Despite facing controversy in recent months, the Women's March took place for the third year in a row on Saturday — just after a record number of women took their place in Congress during a historic midterm election. The participants at this year's event had a great deal to celebrate, but their signs at the 2019 Women's March indicated that they are already thinking ahead by calling for systemic change in next year's presidential election and beyond.
The Women's March took place for the first time in 2017, after Donald Trump won the presidential election. In the two years since then, survivors of sexual assault shared their stories as part of the #MeToo movement, women and people of color made history in the 2018 midterm elections, and record numbers of women ran for elected office at all levels of government.
Women have achieved numerous victories, but protesters at the 2019 Women's March made it clear that there is a significant amount of work left to be done. As signs from the march illustrated, women's rights advocates are fighting for a better future in 2020 and beyond. They not only want to replace Trump in office, but want to see systemic changes in immigration policy, protections for LGBTQ people, reproductive rights, and more.
One sign at Saturday's march called for "no old white guys 2020!" in an apparent call for progressives to support minority candidates in the next presidential election. Another sign featured Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who, despite fracturing her ribs and undergoing cancer treatment in the past few months, is recuperating and working again.
Protesters also held up signs urging women to "be the face of change," and reminding them to channel the rage they "felt when Kavanaugh was confirmed" into fighting for progress.
The presidential election wasn't the only thing on people's minds at Women's March events in Washington, D.C. and around the country. According to the American Civil Liberties Union's Virginia chapter, numerous march attendees in Norfolk, Virginia called on their state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. On Tuesday, Virginia's GOP-led Senate voted to ratify the ERA, and if the House follows suit, Virginia could become the 38th and final state needed to ratify the amendment, per The Washington Post.
Back in D.C., some march participants used their signs to call out the Trump administration for the ongoing partial government shutdown. "You can shut down the government," one sign read, "but you can't shut down the movement."
A variety of causes were represented at the 2019 Women's March, with attendees demanding justice in various arenas moving forward. For example, protesters also called on the administration to rescind its travel ban on people trying to enter the U.S. from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.
Still other protesters called for stricter gun control legislation, an end to Trump's presidency, and an intersectional approach to justice. One sign even reminded marchers that "fascism cannot be voted out, the people must drive it from power":
Although the Women's March has had to contend with criticism and controversy in recent months, thousands of people nonetheless marched in both Washington, D.C. and around the world to demand justice, equality, and a better future.