Capitol building in Washington DC black and white at end of street.

On January 21, 2017, women will march in Washington, D.C.

All across our great nation, in cities and towns, women and men, millennials and seniors, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, gay, lesbian, and transgender people, people from every economic class and background, people of all faiths, will be marching with them.

Why is it important to march? Marching is an expression of our commitment to the ideals and values of these “United” States.

Why am I marching?

I am marching to show my commitment to equality for all people regardless of religion, race, economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physicalities.

I am marching to show my unwavering belief that “liberty and justice for all” is a vital part of our U.S. Constitution and an ingrained part of our belief system.

I am marching to say I will fight back against any attempt to demean the values and freedoms many have fought and died for—especially attempts against marginalized populations.

I am marching to demand respect, justice, and protection for women in this country.

I am marching to say that sexual assault is not a joke, nor is it innocuous “locker room talk.” Twenty-five percent or more of all women who attend a college or university will experience sexual assault on campus—and this only reflects what is reported (1). There are over 400,000 unprocessed rape kits in this country, and that is a low estimate. Twenty states do not have any legal mandate to count such a backlog(2).

I am marching to say that domestic violence must end.

  • $37 billion is spent every year on domestic violence and its associated costs. (One in four women and one in seven men experience domestic violence)(3).
  • Three women are murdered every 24 hours by someone who claims to love them(4).
  • Every nine seconds a women is assaulted or beaten(5).

It is in our country’s best interest—economically and emotionally—to end domestic violence now.

I am marching to demand equal pay. In this country, in the top ten industries for women, women are paid less than men(6). Equal pay for equal work and equal experience is just and fair.

I am marching to unequivocally state that “Women’s rights are human rights.” How we behave in this country impacts how the world behaves. Our treatment of women at home is mirrored overseas. The United States of America should be the world’s role model and demonstrate, by our actions, that women deserve the same respect and treatment as men. We should be able to control our own bodies and make our own healthcare decisions. We should not have to pay more for insurance. And we should be judged by the same standards as our male counterparts.

I am marching to reject hatred and bigotry for all peoples. Scapegoating has no place in our country. Tolerance, respect, and understanding are values we are (or should be) taught in school, in our places of worship, and at home. Our country is and has always been a melting pot of cultures and ideas, and it is that melding that makes America the greatest nation on Earth. Now, more than ever, it is time for us to live up to our reputation and reject racist, bigoted, prejudiced behavior in ourselves and others.

We must reject and fight back against fear.

I am marching to demand truth and honesty from our elected politicians. We can no longer tolerate the deception, lies, and games they play with our lives.

I am marching to proclaim and demonstrate the critical and fundamental importance of the First Amendment and that we will not sit idly by when elected officials seek to silence our voices and those of the media.  I am marching in hopes of a free press, one that is not obligated to report anything but the facts.

I am marching because I love this country and everything it stands for.

I am marching because I believe in a better tomorrow.

We, the citizens of this great nation, hold the power to “Make America Great Again” through vigilance and commitment to true equality and real justice for all of this country’s incredible residents. We must reject discrimination, reject targeted violence, and reject a them-versus-us mentality.

Join me on January 21 as I march to show my solidarity, my commitment, and my belief that united WE stand.


  1. http://www.nsvrc.org/saam/campus-resource-list
  2. http://www.joyfulheartfoundation.org/
  3. https://www.safehorizon.org/get-informed/domestic-violence-statistics-fa...
  4. http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/06/us/domestic-intimate-partner-violence-fast...
  5. http://ncadv.org/learn-more/statistics
  6. http://www.iwpr.org/publications/pubs/the-gender-wage-gap-by-occupation-...

Photo credit: fishwasher via Visualhunt.com / CC BY

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About The Author

Carlynne McDonnell's picture

Author, lecturer and Huffington Post columnist Carlynne McDonnell has been a passionate and outspoken proponent of social justice and equality for over twenty five years.  She has worked in fields considered non-traditional for women and has personally seen and been on the receiving end of inappropriate and unequal/inequitable behavior.

She has contributed to MariaShriver.com, The Grindstone, E-Harmony.com and has been interviewed on NPR, morning talk and College and University radio.

Carlynne has presented workshops nationally on women’s equality and effective communication, leadership development, mentoring, and self-value all designed to educate and empower women to seek the best for themselves and others.

She has served on Equal Pay panels, presented at the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women meeting, the National Conference of College Women Student Leaders, the National Collegiate Leadership Conference women’s organizations, multiple colleges and universities, and for the US Marine Corp.

Carlynne has a Master’s in Public Policy and has been working in the corporate, education and non-profit worlds for over 30 years.

Working on the docks in Galveston and then at an East Coast Railroad, Carlynne was the recipient of and witness to discrimination and sexual harassment, pay inequality, and disrespect for women. As a result of these experiences, she became active in the quest for equality by participating in women’s organization that sought change.

Not satisfied with the status quo or the lack of movement to achieving real equality, Carlynne created Change in Our Lifetime, Inc. to push for education and action and women’s equality.

An articulate and passionate activist, she wrote “The Every Woman’s Guide to Equality” to create a larger platform for change beyond equality’s current state, and for achieving real equality for women.

Discover more on her website: www.carlynnemcdonnell.com and connect on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carlynnemcd/ and Twitter: @carlynnemcd 

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