This Saturday, January 21, 2017, The Carter Center’s Forum on Women, Religion, Violence, and Power will be covering the Women’s March on Washington. Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite of the Chicago Theological Seminary will be sending us videos of women from around the United States and world explaining #WhyIMarch.
The Women’s March on Washington (WMW) is an event coordinated by a diverse group of co-chairs to “send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights,” according to the program’s mission statement.
The coordinators are expecting around 200,000 women to march in Washington, D.C. this weekend in addition to hundreds of thousands who have RSVP’ed to sister marches in cities across the country. Buses are scheduled to transport women from hundreds of locations to our nation’s capital for what is sure to be an exciting event.
The WMW website cites the divisive rhetoric of the 2016 election cycle as the impetus for organizing in solidarity for the rights of all marginalized people. Many celebrities have signaled their attendance and the WMW has the support of many non-profit organizations, including Planned Parenthood and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The organizers said that the goal is to “work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all.”
The event coordinators have outlined five nonviolence principles inspired by the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to guide marchers this weekend, including nonviolence, enriching the “Beloved Community,” attacking forces of evil rather than people perpetrating evil, accepting suffering without retaliation, and avoiding internal spiritual violence.
Organizers have also published “Unity Principles” describing goals of the WMW and newfound network. These goals include advocating for an end to violence, reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, worker’s rights, civil rights, disability rights, immigrant rights, and environmental justice. Most importantly, the WMW is a way to connect defenders of human rights and unify communities in the ongoing effort to create a world in which “women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society.”