A Women's March on Washington is being planned for Jan. 21, 2017, the day after Trump’s inauguration. Women from across the U.S. are preparing to descend on D.C. and march from the Lincoln Memorial to the White House in the name of women’s rights. So far, the national Facebook page has more than 100,000 RSVPs.
Though the event page does not call out Trump by name, coinciding the event with his first full day as president is likely no coincidence. Trump’s campaign was fraught with sexism and issues involving women, including controversial remarks about abortion, sexist comments directed at Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly, and, of course, the release of the Access Hollywood recording where Trump says he sexually assaults women, after which several women came forward with allegations against the then-candidate.
Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence also has a long history of fighting women’s right to choose, and women’s health advocates are concerned that his stance, and the majority Republican Congress, will spell doom for the cause under a Trump presidency.
There is also concern that Trump’s dismissal of his sexual assault allegations, and his insistence that his boasts of grabbing women “by the pussy” was mere “locker talk,” could normalize sexual assault and increase the number of attacks on women.
There are also, of course, concerns for women of color and how they will be affected (and already are being affected) by the racism Trump’s campaign and victory have fueled. The Women’s March on Washington will bring all these issues to the spotlight.
The event was initially called the Million Women March on D.C., but was changed when participants noted that the title was similar to the 1997 Million Woman March in Philadelphia, where hundreds of thousands of participants came together to advocate for issues facing black women in America. Fearing co-opting that historic march, organizers chose a new title.
The event is being organized with a national page and local chapters to get as many participants to D.C. as possible for the march. The organizers have written on the event’s national Facebook page that, though the march is in support of women’s rights, it is inclusive and open to anyone who supports the cause.