Women’s Day March 2019

Society today, commonly presents us with the issue of being unable to accept contrasting views to our own. This is particularly the case when it comes to feminism. When declaring yourself as a feminist publically, whether it's as a passing comment or from a rooftop building shouting it to passers-by, it is often met with unwanted disapproval. People moan or shout that feminism isn't needed anymore or label you as a “Feminazi’ when they have barely given you a chance to voice your thoughts on feminism. The truth of the matter is, feminism (although it stems from the idea of equality for all) it is essentially what you as an individual define it to mean to you. For some, this might lead to a more radical branch of feminism where others might feel more content to identify themselves as a supporter but not publically advocate their views. The beauty of the Women’s Day March was that you didn't feel obliged to explain your views or the reasons behind them because you were welcomed into a community of like-minded people who basked in the knowledge that you were a supporter of the cause they too were so passionate about.

There was a buzz on the upper end of Regent Street as the police prepared the streets ahead for the storm of women to soon precede as a unitary force. Together we danced, sung and plunged our banners high to the sky for onlookers to take admirable pictures of. It was a day that will not be easily forgotten and a feeling I hope to carry with me forever, for it was the feeling of acceptance, and joy that so many people would accept you for who you were and what you believe in. Of course, there were different factions of the march all there to support different branches of feminism, I myself marched for 50:50 equality in Parliament, a cause I believe strongly in as I support the idea that we should have a parliament which proportionally reflects the citizens it stands for. Other factions included a campaign for an end to period poverty, street harassment and the unforgettable favourite of the end to austerity.

Following the march was a range of talks from activists and organisations supporting the ideologies of the women’s day march. Helen Pankhurst, bravely drew attention to the suffragette movement which reflected the beliefs and movement of the Women’s day march but stated that ‘they would be appalled at how much has stayed the same’ which drew large responses from the crowd as they reflected on the ongoing struggles women are faced with today not just within Britain but on an international scale also. A member of the Women’s equality party called on ‘courage and solidarity’ and left the crowd in awe with the closing statements, ‘be loud, be quiet, be soft, be angry, be whatever you want to be don’t let anyone tell you how to be a feminist activist.’ With that, the crowd sang in praise of a woman speaking out for her sisters in solidarity.