By Mary O’KEEFE
It was in 1848 that the first women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York. In 1872, Susan B. Anthony was successful in voting but was soon arrested for doing so.
A short 48 years later, and over 140 years since America’s independence from England, the 19th Amendment was passed and women were allowed to vote.
It seems like every few years since then women have had to raise their voices to channel their suffrage sisters to remind America of their rights to equality. Although the playing field has become much more even in recent years, there are still pockets of inequality, like equal pay for equal work. According to the 2013 U.S. Census Bureau, women who worked full time earned on average 78 cents for every dollar earned by men.
And so comes Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington.
As of Wednesday afternoon over one million people signed up to participate in marches across the country. Although the main event will be located in Washington, DC on Saturday, throughout the country women, and men, will gather locally to lift their voices and show support for the rights and unity of women.
The idea of WMW began with a grandmother in Hawaii who, after the November election, invited 40 of her friends to march in Washington, DC. Those friends told their friends, who in turn told theirs and so on and so on until now there are over one million people ready to walk nationwide.
“The [line used] is when they go low we go local,” said Julianne Hines, vice president of external affairs for Planned Parenthood in San Gabriel Valley. “It is to stand locally together to protect all of our rights. In these diverse communities we live in we need to stand together in this moment to do this, to be aware of our rights now and in the future.”
Planned Parenthood is one of the largest women’s health care and education providers in the country. The San Gabriel Valley organization is part of the organizing members of the WMW in Pasadena.
Several areas, including Pasadena, are holding their own events then merging with others like those in Los Angeles.
The plan for Saturday in Pasadena is for women, and men, to arrive at the Pasadena City Hall at 8 a.m. There will be speakers (as of Wednesday, nine have been scheduled) and then those who wish to continue will walk to the Metro station and take the train to Pershing Square in Los Angeles where more people will speak from the podium.
There will be booths and organizations at the events that will offer information for women’s issues.
The organizers stress this is not against the new Presidential administration but is to show support for women.
“We stand together in solidarity for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country,” according to the womensmarchla.org website.
Organizers have also stated this is for all women, and men, who care for issues like equal pay for equal work and women’s health care – all health care, not just reproductive issues.
There is a code of conduct on the website that states no alcohol, weapons of any kind and no dogs or pets except service animals will be allowed at the march.
There are no tickets; the event is free. There will be a march despite the weather. Backpacks are allowed and, due to security concerns, the route will not be announced until the day of the event.
Signs are allowed but there are rules for those as well which can be found on the website http://assets.lapdonline.org/assets/pdf/demonstration.pdf.
Speeches in Los Angeles at Pershing Square will begin at
9 a.m. The march to L.A. City Hall begins at 10 a.m. where more speakers will be heard.
For those wanting to attend the Pasadena march, the event begins at
8 a.m. at Pasadena City Hall,
100 N. Garfield Ave.
For information on Women’s March LA visit womensmarchla.org.
For information on the Pasadena event, visit womensmarchwashington.com and scroll down to Find a Local March and type in your zip code.