International Women's Day kicks off with March4Women

<i>London’s March4Women saw thousands take to the streets [Photo: Reuters]</i>
London’s March4Women saw thousands take to the streets [Photo: Reuters]

While preparations begin for the 2017 International Women’s Day on Wednesday, the capital kickstarted the event over the weekend with a powerful march.

Thousands of women took to the streets of London on Sunday as part of Care International’s March4Women. The march aimed to create a more equal world with a particular focus on the plight of female refugees.

“Our world today is still shockingly unequal. But we believe we can achieve gender equality if we join together to stand up and speak out,” stated the charity.

<i>Famous faces including Annie Lennox and Emeli Sande turned out [Photo: Instagram/emelisande]</i>
Famous faces including Annie Lennox and Emeli Sande turned out [Photo: Instagram/emelisande]

Men were encouraged to join the march which saw a constant chant of “women’s rights are human rights.” Notable figures including the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and celebrities such as Annie Lennox, Bianca Jagger and Melanie C turned up to show their support.

Annie Lennox gave an empowering speech detailing how the election of Donald Trump has spurred women across the world to take action: “All of a sudden, there were a lot of people putting on pink pussy hats and saying ‘no’. It actually became very real for them because when someone says ‘it’s just locker room talk’, don’t we think it’s time that we should address that? Particularly if they’re the leading representative of one of the biggest, most influential countries in the world?”

“So that made women very angry. That made the issue very clear for them. But actually what we’re saying is that the issue is huge. Looking at the developing world, that is just the tip of the iceberg.”

<i>Speeches against Donals Trump were the main topic of the day [Photo: Reuters]</i>
Speeches against Donals Trump were the main topic of the day [Photo: Reuters]

The great-granddaughter of infamous suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, Dr Helen Pankhurst, also spoke out against the President: “The fact that the most powerful person in the world has regressive views in terms of issues to do with equality and diversity is a major problem in this world.”

“But that is actually getting more people into the streets and on social media demanding change. So that’s what we need to do. We need to be even more forceful in our statements about the values we hold,” she finished.

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