Hundreds of women took to the streets of Downtown Vancouver to march for women’s rights on Saturday morning, chanting for an end to rape culture and equality for all genders.
The third annual march, which kicked off with a rally and speeches outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, is part of a larger movement across the country called March on Canada.
Samantha Monckton, an organizer with March On Vancouver, told News 1130 the theme of this year’s march was ending violence against women, and “justice for all.”
“These marches are important because people have to galvanize together and be together in one space, to know that other people care about the issues that they care about as well,” she told News 1130.
“We can do a lot on social media, but there’s nothing like being face-to-face with people who feel the same way.”
The march evolved out of the Women’s March movement which was formed in February 2017. It's the continuation of work sparked by a worldwide, grassroots movement to build communities that advocate for and uphold equality, diversity, and inclusion.
The first series of January women’s marches were organized after U.S. president Donald Trump’s inauguration in response to his anti-women comments.
The mission is to "inspire, unite and lead the charge for the advancement of women across Canada and worldwide."
Women from large cities to tiny villages got involved with the movement, demanding the advancement for the rights of women and other vulnerable groups.
Attendance for the annual march in the small fishing village of Sandy Cove, N.S., exploded this year to 50 people, two years after the first march charmed the internet with its small-scale demonstration of just 15 people.
A group roughly three times that size braved glacial temperatures that dipped below -22 C to hold a rally in a downtown park in Montreal. Jumping and stomping their feet to keep warm, they waved an assortment of handmade signs demanding justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women, an end to sexual harassment and abuse, and basic gender equality.
In Toronto, a crowd outside city hall also braved the extreme cold weather to hear from speakers before the march.
Speakers in Toronto called attention to the Ontario government's repeal of the modernized sex-ed curriculum and Thursday's announcement on changes to post-secondary tuition and grants.
- With files from Richmond News and Canadian press