The Women’s March quite literally grew over night. As many of us grieved over hate, misogyny and injustice winning the election, there was a small beacon of hope on November 10. A Facebook event ballooned from an email among a handful of friends into a global movement.
There are an estimated 616 marches in nearly 70 countries. I am proud to march alongside each and every one of those women, and that hundreds of Sierra Club members and supporters will be joining more than 50 sister marches across 25 states. We will proudly be holding up our signs saying “Women’s Rights = Human Rights, Sierra Club for Gender Equity” as we march down Independence avenue and through cities across the United States.
I am marching as a feminist. I am marching with those who came before us, who fought for equal access to health care, to education, for the right to vote and the right to choose. I am marching with those who fight and fought for these human rights. I march because those fights remain unfinished. We must still work toward equal pay for all women, to defend our access to affordable health care, including comprehensive reproductive health, and to ensure that all people are able to cast their vote without prejudice or intimidation.
I march for my own rights, but also for those of others. I stand with femme friends who have been fighting these battles not just in the halls of Congress but in their daily lives. People who are transgender, women of color, or immigrants. Their struggle must be all of ours if we are going to truly transform our society. As I grapple with how to stand in solidarity, I march. I want to send a message that is loud and clear: We are strong and we stand together.
I am marching as an environmentalist, seeing that climate change and natural disasters hit women first and worst. After Hurricane Katrina, a storm fueled by climate disruption, hit New Orleans in 2005, 80 percent of those left behind in the Lower Ninth Ward were women.
Women’s rights are human rights, and key human rights are the ability to breathe clean air, drink clean water and live in a safe climate. Climate disruption endangers these rights for women across the globe. It is clear we can’t have climate justice without gender justice. Gender equity is key to everyone’s ability to thrive in the face of climate change.
The Sierra Club sees this work as more urgent than ever with Donald Trump as President of the United States. Those who care about clean air, clean water and climate action need to align with other progressives in broader fights for people and the planet. That is why the Sierra Club is at the Women’s March and why the Sierra Club works to promote gender equity.
I march because I believe. I believe in the power of people, of women lifting their voices, in democratic participation. In the call for their rights to be protected. I believe in the healing power of community. And because I feel a sense of duty to carry on the work of our ancestors. We are the next generation and we are fired up.
This march is just the beginning. We will need to sustain the drum beat of justice to match our heartbeats: Loud, steady and filled with love and compassion. And as we always have, we will march on.