This Is Why Women All Over The Globe Are Marching In Protest This Saturday

It's about more than just Trump

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After a tape was released where Donald Trump boasted about grabbing women by their genitals, his claim that, "nobody has more respect for women than I do" fell a little flat. With just three days to go until he is sworn in, an uprising is also on the horizon.

It began on social media as spontaneous plan to march on Washington the day after Trump's inauguration, a protest that is now expecting over 250,000 attendees - potentially one of the biggest in American history.

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Beyond that, nearly 400 "sister marches" are taking place in solidarity all around the world, with more than 14,000 people have signed up for the London event this weekend.

Sites were marches are planned globally this weekend
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Beth Garner, one of the organisers of the march, spoke to The Independent about why it mattered for women globally, not just those directly impacted in the U.S.

"This march was triggered by widespread apprehension at the threat to human rights anticipated in the wake of recent political events," she said. "By coming together on the 21st, a multitude of different organisations working across the board on different social issues will send a message that the politics of fear and division will not be accepted. Women's rights are human rights and when one group is marginalised it affects us all."

Aside from showing solidarity with women globally there are concrete reasons why a Trump presidency threatens to be a backward step for women worldwide.

Here are some of the reasons why women are marching this weekend:

The threat Trump poses to reproductive rights

One of the biggest alarm bells for women during Trump's campaign was his promise to defund Planned Parenthood and to appoint pro-life judges. This would threaten reproductive rights of women across America and put Roe v Wade (the landmark case which gave women access to safe and legal abortions in the U.S) in jeopardy.

There are at least 46 anti-abortion bills due in front of state legislatures in the US in 2017 and it is worth remembering that our freedoms in the UK are not entirely secure either, particularly as Theresa May reportedly plans to to bring the UK out of the European Convention of Human Rights. Marching sends a clear signal to the world that reproductive rights should not be up for discussion in 2017.

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The backward step in representation

The number of women in Trump's cabinet has nearly halved from the number that served in Obama's team to just four out of 21 - hardly representative of America or the rest of the world. For many who yearned to witness the election of the first female President in history, Trump appointment now feels like a two step backwards for women on the world stage.

The misogynistic cabinet appointments he has made

Meanwhile, the rest of Trump's cabinet appointees hardly look like they can be trusted to carry the torch of sisterhood. Three men on his team have been accused of domestic violence or sexual assault, including multiple claims against Trump himself. In addition to his labour secretary Andrew Puzder who was accused of assaulting his wife in the 1980s, his special advisor Stephen Bannon was charged in 1996 with domestic violence, battery and trying to dissuade his wife from reporting a crime.

Bannon currently serves as Executive Chair of right-wing news platform Breitbart who under him have published articles including 'Does feminism make women ugly?', 'Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy', 'Would you rather your child had feminism or cancer?' and 'There's No Hiring Bias Against Women In Tech, They Just Suck At Interviews.'

The message accepting Trump sends about accepting misogyny

The language and tone of Trump's campaign was undeniably misogynistic. He called women who breastfeed "disgusting," told a New York Times columnist she had the "face of a dog," and speculated that Fox News host Megyn Kelly had "blood coming out her wherever" after she challenged him during a TV debate. He was also famously recorded boasting about grabbing women's genitals without their consent before he passed it off as 'locker room banter'. Protesting against Trump is an important way of reiterating that casual misogyny shouldn't be tolerated.

But the march is not just about Trump. It's organisers say it is about showing solidarity with women globally and making a stance against the tide of right wing populism currently threatening women's rights across the world. Regardless of your gender, if you've spend the last few months agreeing, get involved on Saturday.

The UK protest will begin at London's Grosvenor Square at 12pm when the route will trail Park Lane, Piccadilly and Pall Mall before finishing at Trafalgar Square where a rally will start at 2pm.