Highlights From the First Women’s March of the Decade

For the fourth consecutive year, people across the country came together in support of women’s rights and joined forces to bring pertinent issues to the forefront. Being an election year, I knew the 2020 Women’s March in D.C. was bound to be something special.

Just a few months ago, I was texting a good friend of mine who goes to school in Maryland about the march, half-joking about visiting her so we could go to the march together. Almost immediately, I realized it was not a joke at all, seeing that attending the march in D.C. has been a dream of mine for years. The next thing I knew, I was looking into flights and planning out my stay. Since then, I have made it a personal goal to make my dreams and aspirations a reality. So many of us talk about traveling the world and doing other ambitious things, but none of them will ever happen unless we take action to see them through.

This message is one that I see reflected in the mission and end goal of the Women’s March. Rather than sitting back and letting our country regress, people from all over raised their voices and helped make the biggest statement of all: We will not stop fighting until equal rights are the norm and this country is a safe and welcoming place for all. While some may argue that the march does not make an immediate impact within the government and its legislation, it makes waves in countless other ways.

The Women’s March is a unifying event in which people from all walks of life come together to ensure that the future of this country is better and brighter than our present. It’s an event riddled with passion, outrage, love and hope. Being around so many people who have the same goal and will stop at nothing to see that it comes to light was awe-inspiring.

This march was different than the pictures I had seen and stories I had been told from other marches, though. The entire event had an air of defiance to it as if we were all on the same page about what our future would hold. Some anti-abortion protestors were yelling and holding large banners toward the beginning of the march, but they were quickly drowned out by the chanting of “my body, my choice.” At the march, any negativity quickly dissipated. The energy was electric and looking around to admire all of the creative and meaningful signs that others had made was one of the best parts. My friends and I were stopped many times by people who wanted photos of us with our signs, and we were also asked to be interviewed for a newscast.

One of the things that I noticed upon arrival at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. was the overlap between many human rights issues prevalent in signs and chants. People did not hold back when it came to expressing their thoughts about which issues must be addressed, and this was one of my favorite things about the event. Many signs were political, with people stating their support for presidential candidates. “Women with Warren” signs were the most common, with some in favor of other democratic candidates in the mix. A common theme, as has been the case at every march since 2017, has been the removal of President Trump from office. Nearly every other sign was related to impeachment, voting him out and the upcoming election in general. Children held signs stating the years when they’d be able to run for president, promising that women will stop at nothing to ensure their voices are heard and respected.

Climate activism was another theme that was prevalent among people’s signs. In the midst of a climate crisis, the overlap between human rights and the environment has never been more important. Seeing others recognize the need to pay attention to the crisis at an event that is not directly related to the environment was refreshing, and I am positive that this energy will carry over into all areas of activism and remain one of the most important topics when it comes to supporting political candidates.

One of the more somber aspects of the march is that we are having to fight for equal rights in 2020. Some women held signs saying that they’ve been doing this for far too long, and it’s true. My friends and I were talking about how we’re excited about next year’s march, but then gave that a second thought; we truly hope that we don’t have to march for much longer. It is my hope for this decade that we can reach a point where there is no longer a need to come together and fight for basic human rights.