On Saturday, an estimated 200,000 people will participate in the Women’s March in Washington, DC. More than a million marchers are expected for the more than 600 “sister marches” around the world. More marches are being announced every day.
In Washington, DC, alone, with a march route of just over a mile and the average adult taking about 2,000 steps per mile, the marchers together will take at least 400 million steps. Add the marchers in other cities, and you’ve got more than 2 billion steps.
That’s more than 2 billion steps in the right direction: the direction of human rights, dignity, and justice. The Women’s March will send a bold message that women’s rights are human rights, regardless of a woman’s race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age, or disability.
Many Human Rights Watch staff members and supporters will march in solidarity with the thousands of women and girls we’ve interviewed around the world about human rights abuses they’ve endured.
We’ll march to remind governments of their responsibility to survivors of sexual and domestic violence, trafficking, labor exploitation, sexual harassment – both in the United States and in other countries. We’ll march to keep women’s issues front and center: So people can’t forget how girls are deprived of education, and how women are denied reproductive rights and autonomy. That women lack safe water and sanitation, and are excluded from peace talks and a seat at the table in government. It’s time for women and girls to have the power, autonomy, legal rights, and resources they need to fully realize their human rights.
Human Rights Watch is partnering with the march in Washington, DC, because this is a critical time to safeguard hard-fought women’s rights progress achieved in recent decades, and to stand up for the many women and girls who continue to suffer grave human rights violations. We’re partnering to make it clear that attacks on women’s rights are an attack on everyone’s rights.
Political leaders in the US and abroad who aim to curtail women’s rights, take note. Women’s demands that their rights be respected won’t end when marchers go home. Women’s rights are human rights. This is #WhyWeMarch.