This post was written by Fatou S. and Whitney S., scholars at Democracy Prep Charter High School.
Hardship is a strong motivator – even stronger when there’s a community advocating for the same cause.
Being part of a historic movement left us in awe. The Women’s March in Washington was proof of the issues we still face today, even after the battles fought by women in past decades. This march showed us no woman or girl is ever alone. There was diversity in the crowd: survivors of rape, victims of racial and gender discrimination, and others (including men!) who stood in solidarity with them. Every speaker had a story that struck a different chord. Hardship is a strong motivator – even stronger when there’s a community advocating for the same cause. This march was only a spark in a fiery revolution that won’t be put out so easily.
From the right to vote in 1920, and blocking Connecticut’s ban on contraceptives in 1965, to respecting a woman’s right to choose in the Roe v. Wade case of 1973, we must admit that as a nation we’ve progressed. But we are not done in this battle to achieve gender equality. The fact that there were over 500,000 attendees at the Women’s March on Washington shows how much change America still needs in order to fully achieve equality.
The march also had us thinking about whom our next (female!) president should be. Whoever it is, that candidate must elevate individuals of every skin tone, social status, sex, and religious belief. That candidate will not hear our voices as complaints but instead, listen to them as genuine requests. They will shine a light on serious divisions among Americans that linger. Whether the next president is a man or a woman, they must reflect the values of the collective whole, the united citizens of America.