The Women’s March on Saturday, January 21, 2017 in Washington D.C. brought about a turnout higher than expected, with families and celebrities alike. Despite differences in ethnicities, sexualities and genders, enthusiastic crowds gathered across the globe to speak their minds and against President Trump, his hand-selected Cabinet members and officials and the administration’s constant threats against immigration, reproductive and LGBTQ rights.
The Women’s March didn’t just end on Saturday. Protests continued on Sunday when 500 women gathered to channel their frustration and sadness into political action. A training seminar hosted by Emily’s List, a democratic group aimed at electing women, explained the logistics of running for office for the first time to all 500 of the attendees. Saturday’s rallies were just the beginning, and now these 500 women could bring about change through their own political education and legal experience.
“Ladies, if you think there are too many barriers for women running, who the heck is going to get rid of them for us?” Muthoni Wambu Kraal, the senior director of state for EMILY’s List, told the crowd to vigorous applause.
The day consisted of discussing the intimidation and vulnerability associated with running for public office. Kraal disproved any possible stereotypes and said that women simply need energy and thick skin. The big lesson: if Donald Trump got to where he was with absolutely no political experience or qualifications, nothing should hold you back, either.
Following the election, EMILY’S List was flooded with calls and emails from eager women looking to find solutions. In its 32 years of service, EMILY’s List stated that this is the first time something like has happened. Women aren’t standing back, they’re voicing their concerns on behalf of themselves and their communities. The turnout could change the future of the country.
Lacy Wright, a 20-year-old college student from California, who attended the training, has said that before the election, she never would have considered running for office. She aspired to be a teacher in order to help alleviate the overcrowding she saw at her high school. That all changed after the election. ”It’s not just Trump. It’s all of the local officials, the senators, people who are mostly white males,” she says. “They won’t care about my interests. And my voice isn’t really represented anywhere.”
Kraal recommended getting involved in your local Democratic clubs, networking and building support within families. With the momentum we have now, the possibilities and achievements are endless.