March to unite women, fight for rights

Kalyn Hayslett, Editor-in-Chief

 

Women from across the nation will come together to send a message to President-elect Donald Trump and his administration during the Women’s March on Washington Saturday.

The Champaign County Young Democrats will echo the same message 11 a.m. Saturday during its own march from West Side Park on 400 W. University Ave

to the Cowboy Monkey restaurant on 6 Taylor St.

Speakers will be at the march to talk about women’s rights, including small business owner Alicia Beck, doctor Stacy Meredith Bennett, retired state Rep. Naomi Jakobsson and motivational speaker Tanisha King-Taylor.

According to an official statement from the national organizers of the march, it will represent women from all walks of life and demand equality and respect.

“The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office,” the statement said.

Political science professor Melinda Mueller said women’s rights are the foundation of human rights.

“For a long time there was a sense that women’s rights weren’t the same as men’s, but when countries protect women’s rights, you will see all types of benefits, economic growth and better education,” she said.

The marches will not only be a means of showing solidarity between women in Illinois and women nationally, Mueller said, but it will also serve as a political statement.

The marches are going to begin during the same time Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States during the inauguration.

“The timing is symbolically important because the elections opened up ugly sexist viewpoints and mindsets,” Mueller said. “They are saying to the President-elect Trump that he can do better about these problems. They are saying to the public, ‘We need to talk about these issues.’”

Several students plan on attending the national march in Washington D.C., including the president and vice president of EIU FEM.

Mueller said marches have been proven to change policies and change the mindsets of politicians.

“One goal is to keep these issues at the forefront. We are not going to turn away from women’s rights and pretend that they don’t matter,” Mueller said. “It will keep politicians talking about the problems and hopefully change the policies.”

 

Kalyn Hayslett can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]