The Widdershins

Activist Monday: In Search of a Million-Woman March

Posted on: July 28, 2014

Good Monday, Widdershins. A few weeks ago I asked the question, “Now is it time for the million-woman march?” in response to the dangerous backward direction of women’s rights in America. This week, I thought I’d see what was out there on the InterTubez in terms of activism for women’s rights.

Guess what? There are, or were, million-woman marches…just not with that special focus, yet. Here is what I found:

Million Women Rise.  This is a march scheduled for the day before International Women’s Day, March 7, 2015, protesting the prevalence of male violence against women in Europe.

A woman’s right to live free from violence and / or the fear of violence has not been achieved. Women continue to be attacked, exploited, and violated in many different ways, in our homes, on our streets, on our public transport, at our places of work. If you think this needs to change, then join us on this women only critical mass.

We need to be strong together and in large numbers. Unity is strength; the voices of many are louder together than a single voice. Together and united we are ending male violence against women and children. If you want to see change for yourself, your children, your families, your communities then come out and say no to violence against women!

Million Woman March for Nigerian Girls. On April 30, 2014, there was a march in Nigeria to protest the inaction of the Nigerian government after the terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds of girls. The Guardian says it was more like hundreds of women, but at least someone organized it and women showed up.

Million Woman March for Endometriosis.  On March 13, 2014, there was a march to raise awareness of endometriosis and effect beneficial change in our national health care policies. Here’s a video that shows highlights of the march.

Million Woman March in Philadelphia for African-American Women On October 25, 1997, African-American women crowded the streets of Philadelphia to highlight issues they felt some feminist groups had missed.

The march provided a forum for issues that many blacks feel some women’s groups do not focus on. Among them were human rights abuses against blacks, the start of independent black schools and a demand for an investigation into allegations of CIA involvement in the crack trade in black neighborhoods.

Motivational speakers and musical performances ranging from jazz to traditional African drumming were among the early acts in the tent. During breaks, marchers chanted “Love and respect,” and “M-W-M, M-W-M,” for “Million Woman March.”

Addressing the crowd without a prepared speech, march co-founder Phile Chionesu said, “This is a new day. Prepare yourselves. We are taking back our neighborhoods.”

Signs proclaimed “I am one in a million” and “Black Women: No more AIDS, abuse, addiction.” Women clamored to buy buttons, T-shirts, hats and flags emblazoned with march logos.

And that was all I found…but what I thought was encouraging, was the fact that they seem to be happening a bit more lately. Not much since 1997, but then three in 2014 and one already planned for 2015!

Still, I don’t see what I would really like to see – a gathering of American women standing up for their rights and saying NO! to patriarchal oppression.  So, since this is Activist Monday, I decided to do something about it myself. I went to Kirsten Gillibrand’s “Off the Sidelines” organization and posted on the wall that I’d like that organization to sponsor a Million Woman March march for women’s rights. And, I plan to do it in other places as well…on feminist websites where people have enough time and money to set something like this up (unlike yours truly! :-))

Maybe you can do this too…or just get ready to participate when it happens. Either way, I want to be a ripple in the ocean of the blogosphere on this topic. Who knows, maybe it will turn into a wave!

This is an open thread.

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4 Responses to "Activist Monday: In Search of a Million-Woman March"

Good thoughts.

Hey, you never know.

I echo chat’s statement.

Well said MB! What’s needed is a massive general march on DC of all women for womens rights. Let these right wing nuts and the Catholic taliban in the S C know that we will no longer tolerate discrimination or interference in our medical decisions.

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