Come rain or shine, the #March4Women organised by CARE made its way from City Hall across Tower Bridge to the Tower of London. From 12pm-1:30pm, a series of speakers and musicians spoke and performed for the waiting crowd. From the introduction by Dr. Helen Pankurst, Great-Granddaughter of the leading suffragette, Emmeline Pankhurst, through to a musical performance by an array of talents – Kate Nash, Mel C and the string quartet Bond to name but a few – the energy of the crowd was contagious.
The pre-march event was hosted by Emma Barnett and included several musical performances, speeches and a panel discussion with refugees and campaigners Marchu Girma and Muzoon Almellehan.
Each speaker received several rounds of applause. Bianca Jagger highlighted the rise in violence against women, focusing on how the number of reported rapes and sexual assaults has now reached a record high, while Annie Lennox brought attention to the fact that the biggest killer of women of reproductive age in the continent of Africa is still HIV/AIDS.
London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, stood before the crowd as the final speaker, declaring three facts: “number one, my name is Sadiq Khan. I am the Mayor of London…I’m a proud feminist in City Hall“. This was the first time in the history of the march that the Mayor of London was the official partner.
With the occasional pink pussyhat, the new symbol of the women’s rights movement, adding a dose of colour to the march, the gathering made its way from City Hall, across Tower Bridge and through to the Tower of London.
Not even the rain could keep away the marchers, in a march that highlighted equally the issues facing women in the UK, as well as around the world; from refugees to FGM.
CARE have asked as many people as possible to get involved with their ‘Walk in Her Shoes’ campaign, focusing on the fact that most women in developing countries have to walk five miles day to get water.
It runs from the 8th-14th May, with the hopes of raising funds to help to “allow CARE to work with local communities in the poorest countries to build clean and safe water sources closer to home, like wells, boreholes and standing taps. This will not only provide poor communities with clean water that is safe to drinkbut will also relieve women and girls of their daily trek for water, and allow them time for work or school. With an education or time to earn an income, they have a chance to fulfil their potential and step out of poverty“.
You can sign up to join the fundraising via their website, however, you can take part in the incentive year around, but the focus is particularly on the period from 8th-14th May.
CARE are also urging supporters to email their MP, to take action to help protect and safeguard female refugees.
“Women and girl refugees face specific threats, including sexual violence and trafficking. Pregnant women also face increased risks: 60% of preventable maternal deaths and 53% of under-five fatalities take place in countries affected by conflict, forced displacement or natural disaster.”