Thousands of women in the US joined protest demonstrations as part of the 2018 Women’s March, marking the one year anniversary of a similar march held against US President Donald Trump. The protests also come at the completion of Trump’s first year in office which was full of controversies, uncertainties and contentious policy decisions. The march this year was more of a coordinated movement to build political opposition to Trump and Republicans for the upcoming mid-term elections.
While the protest was more voluminous in the US, similar rallies were seen in Asia, Europe and Africa as well. Official estimates suggest that the Los Angeles rally saw the attendance of nearly 300,000 people while New York saw 100,000 people coming out in the march to show their dismay with the policies and actions of Trump and his administration.
Trump discredited the protests happening outside the White House and in other cities too by tweeting: “Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March,” adding, “Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months. Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!” According to the labour department, joblessness in the American women was at 3.7 per cent in December, 2017 which is below the average rate in the entire US at 4.1 per cent.
Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March. Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months. Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2018
The march in 2017 was an immediate expression of anger and frustration against Trump’s election, this year’s march is a more coordinated one. The main protest took place in Washington DC and protests and rallies were planned for over 250 cities.
We spent this year organizing, voting, protesting + raising our voices because “revolution is not a one time event.”
SEE YOU AT THE MARCH! #WomenMarch2018 #Resist #TogetherWeRise #TimesUp #BlackLivesMatter #MeToo #PowerToThePolls #DreamActNow pic.twitter.com/uLHTQ9cUSS
— Piper Perabo (@PiperPerabo) January 20, 2018
The themes of the march and events to follow are “March into Action” and “Power to the Polls”, attempted to garner support for the anti-Trump movement leading into the mid-term elections due this year. In the previous mid-term elections in 2010 and 2014, the Republicans were biggest gainers but the movement appears to attempt at bringing a change in the trend.
The march was attended by several top democrats who tried to enthuse the crowds with calls for a more inclusive US. Leaders like Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) took part as well.
— Prossy (@Pkakooza) January 20, 2018
The protests could well be put under the umbrella of a movement aimed at empowering women. The banners in the protest show that some of the biggest issues women took up are sexual violence, right to personal dignity, protection of the LGBTQ community, and equal treatment for women across the board. The march also raised concerns relating to child abuse and safety, treatment and rights of people of colour, immigrants, reproductive health and abortion rights.
— E Lynch (@Elynch7) January 20, 2018
The marches were held while the US government was in a temporary shutdown due to a standoff between Democrats and Republicans over an expenditure bill. Trump’s policy programs that came under attack include a move to do away with a scheme that protects young immigrants from deportation–Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA–a policy from the Obama rule. Organisers throughout cities urged protestors to vote for a different and constructive agenda in coming polls.