Being part of such a historic day as women and men around the world stood in solidarity for women’s rights around the globe is truly inspirational. It has made me reflect on what is truly important, what is worth fighting for, and what am I willing to speak up for. Being able to have a voice is a right and a privilege. This day has reminded me that I have a voice and I must use it. I’m restarting my monthly inspirational blog to be able to share my voice with friends, family, and clients on any topic I feel called to speak on. Staying silent is not an option when you realize how much is at stake.
So many women never have this opportunity to have a voice, to speak up for themselves or their children, to fight for their rights. Living in America, despite its flaws, we have privilege that women in other countries cannot even begin to imagine. The right to vote, the right to drive, the right to an education, the right to dress the way we want to, the right to speak up for what we believe in.
Saturday I participated in the women’s rally in Miami, along with 10,000 proud Floridians. Gates closed at the Bayfront Park Amphitheater when it was at full capacity so demonstrators took to the streets of downtown Miami. Biscayne blvd was shut down because of overwhelming crowds. We heard speakers and advocates of local nonprofits who were enraged about the views and policies of the new administration but also empowered to take a stronger stand. I was impressed to see advocates of women’s rights, health rights, reproductive rights, LGBT rights, immigrant rights, disability rights, and environmental rights. The speakers were pumped up, their words powerful, insightful, and filled with a call to action. “Women’s rights are human rights” was the powerful mantra of the day.
Amazed to know that there were close to 700 events with 4.6 million Americans participating in rally’s across the country that day. D.C. had a record 500,000 protestors! The last time in U.S. history that so many women joined together was for the suffrage movement in 1920 that allowed women the right to vote. There were also supporting marches in more than 60 countries showing their solidarity for women’s rights. To all the male supporters who participated- thank you for standing strong by your wives, sisters, mothers, and daughters. Some of my favorite protest signs: “Make America Think Again,” “Resistance is Fertile,” “Keep Your Tiny Hands off my Rights!”
Here are just a few of the alarming changes that this administration proposes that will have a direct and immediate impact on women’s health in this country:
1) to overturn Roe vs. Wade that gave women the power to make decisions over their own body and to have an abortion 44 years ago,
2) to defund Planned Parenthood that has 200 million women visits annually and provides basic healthcare services to so many women, (watch this video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_oUddaYx_w)
3) removing the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW)- a great hallmark of Obama and Biden’s legacy that took a strong stand against domestic violence, dating violence, and sexual assault. (visit their site here- https://www.justice.gov/ovw/about-office)
As a women’s health specialist throughout my career and an advocate of women’s rights I feel called to speak up. After all the progress we have made for women’s rights, there is NO WAY we are going to let the current administration undo all this hard work or make us go backwards. We stand proud of all the efforts the generations of women before us made. Contact your state representatives on all these issues to let them know your stance and use your voice. United we stand- let us show the world what women power can do!