What Happened at The Women’s March 2018

On Saturday, January 20th, millions of people around the world took to the streets, marking the first anniversary of last year’s historic Women’s March, initially intended to protest the inauguration of American President Donald Trump. This year saw no shortage of enthusiasm and support; in New York City, 200,000 marched alongside one another; in Chicago, 300,000 marched; in Los Angeles, 75,000 marched. The event was not restricted to America—sister protests occurred in Paris, Calgary, Toronto, Toulouse, Munich, Rome, and several other cities worldwide.

The march occurred amid the American #MeToo and Time’s Up campaigns, both of which address sexual harassment, assault, and sexism in both professional and social life. Women across industries, classes, and races have bound together to denounce pervasive, gender-based violence.

This march differed from last year’s in tone and purpose. In 2017, the march aimed, primarily, to highlight legislative decisions—past and pending—that were seen as detrimental to gender equality. This year, protestors rallied around the idea of change, gathering momentum around themes such as “Power to the Polls.” This carries a new message, focusing on voter participation through registrations, encouragement, and accessibility as a way to change what is perceived as unjust cultural and legislative norms.

The march took place the day after the shutdown of the American federal government. Senators were unable to reach a compromise on a short-term spending bill or an immigration proposal, leading to a brief governmental closure. At noon on Monday, January 22nd, senators approved a short-term spending bill to continue immigration and D.A.C.A-related discussions.