After the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, the Women’s March on Washington began organizing a mass march to take place the day after Trump’s inauguration.
“Women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us,” according to the organization’s website.
The message was broadcast around the world before the march actually took place. In addition to the sister marches planned in all 50 states, there are 60 other countries with marches planned, according to the Women’s March website.
The organization of marches outside the U.S. shows that the actions of Trump during his impending term will not go unnoticed. Americans as well as the rest of the global community will not hesitate to organize and be heard, especially when his actions specifically threaten historically marginalized groups.
The reason why the Women’s March has attracted such an immense following has been analyzed by media organizations, including business publications like Forbes. The Women’s March was called the “perfect example of social entrepreneurship” in a Jan. 19 Forbes article.
But the factors behind the march’s global appeal cannot be analyzed by comparing the ideals of Women’s March to a “product” like the Forbes article attempts to do.
The march has gained so much traction around the world because the struggle of women and other marginalized groups in the U.S. are, unfortunately, not unique. While participants in Kenya and in Chicago might not be marching for exactly the same reasons, a sense of global unity in the Women’s March is what brought these people together.
The Facebook group created for the Women’s March organized in Nairobi, Kenya, says, “This march is the first step of a progressive alliance across the world, built by individuals, groups and communities who together will be the voice of a new global consciousness.”
People in and outside of the U.S. will benefit from the alliance the Nairobi group suggests continuing beyond the Women’s March on Jan. 21.
If individuals, not just women, want to fight for equality under their governments, a movement in their hometowns with no global focus or inclusion will not be enough. Strength is truly in numbers and with more than 2 million people estimated to march on Jan. 21, the Women’s March has undoubtedly gathered the numbers for a successful social justice movement.
The global involvement seen with the Women’s March also serves as an important reminder to participants in U.S. marches. Oppression and discrimination extend beyond Trump and his policies. Even as citizens of the U.S. potentially face some of the most drastic attacks on their human rights in their lifetime, they must remember that the need to advocate for equal rights did not start with the election of Trump, and it will not end when his term is over. Infringement on human rights does not start or end at a country’s borders but is a global issue that requires mass participation.
The organization of the Women’s March has given all marginalized groups a platform in the spotlight for organized protest against the injustices their communities face. The power of global feminist solidarity cannot be forgotten as people continue to fight for their rights.