Marching with Our Bodies Our Voice
at the Women’s March 2020
By ANNARITA MARINARO | March 9, 2020
Thousands of demonstrators marched from Dam Square toward Museumplein on March 8, 2020.
International Women’s Day is an occasion to raise awareness for inequality and the lack of respect towards minorities and a fitting time for the Women’s March, an event that strives “to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change”.
A remarkable group during the march was ‘Feministas en Holanda’, a Latin-American group which stands up against the exploitation of Latin American territories. Marching with their own percussion band, they created a musical atmosphere and invited people to sing along with their feminist chants in Spanish and English.
‘Feministas en Holanda’ was not the only international group at the march. Several Turkish people marched in solidarity with the Broken Chalk Platform, a platform created by teachers who encountered oppression from the Turkish government. One of the representatives stated that even though she was born and raised in the Netherlands, she felt the need to stand up for the Turkish women who do not have the opportunity to demonstrate themselves.
After beanies, stickers, and flyers were distributed among the protesters, the march commenced at 1:30 pm. Upon reaching Museumplein, speeches were held in English and Dutch. One of them was by Alejandra Ortiz from Trans United, who told her story about running away from Mexico, “I was punished for being the woman that I am […] My female soul makes people angry”, she exclaimed.
People who visited the march for the first time were surprised by the atmosphere. Students Julia (20) and Marlene (23), hope that in a future world, Women’s Marches will not be needed anymore, but think that this event “remains a beautiful tradition which reminds future generations of how we fight for rights for equality”.
The Student board of non-profit organization Our Bodies Our Voice did not just march together but also organized, for the first time, a sign making event, where participants could design posters for the march. According to Flora (Chair of the OBOV Student Board), a workshop from OBOV had an eye-opening effect on her. “It highlights the amount of privilege you have” Flora said, stating that OBOV is not only about feminism but also about the fact that university and society in general, do not provide a conducive environment for students to learn about and heal from issues like sexual violence.
In 2017 the Women’s March started off as a reaction to the inauguration of Donald Trump. However, there is a long history of women taking to the streets to fight for their rights. “Though we have come a long way”, as Flora explained, “Social inequality is still an issue. There are people that still believe that the gender gap is a myth”.