More than 100 participants took to the streets for the 3rd Annual Women’s March in downtown Fredericton on Saturday to raise their voices in support of gender equality in New Brunswick.
This year’s theme was centered on core values and priorities of women’s rights: health, economic security, representation, and safety (H.E.R.S.).
“I march today because I want everyone to feel like they are equal. To hope that someday my future children may know equality,” said Megan Groves, one of the organizers.
“These marches matter because they shed light on issues that women face, which often go unnoticed by those in power,” explained Kylie Bergfalk, another member of the organizing committee. “To effectively address women’s equality issues, we need political and cultural change.”
The march route ended at the Fredericton Public Library, where a panel discussion was held to examine the status of women in New Brunswick and the required solutions in relation to the H.E.R.S. priorities.
Panelists included Beth Lyons (Executive Director for the NB Women’s Council), Nelly Dennene (Executive Director for the Regroupement Féministe du Nouveau-Brunswick), Johanne Perron (Executive Director for the NB Coalition for Pay Equity), and Indigo Poirier (award-winning local
musician and Co-Chair of Fredericton Gender Minorities). The moderator was Nadya Ladouceur, Experiential Education Coordinator at Renaissance College
Though each panelist spoke about specific topics, an overarching theme was clear. Despite some advancement, women in New Brunswick are still facing substantial challenges, but solutions do exist.
“We need to act collectively to improve gender equality. Our provincial decision-makers should make it a priority,” said Johanne Perron. “They also need to measure how public policies may have a different impact on women and men from diverse backgrounds so that we all move forward together.”
The Women’s March, a grassroots movement that burst onto the scene in 2017 with around 673 marches worldwide, began in Washington D.C. as a form of protest against the inauguration of the U.S. President Donald Trump. Now in its third year as a global phenomenon, the march seeks to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change.
More than 33 marches took place across Canada on Saturday. There was one other march in New Brunswick, which took place in Saint John.