The January 21 st Geneva Women’s March for Dignity welcomed twice the expected number of participants on a cold winter’s day. A coalition of 32 women and men of all ages united in their principles and values leveraged one other’s strengths and networks to work intensely from November 23 rd 2016 to organize the march. Sixty more volunteers helped on the day of the march. Police estimated a minimum of 2,000 marchers in attendance. The event began at 11:30 with a lakeside rally featuring remarks by novelist Anne Korkeakivi, Green Party Switzerland VP Lisa Mazzone, and Professor Daniel Warner, as well as a rousing performance by acclaimed Sierra Leonian vocalist Azania Noah. Marchers crossed Mont-Blanc Bridge over Lake Geneva and marched along the lakeside to gather for a closing rally featuring speeches by representatives of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and from Manon Schick, President of Amnesty International Switzerland, as well as music by local musicians Gregg and Casey Robins and Sito Sprenger. Marchers carried Women’s March Geneva signs and home-made signs and many sported pink hats.

The march brought Geneva’s global and local residents together to affirm their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion with principles rooted in human rights and environmental stewardship. Marchers commented that the atmosphere around the January 21 st march showed that Genevans are ready to act on their values. March organizers spread the idea that the future of activism lies in “mobilizing globally and organizing locally.” Women’s Marches worldwide started with mobilizing and now it’s all about organizing, making sure that the power of citizenship is used to bring about positive change through actions and campaigns. See the Women’s March Geneva Facebook page for more information on their work.

Quotes from Geneva Women’s March for Dignity participants

“For me, one of the hardest parts about being an American living abroad after this latest US election has been feeling so utterly helpless. The Geneva Women's March was the first time since November 9th that I haven't felt that way. It was great to be part of such a supportive (and big) crowd even on a freezing cold Saturday morning, and I was thrilled to hear that more events are planned for people to take action.”

“I liked it because it was about everything and everyone, not just about being a feminist. There were a lot of things being talked about in the crowd; about human rights, about Trump, about being black, about fear and hope and lots more.”

“I went because I believe in equal rights for women. Also, because I’m Mexican so I had to protest against Trump and all his insults against my country. But mainly, I wanted to protest against the rhetoric being heard in many countries fomenting hate, intolerance and violence.”

- Quotes collected by “The Genevateur” author Dena Javadi