“A March for the Future of All Women”

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families

The National Partnership for Women & Families is proud to march in solidarity with women across the country who will take to the streets this weekend. Two years ago, the first women’s march was the result of a cataclysmic change in our politics. The march was an outlet for women to raise our voices to push for change and stand up for the ideals we believe in — with equality for all women and all people at the top of that list.

Since then we’ve seen this activism shape and influence national conversation. I have no doubt that the millions of women marching together in 2017 gave millions of women around the country the courage to say #MeToo and bravely come forward to tell their accounts of surviving sexual harassment and sexual assault. The #MeToo movement is now turning the bravery of individual women into a movement for long lasting change in our nation’s institutions. This fierce urgency of women’s voices led to an unprecedented wave of women running for office, turning out in record numbers during this last election, and breaking historical barriers by electing the most female and diverse Congress in our nation’s history.

From the beginning this movement has always been bigger than any individual marcher, organization or group. This march is a reflection of the hopes and aspirations of millions of women who are more active and aware and are fighting under a united umbrella for a change in our government, our workplaces, our homes and our society at large.

This weekend we march because there is still so much more work to be done to ensure that women have an equal place in our society.

Given the timing of this march during the same weekend as we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. we should remember that Dr. King fought for equality, dignity and respect for all people. In this legacy, we must elevate in all our activism the reality that women of color are uniquely and disproportionately harmed by the combined impacts of race and gender discrimination and we must commit to addressing the systemic ways it permeates our society. This means standing together in solidarity with our sisters of color who too often bear the undue burden of systemic oppression.

It means marching today and fighting tomorrow against all forms of hatred and oppression including racism, anti-Semitism, transphobia, homophobia, Islamophobia and ableism. We must refuse to let our differences divide us. Together, side-by-side, women can and will move this country forward.

About the National Partnership

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.

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