What you need to know about Cleveland's Women's march this Saturday

What you need to know about Cleveland's Women's march this Saturday
The March on Cleveland took place the day after inauguration, January 2017. (Source: WOIO)
The March on Cleveland took place the day after inauguration, January 2017. (Source: WOIO)

DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - On Saturday women will gather on Public Square, and around the country, to march for women's rights.

Last year a massive estimated crowd of 500,000 took their message to the streets of Washington D.C. to bring awareness to issues of legislation and policies regarding human rights, including women's rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, reproductive rights and the natural environment.

Those who couldn't make the trip to Washington marched in cities like Cleveland.

"We have heard countless women and those who marched with them on Washington and at sister marches say, "I just felt like I had to go. I felt like I had to do something"," Ginger Bakos said who is the co-organizer of Women's March Northeast Ohio, along with Sunny Matthews. "We marched against inequality, discrimination, poverty and bigotry, but we also marched for what we believe our America to be."

The turnout in D.C. and Cleveland surpassed what organizers expected and it could be a larger turn out this year.

Last years theme was "Hear Our Voice." This year it is "Power to the Polls."

"We've marched, we've organized and now it's time to act," Bakos said. "Register to vote, get out the vote, know the issues, engage in the political process at all levels, write your elected officials and run for elected office."

2017 was major year for women's rights with movements including #MeToo and TimesUp that brought needed attention to sexual harassment and sexual abuse cases around the world.

"So we will march this year,  but we will also uplift our roles in engaging with our communities and the process to affect change," Bakos said.

The March on Public Square will begin with speakers at 11:00 a.m. with the actual march beginning at noon. Bakos said this event isn't just for women to participate in.

"Everyone who supports equity for all. All genders, all ages.  Women's March believes that Women's Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women's Rights. We must create a society in which women - including Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, disabled women, Muslim women, lesbian queer and trans women - are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments. And we want each of you to participate," Bako said.

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