On January 18, people across the nation took to the streets for the 2020 Women’s March. Although it is a fairly young movement — the first march took place in 2017 — it has already made history and impacted a countless number of lives. At a time when the political climate has shown to be threatening toward women and other marginalized groups, the Women’s March has served as a beacon of hope.
Much of the motivation for the 2017 march came from the start of Donald Trump’s presidency, due to a perceived rising threat against women’s rights. The turnout at the 2017 march was immense and hundreds of thousands of people flocked to Washington, D.C. to participate.
Penn State freshman Abby English had the opportunity to attend the first ever Women’s March in 2017.
“It was one of the most moving experiences of my life to see everyone that gathered both in Washington and around the country,” says English. “I will carry it with me through the rest of my life as it inspired me and gave me hope for our future.”
With marches both big and small taking place all over the country, the Women’s March has continued to make an impact each year. 2020 proved to be no different, with a strong turnout in Washington, D.C. and other cities across the United States.
VALLEY staff member and Penn State senior, Jordan Pietrafitta, had the opportunity to attend the 2020 Women’s March in Philadelphia.
“The march not only raises awareness for equality between women and men but also raises awareness for immigration issues, the LGBTQ+ community, climate change, and people with disabilities,” says Pietrafitta.
The Women’s March has gained the support of many celebrities and public figures since the first march three years ago. Social media outlets like Twitter and Instagram are flooded each January with words of support for those participating in the movement.
Twitter in particular has been a major force in the Women’s March, since it provides a place to broadcast the event and showcase photos from those in attendance. Each year, photos of creative signs made by participants blow up social media. The wide range of signs and images from this year may vary in tone, but all of them send powerful messages nonetheless.
Even though our society has made strides toward creating a brighter future for women and other marginalized groups, having the Women’s March each year sends a message that supporters will not give up the fight until they have created an inclusive and fair environment for all people.