Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Last weekend, millions gathered in America’s biggest cities and all across the world in solidarity with the Women’s March. These global marches stood for various issues from access to reproductive care, to environmental justice, all while promoting gender equality and respect. During this incredibly heated time, I am constantly reminded of the resilience of the women around me, and the reasons why I became a feminist in the first place.

I grew up with a great deal of influence from the female members of my family, who inspire me daily. My mother risked everything when she escaped the communist regime in Romania to begin a new life in the U.S. As a woman in science, she told me about how she was undermined in the past, but also that she never let the opinions of others to stop her from achieving her dreams. I try to take a piece of my mom’s courage, strength, and motivation in everything I undertake.

Women before us have paved the way for society to become more equal and equitable. However, there is still work that needs to be done. During the second wave feminism movement, the proliferation of the birth control pill and the passing of Roe v. Wade allowed women to make a choice about when they wanted to have children. This allowed more women to enter the workforce, and while there is more female professional representation today, issues still persist. Professional advancement rates for women are often much lower than those of men. Access to abortion and other forms of reproductive healthcare is being challenged constantly. Equal pay and regulated maternity leave are goals yet to be achieved, especially for women of color and other marginalized groups who are more affected negatively by the wage gap.

As a movement, we all need to take into consideration how our backgrounds affect our experiences and what is needed for different groups facing different forms of discrimination. We also have to acknowledge that many feminist movements in the past have been built on, at the very least, disregard for issues of people’s backgrounds that did not fit the white, middle-class narrative. Feminism, in particular intersectional feminism, opened my eyes to several different issues and inequalities within society. Feminism is more than just attacking the issues that affect me or my neighborhood; it is about looking at the big picture and realizing that everyone experiences inequality differently.

Globally, gender inequality is being tackled by bodies like the United Nations and by activists like the marchers. Women across the world still face discrimination, lack of educational opportunity, violence, political and economic disenfranchisement, and the consequences of environmental changes. Some argue that feminists in the U.S. express apathy to the plights of women in other countries who are not given the same rights as women in our nation. However, feminists fight for international equality for women, while also acknowledging the issues that persist within their own borders. When the world sees President Donald Trump signing an executive action that limits contraceptive access and healthcare to other countries, we collectively realize that this fight is truly a global one, and one we need to take on together.

In light of President Trump’s inauguration, many women went out to protest, in order to show that their voices will not be silenced by a president who does not consider them or their issues. Under President Trump, the rights of women, of immigrants, of refugees, of members of the LGBTQ community, and of racial and ethnic minorities are in jeopardy. I stand with feminism because being a feminist means wanting equality for all, and standing together is when we are the strongest. There are still many more hurdles we will face in our individual and collective action, many more organizations we need to support, many more letters we need to write to legislators, and many more steps we have yet to march. However, even in the most difficult of times, we can never forget the battles women of the past have won that gave us the ability to keep fighting today. 

Julia Tache

Columbia Barnard '19

Surviving the big city through caffeine.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️