Charleston group to rally during women’s strike

Mallory Kutnick, Campus Reporter

A Charleston group inspired by January’s march on Washington, D.C. will take to Morton Park at noon Wednesday, International Women’s Day, to raise awareness for women’s issues.

The Charleston Women’s Huddle Actions Group will lead the demonstration, which will include speeches on domestic violence and sexual assault.

Despite being a part of the Women’s March movement, the protest will be more of a rally than a march. Demonstrators will stand on the sidewalk with signs but will not travel far beyond the park, Charleston group members Judy Looby and Ellen Wolcott said.

Looby and Wolcott, both of Charleston, said they also encourage women to observe “A Day Without a Woman” Wednesday by taking the day off from work and shopping only at local, women-run businesses that support their fellow females.

“I don’t want our rights to be trampled on,” Looby said, concerned for herself and her daughter. “I want us to keep moving forward.”

The official page for the Women’s March on Washington says the purpose of the strike is to draw attention to how women benefit the workforce and the economy.

“We join together in…recognizing the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system – while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment and job insecurity,” the website says.

The Charleston group, which meets to brainstorm ways to support women, began in February as part of the Women’s March on Washington’s second step in its campaign of “10 Actions for the First 100 Days” of President Donald Trump’s administration.

Following the first action of writing to local politicians, the Women’s March on Feb. 1 called for supporters to bring their communities together to brainstorm.

“This is the first time I’ve helped with something of this magnitude,” said Looby, who has helped support Planned Parenthood and works on and off with Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

Wolcott said the Charleston group is writing letters to the editor of the Journal Gazette/Times-Courier about the group’s cause.

“It’s a constant flow,” she said.

One major concern of the women’s rights movement is Trump’s proposal to defund Planned Parenthood. Trump said during his campaign he was aware they rarely perform abortions but wanted to cut funding for them completely.

However, Trump announced Monday that he would not defund the clinics if they cut their abortion services.

Mallory Kutnick can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]