On February 2, 2017, Teri Nehrenz wrote a letter to the editor expressing some confusion over the goals of those who took part in the Women’s Marches on January 21, 2017. These marches drew hundreds of thousands of people – not just women – from all over the world who were concerned with a Trump presidency and what it represented.
As the first few weeks of the new administration’s term played out, their concerns were more than justified. An ill-considered ban on people traveling from certain countries, the disappearance of links to environmental issues and disability issues from governmental websites, the “gag” order given to some federal employees, removing restrictions on Wall Street, and the confirmation of clearly unqualified Cabinet members are just a few of the issues during the last few weeks that point to the need for continued action by concerned citizens.
The movement that began with the Women’s March isn’t going away. The principles it was founded on are indeed being threatened by the new administration. These principles include human rights for all – not just women, an end to violence, reproductive rights, the rights of those of alternative sexual orientation, workers’ rights, civil rights including voting, disability rights, immigrant rights, and environmental justice.
March participants understand that women’s rights are human rights, that all people – no matter what race or gender or sexual orientation or disability – have the right to live full and healthy lives free of laws that restrict their access to health care, equal employment opportunities and equal pay for equal work; that all workers should have the right to organize and fight for a living wage and decent working conditions; that civil rights, including voting rights, freedom of speech, freedom of worship, and freedom of the press, must be protected; that all people have the right to clean air and water and safe food, access to public lands, and an environment that is safe and protected.
A full list of the goals of the women’s march can be found here: https://www.womensmarch.com/principles.
This movement is not just about abortion or Planned Parenthood. It’s about human rights on every front and about the principles of freedom this country was founded upon. The people who protested are not going to go away as long as these rights are threatened. They will continue to hold legislators accountable to act in the best interests of all the people of the United States, not just a select few.