is enough.
They are rising up to say things were not always like this and things cannot stay like this.
With their pots and pans, their instruments and voices, they will be rolling through the heart of London to amplify their messages of solidarity. And they will not be silenced.
Because the Trump administration’s assaults on women continue.
Just a few days ago, Trump nominated federal appeals judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. This nomination is raising red flags among people who support a woman’s right to the full range of her sexual and reproductive health care. If confirmed Judge Kavanaugh is expected to support the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that legalized abortion in 1973.
When women march for their rights and their lives, they must march with and for all women, regardless of their immigration status.
Also this week, the Trump administration failed to meet a deadline to reunite all children under the age of five who had been separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border and detained for weeks or even months. There is no justification for the administration’s continued participation in our country’s history of state-sanctioned kidnapping.
Defending the rights of women and girls doesn’t stop with documentation, so when women march for their rights and their lives, they must march with and for all women, regardless of their immigration status.
We are the answer
While Trump meets May and the Queen, our sisters in the UK are spot on in defying Trump and his administration’s efforts to spread fear, hate and conflict.
Sometimes I can feel overwhelmed by the scale of the challenge to build a more just, equitable and sustainable world — when every morning’s news seems to bring more examples of the dismantling of rights and protections. So I take a deep breath and remember: I am not the answer. We are. And that is exactly why we need to keep showing up in solidarity at home and across the world.