Women Heard Around The World

Kayla Beals and Annie Robichaud

  “Love Trumps Hate” echoed through the Sonoma Plaza as members of the community gathered for the third year in a row to participate in the worldwide Women’s March. The march began at 10 a.m. Sophomore Jovana Saldana was among the many participants. This was Saldana’s first year participating in a Women’s March.

  Saldana explained that “she wanted to be involved in [her] community and as her first time, it was something new that [she] hadn’t experienced.” Supporters carried signs to encourage messages such as such as “Girls Just Wanna Have FUNdamental Rights and “The Future is Female.”

  For her third consecutive year, sophomore Meg Jernigan participated in the march. Jernigan commented, “this year the march wasn’t as big of a turnout as past years, but everyone seemed super positive.” Jernigan explained that “the march made [her] feel more empowered and it was really nice to see everyone coming together, especially females.”

  Sonoma’s event was organized by local activists who designed the day to include a list of speakers and a march around the Plaza. But across the U.S. in New York, Women’s marches have spiraled out of tradition over the past year.

   The unity between the Women’s March Inc. and March On has begun to fade. According to The New York Times, “as the movement evolves, differing priorities and tactics have emerged among the women.” The Women’s March Inc. asked a group called Mobile Marchers from Alabama to “‘not advertise [their] event as a ‘Women’s March’ action’” even though their purpose for marching is clearly to support women’s power, reported The New York Times.

  The New York Times also revealed that one year later, “the split between Women’s March and March On has not dampened the enthusiasm for marking the anniversary. Many activists in the field said they were unaware of the division” but those within the groups are affected emotionally, becoming aware that they have a lot of convincing to do.

  The Women’s March Inc. wishes to focus on social justice protests, but, on the other hand, a small organization of activists called March On wishes to focus on a political goal that enhances women participation, especially in Red states. Critical judgments about the two organizations are creating a division between the event that is supposed to unite and include women.

  Sonoma’s community has yet to face this division, continuing to march with messages that emphasize peace, inclusion, and strength. Coming together for the third year in a row identifies unity and progress with making voices heard, not just at an adult level but also at a millennial level.