By Kara Donnelly
Last Saturday, men and women all over the world gathered together to send out a message to the newly inaugurated President, Donald Trump: women’s rights will not be taken away without a fight.
Right here in Central Florida, three different rallies took place, each protesting the fundamental rights that should without question be given to American women. College Democrats joined up and went to the rally in downtown Orlando.
The rally in Orlando was not just focused on women’s rights, however. It included speakers from all different backgrounds talking about racism, xenophobia and homophobia. Since the Pulse Nightclub shooting happened last summer, many of the speakers used this as a way to encourage people to make changes.
One of the speakers at the rally said that until the shooting at Pulse happened, equality within the LGBTQ community had always been looked over, but the shooting added fuel to the community’s fire as they realized there needed to be an end to the hatred being shown.
She later compared this to the rallies being held worldwide and said that these protests are the beginning of a historic journey for equality in America.
The crowd was filled with feminists and their families of all types. Men were holding up signs that read “equality for all,” while their babies wore Hillary Clinton baseball caps and shirts with empowering quotes.
The speakers in the rally made sure to say they were not there protesting the inauguration of Trump but rather to strongly put out the reasons the community came together for equality.
The biggest and most talked about concern was the fundamental right to health care for women. With Trump becoming President, talks about Planned Parenthood being defunded as well as the loss of Obamacare worry women that simple things such as birth control will now not be covered by insurance and have a monthly fee.
A big topic also mentioned frequently within the feminist and women’s rights movements is the commonly known wage gap between males and females. Women in the United States make 78 cents to every dollar a man makes.
This fact is commonly misconstrued with the general public. Often people think of this as false because “you work for what you get,” but the problem lies there. Absolutely, if hard work is shown a reward will be given. However, when a woman is breaking her back at work to take care of her family, why does she deserve 22 cents less than a man?
There were also speakers at the rally who talked about xenophobia and islamophobia. This is when it started to turn into a Trump protest. Trump previously in his debates stated how he wanted to build a wall between Mexico and the States and find a way to send back the illegal immigrants, as well as ban all Muslims from entering. This affected the speakers personally.
One woman who was around the age of 18 was saying how she was bullied after every terrorist attack for being a Muslim American. All she asked for in her speech was for little girls who are Muslim to not have to experience the backlash of hatred like she had to.
The rally seemed to unify people of all different backgrounds whether they were black, white, Latina, Muslim and LGBTQ; everyone was there for one reason, equality.