2017 didn’t get off to the best start. The election of Donald Trump in November of 2016 served as a stark reminder to women that the battle for equality was far from over.
That someone with that kind of reputation could be elected over a woman with decades of experience was proof, if ever we needed it, that we haven’t come nearly as far as we thought.
So by the time we were clinking glasses at midnight on New Year’s Eve, women weren’t feeling too positive about the year ahead.
And then, on January 21st, just three weeks into the New Year, and just one day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, The Women’s March happened.
An estimated 3.2 to 5.2 million people came together to attend in 600 cities all over the world, three times the number of people who showed up for the Inauguration.
That in itself was an indicator. That something had shifted. That although things felt gloomy, there was a little chink of hope, that if we stood together we could begin to fight back.
Chances are many went along to the march just hoping to feel better, to feel like they were doing something. But by the end of it most people felt that it was the start of something important; the fight back.
In between, there have been many wins for women to celebrate – women being able to drive in Saudi Arabia, the pushback against the Pay Gap, Wonder Woman becoming the biggest super hero film ever released.
It would certainly be pushing it to say that women are ending the year on a high, but we are moving in the right direction. According to the US-based online dictionary Merriam Webster, ‘feminism’ was this year’s most looked up word.
If this year has taught us anything, it’s that the resistance has started, but the fight is far from over.
“Making 2017 the year of feminism was the best possible response to the arrival of Trump and the rise of misogyny,” says Sam Smethers, Fawcett Society Chief Executive. “We have to take the fight into 2018 and commit to making it a better year for all women and girls.”
So as the end of 2017 draws near, let’s reflect on what an important year it was for women, and raise our glasses as a vow to keep going.
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