Islanders joined thousands of others all over the world in fighting for women’s rights on Saturday.
About 70 people took part in the third Women’s March for Equality in Charlottetown, which was held in conjunction with other peaceful protests across the country and globe.
“We’re half the human race,” said march participant Lou Richard. “I think it’s important that women have the same level of recognition as anybody. All human people need to be recognized and loved so that we’re all equal and there shouldn’t be these discrepancies and struggles constantly.”
The march began at the Coles Building on Grafton street and looped around the city to the Confederation Court Mall.
Signs floated above the crowd with messages about women’s rights while one participant used a megaphone to chant “Women are unstoppable, another world is possible” throughout the route.
The Women’s March started two years ago in Washington, D.C. following the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump.
In solidarity with the women marching in Washington, an impromptu march was organized on P.E.I. that year.
“I think when Trump was elected there were more visible threats to equality,” said march participant Jane Ledwell, who is also executive director of P.E.I.’s Advisory Council for the Status of Women. “This is a way of reminding the world there’s so much more to do to ensure that women in all places are equal and women of all backgrounds have the same opportunity to thrive.”
March organizer Darcie Lanthier said the purpose of the march was to spread awareness in order to combat wage inequality and violence towards women as well to raise the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada.
“Right now, in Canada, a woman makes 88 cents for every dollar a man makes at the same job,” said Lanthier. “Women are still killed by their partners and we have not gotten to the root of the missing and murdered indigenous women.”
Phil Callaghan was one of several men who participated in the march.
“Hopefully men believe in equality too,” he said. “It’s almost a matter of deconstructing society — that men give up control and the women move in to more places of power.”
Lanthier said the march will continue until equality sticks.
“Every year, we expect things to change and they don’t change nearly enough,” said Lanthier. “We’re all in this together. The rising tide floats all boats, let’s bring everybody up instead of only some men.”