Women in London are marching against Trump. Here’s why

The new president is a threat to equality

 

This Friday, Donald Trump will be sworn in as President of the United States on the back of one of the most divisive campaigns in memory.

The following day, women in Washington DC, Belfast, Edinburgh, London and cities across the globe will mark the first day of a Trump Presidency by taking to the streets.

As Catherine Mayer put it to the Women’s Equality Party conference in November:

Trump’s election will reach all of us, wherever we live, because America is not just the world’s largest economy, but its largest exporter of ideas.

In the lives of women, of people of colour, of LGBT+ communities and people with disabilities, the rising tide of intolerance and division that has lifted the Trump administration to the White House creates very real fear. It’s little surprise that defunding Planned Parenthood has been established as a clear priority for Trump’s male-dominated executive team: as these tides rise, women’s rights are often the first to be rolled back.

Donald Trump’s conduct and his policies have placed gender equality under fresh threat. When that videotape showing the President-elect boasting about his record of sexual harassment and assault was broadcast in communities across the globe, it challenged women’s basic right to live free from violence. When those comments were dismissed as ‘locker room talk’, it legitimised these attitudes in the highest office in the Western world.

But sexism and misogyny rarely travel alone, as Trump’s campaign has perfectly illustrated:  among the most terrifying indicators of what a Trump administration has is store has come from the appointment of Steve Bannon as White House chief strategist.

Bannon’s writing as Executive Chairman of alt-right publication Breitbart News includes titles such as ‘Would you rather your child had Feminism or Cancer?’.

His misogyny is eclipsed only by his reputation for holding white nationalist and anti-semitic views. Those individuals whose identity lies at the intersections of these prejudices will be left most vulnerable when this administration comes into power.  

In the UK, these same threats cannot be ignored. An EU referendum campaign that scapegoated migrants and fuelled divisions has been followed by a sustained soar in rates of hate crime. After decades of work from women’s organisations, rights to autonomy over our own bodies are under sustained threat.

UK women are still forced to travel hundreds of miles to access safe and legal abortion, and across Europe new political agendas are seeking to roll back these rights where they exist, and block reform where they don’t.

At least 46 anti-abortion bills are due in front of state legislatures in the US in 2017. In the background, universal freedoms are under fresh threat as Theresa May renews her commitment to bring the UK out of the European Convention of Human Rights.

The Women’s March on London is bringing together people of all genders to stand against hatred and to reclaim politics. As the heat of the campaign trail fades and the outcome of the ballot becomes a reality, democracy does not stop.

Trump’s inauguration of president of the United States of America marks a choice: acceptance of racism and misogyny as the new status quo; or the first day of action for a future that brings greater equality.

Rachel Statham is political campaigns coordinator for the Women’s Equality Party. Follow her on Twitter.

Learn more about the Women’s March on London which, on 21 January, will stand against intolerance and division and protect fundamental rights and freedoms.

5 Responses to “Women in London are marching against Trump. Here’s why”

  1. Michael WALKER

    This is the kind of political flimflam which makes people cynical.

    Why not protest daily about female genital mutilation or those religions whose basic premise is that women are inferior and should always be subordinate to men?

    Oh that has been tried and achieved nothing in the countries where it is an issue..

  2. Robert Levy

    Michael Walker .Why not protest against all sexism ?You seem to be particularly focused on Islam .Do you think that sexism does not exist outside of Islam ?Do you think that The Donald is a nice guy just because he pretends to be a faux Christian when he grabs women’s genitals and threatens to punish those who have abortions ? Good on these women who are marching .

  3. Lucy Ryder Richardson

    Thanks Robert Levy we need men to back us up. Please come and march with us. Together we are powerful. Michael Walker many of us do protest against genital mutilation constantly and our protests have succeeded in some parts of Africa. I think you will see by the sheer numbers that march this Saturday that women are upset that a racist man who thinks of women as sexual chattel and hurls abuse at the ones he finds offensive to look at could get into office and that’s just a teeny tiny bit of the major problem he has against people who do not conform to his narcissistic way of thinking . I would hardly call it flim flam. Guys – women gave birth to you. Get up and march with us.

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