In support of the Women's March

Through collective movement, the protest breaks barriers for women fights all forms of discrimination

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The Women’s March is an accessible and pragmatic way to engage yourself in political activism. As a feminist in today’s world, actions speak much louder than words.
 
As a result, the March sends a message of resistance. 
 
By joining this feminist movement, established in 2017 to empower women creating social change, you’re choosing to resist systems of domination that oppress women. The Women’s March recognizes when gender intersects with other marginalizing factors, discrimination becomes more pronounced. 
 
The March takes a stand for other groups as well: using an intersectional approach, it fights bigotry and discrimination in all forms. Beyond addressing gender inequalities, racial discrimination and LGBTQ2+ issues, the March also supports economic equity and works to end the wage gap. These goals require providing rights for unpaid caregivers, labour law protection of undocumented workers, breaking barriers for women with disabilities, and decriminalization of sex work.
 
While dismantling current systems is hard, the Women’s March teaches us it’s not impossible.
 
Working to bridge thought and action, The March is a tangible movement towards progressive change. While discussions regarding women’s rights in classrooms is constructive, the March works for something greater—change through stronger of numbers. 
 
In 2017, over 2.5 million people across the globe marched to condemn oppression and celebrate diversity. When people march, it gives women the opportunity to gain agency over their bodies. There’s more attention devoted to reproductive freedoms, and fewer women being criticized for celebrating their bodies.
 
By marching, we challenge mainstream political systems linked to colonialism, racism, and heteronormative patriarchy, turning instead to collective action.
 
Looking at our community, it’s an important step. In Ontario, it’s no secret sexual assault continues to be a serious issue across college and university campuses. According to the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario, one in five women experiences sexual assault while attending a post-secondary institution. 
 
Indigenous women are three times as likely to be victims of sexual violence than non-Indigenous women.   
 
By participating in the Women’s March this weekend in Toronto, I’ll be taking a stand against gender-based violence because it’s our social duty to speak out against systemic problems.
 
The March operates in honour of all the people who’ve suffered from discrimination and violence, and calls for belief in survivors of sexual assault. It acknowledges all those before us who have fought for women’s freedoms.
 
This weekend, I’m joining women all over the world to stand up for what I believe, using my platform for advocacy to bridge thought and action to bring collective change. 
 
Women’s rights are under attack, and we must assert our place in this world as one of freedom, peace and power. 
 
If you have the privilege to march, you should consider it your social obligation to—for all the women who don’t or can’t. When a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women. 
 
The day of the Women’s March isn’t about an individual battle or taking a selfie with a sign—it’s about fighting for all women’s basic rights.
 
Neve Russell is a third-year Concurrent Education student, majoring in Global Development Studies with a minor in Gender Studies. The Women’s March 2019 will take place this Saturday, Jan. 19th. 

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