Sunday, January 22

Why I marched on January 21, 2017

Wfac Staff showing their feminist power. Pic taken by IWHC 

Exactly 22 years, four months ago, when the fourth International conference was held in Beijing, China in September 1995. One which has been described by activists, humanitarians and academia as a groundbreaking action towards advancing women rights as human rights, a phrase coined by Senator Hillary Clinton.

Why I march...

I marched for myself, my safety and voice for change 
I march because I am tired of hearing promises in meetings and events and very little actions are made in bringing these promises to fruition.

I march for the millions of women and girls who live under the worst form of dictatorship and tyranny and are unable to freely exercise their constitutional and democratic rights to freedom of expression and choice.

I march because I know it is time to be visible and let the whole world know that they are failing in advancing and ensuring the fullest respect of women’s rights.

I march because I was not present in July 1848 during the Seneca Falls in New York, said to be the first ever women’s convention as well as the Women's conference in Beijing in 1995, nor Mexico Conference in 1975.

I march because it is my human and democratic rights to march against injustice.

I march because at the moment, my government is legalising and normalising State-sponsored violence, policing of women's body as well as the imprisonment of people for speaking truth to power and social injustice.

And lastly but not the least, I marched for the millions of women and thousands of women's human rights defenders who continue to receive death threats, jail sentences and being killed for speaking out against patriarchy as well as challenging tyranny and dictatorial regimes.

The Power in a Protest

There is power in protest, especially a protest that seeks to advance a just cause
It was a great feeling to participate in such a global protest - though my march was mostly virtual. Still, I could feel the physical energy of the over 3.5 millions women, estimated by the organisers to have joined the protest from the various global cities, communities and neighbourhoods.

The Protest that Changed the Global Sisterhood Discourse

While I know after this protest, there is going to be lots of conversation among feminist activists and researchers on the whole notion of global sisterhood.

Personally, following the march live on social media as well as CNN, it somewhat made me to rethink my position around global sisterhood - whether or not there can be a global sisterhood. While, my answers to this is usually argued in “Yes” and “No”.  I must say that yesterday women’s march brought to mind a new perspective.

WOMEN'S MARCH is a Freedom march
Yes - we all marched out the gender injustice dust and inequality mud off our feets and body.  Yes, we shook the world once again like 1995. Seemed like after Beijing, world leaders were almost forgetting their commitments. But our numbers of yesterday is clear indication of where we stand as an institution. Reports estimated that Beijing 1995 had over 3000 women participants. Unlike 1995,  the year Jan 2017, the struggle saw over 3 million. For sure the message is clear that over the years, government officials have relaxed.

No More time for relaxation - until all women are free
I am sure by now, world leaders would all begin to rethink as well as revisiting their commitments on women's issues, most importantly about women's sexual and reproductive choices and decisions.
May governments hence be aware that we will no longer keep quiet - until every single woman in any part of the world is free.

Governments and leaders with the power to influence change, also know that besides closed-door meetings and conferences, we shall continue to hold global public massive marches for anyone who dares disvalues and disrespect women and their rights.
For - I will continue to march because I believe in the power of WOMEN.


originally posted this article on WorldPulse.com