Marching for a cause

January 24, 2017
Mary Thoma marches and chants during the Women's March outside the Caddo Parish Courthouse in Shreveport, Louisiana on Saturday.

The past weekend has been history-making and the world will never be the same.

Last Friday, Donald Trump took the oath of office and became the 45th United States president with the lowest approval rating and turnout for any president in more than 40 years.

The following day, women across America and the world took to the streets in a historic march. From Washington, DC to New York, London, Australia, and even France, the world showed solidarity to the women of America who protested many issues the biggest of which was the presence of Donald Trump in the most powerful position in the country.

While the purpose is clear to many persons, there are some who are asking the question: Why do they march? Many critics of the movement question the significance of the march especially since Donald Trump was voted in by millions of Americans, and it seems as if they are having buyer's remorse.

Let's look at some of the issues that led to the protest.


Income inequality


The average woman makes approximately 60 per cent of what a man makes in the same position, with the same or even higher qualifications. This is a fact that affects families because in many cases, women are the sole breadwinners. This makes it hard for women to achieve economic justice and independence.


Woman's right to choose


This is a very passionate issue for many persons because they feel that a woman should never be allowed to have an abortion. Here in Jamaica, it is illegal for woman to exercise this option. Regardless of how each of us feels about this issue personally, shouldn't the woman be the one to decide what happens to her body? From the religious fundamentalists to the law, it seems like everyone except the woman is an expert on the female reproductive system.





Sexual assault


With reports of sexual assault invading the news, especially in the last few months, it's very concerning when the new President currently has cases in court of women accusing him of this behaviour. Women have been dealing with assault of varying degrees and many of them are simply fed up.




There are many persons who try to deny that racism still exists, but that is simply not true. The rise of Donald Trump has brought more racism to light in recent times. White supremacist groups are rising up, and their membership have increased exponentially since his candidacy started. And with the many videos showing black people being executed by law, enforcement officials, it's a hard argument to make that racism is no longer an issue.


Patriarchy and religion


The driving force behind many of the issues that women face on a daily basis is rooted in fundamental religious beliefs. Patriarchy is a product of these beliefs, and they are still a big part of why women are still marginalised today.

Marching for a cause has been an effective way to protest for decades, and it is a great way to get attention on an issue. Personally, I think the march was a great symbol of solidarity and the first step towards making real change and addressing some of the issues that women still face today. But the protest cannot stop with this march. I would love to see these people just as active at the polls and in their communities. I am happy to say that the women in Jamaica are ready to get cracking because we have our issues to tackle, many of which were highlighted here. Women across the world are fed up, and we are ready for some things to stop and for others to start.

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