At the beginning of 2017, Donald Trump officially took up residence in the White House, sparking a huge protest in Washington and subsequent marches across the entire globe. Precipitated by the election of an arguably sexist President and fuelled by global inequality, these women-led protests are still going strong two years later. Here's how you can get involved with the 2019 Women's March London and fight for true equality.
Last year's marches focused on emphasising the message of the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns, but this year's protest is a little different. The London-based march has made austerity its 2019 target. Nicknamed Bread and Roses, the rally aims to force the UK government to assure its citizens that they are being listened to and that the line between the privileged and the less fortunate is set to be erased.
You might thing that austerity doesn't have a direct link to women's rights but the name of the march quickly disproves that idea. The Bread and Roses moniker has been inspired by the the Bread & Roses protests of 1912 in which female textile workers fought for their rights. In a speech, American labour union leader Rose Schneiderman famously said: "The worker must have bread, but she must have roses too," signifying that women (and all workers) are entitled to not only decent wages but decent conditions too.
As the founders of the Women's March London state, gender justice isn't possible without economic justice. Disturbing reports of pay gaps and violence against women, which have involved horrifying femicide statistics, all contribute to this general inequality.
The organisers of the march are therefore asking everyone protesting to keep with this year's theme and bring flowers along with them on the day. The rally will take place on Saturday, January 19 and will start outside the BBC headquarters at Portland Place, London at precisely 12 p.m. It is expected to finish at Trafalgar Square between 1:30 and 3 p.m.
As with previous years, a number of well-known faces are expected to speak. Renowned campaigner and the great-granddaughter of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, Helen Pankhurst, and trans activist Munroe Bergdorf are two of the names who have so far been announced.
If you are unable to travel to London, you can still help. Women's March London has designed several graphics that can be shared on social media in order to spread the message. Just don't forget to use the #WeAreChange hashtag. This tagline has been set up to emphasise the following points: that supporters "pledge to protect and serve each other with love, unity, and solidarity," that they "promise to exercise [their] civic duty to vote in every circumstance that will shape and progressive society," and that they will "call out any racism or form of phobia [they] see online and offline."
The organisers are also always looking for financial support. All of the people behind the Women's March work voluntarily, so any donations (no matter how small) are appreciated. Slogan T-shirts, tote bags, and mugs are available too as part of official Women's March merchandise.
Remember that all are welcome at any Women's March event. Although these global protests may be led by women, they focus on women's rights as a human right. And human rights cannot, and should not, be ignored.