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On 21 January, 2017 – the first day of Donald Trump’s presidency – around 100,000 people marched through London. The Women’s March on London was intended as a rebuke to the forces of misogyny, bigotry and intolerance that gathered pace in 2016, and saw people of all genders, backgrounds, ages, races and cultures come together in protest.
This weekend, exactly a year on from the first Women’s March on London, a women-led protest will once more take place in the capital. And this time, it’s inspired by the Time’s Up movement against sexual abuse.
Organised by the Women’s March London team, the Time’s Up anniversary rally will start opposite Downing Street on Sunday 21 January. In a statement, the event organisers said: “One year on, we are coming together to say Time’s Up.”
“We are coming together to pledge that we are going to make change in big and small ways. We will stand side by side, once again, in solidarity with our sisters, brothers and siblings around the world.
“Together we are strong and if we all work for a better world then time is really up for oppressors of women.”
The Time’s Up initiative was launched at the start of January 2018 as a response to the #MeToo movement and the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Spearheaded by women working in the entertainment business in the US, the initiative provides advice and support to women across all industries who have experienced sexual harassment or abuse at work.
The reverberations of the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements have been felt around the world. Women of all ages and backgrounds have spoken out about their experiences of harassment and assault, reshaping assumptions about the prevalence of sexual misconduct. In the UK, a coalition of MPs and women’s groups has now called on the government to strengthen laws around sexual harassment.
However, the Time’s Up rally in London on Sunday will not focus solely on sexual harassment and abuse. According to the event organisers, protesters will be marching against a wide range of issues including gender-based violence, sexual harassment and abuse; Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, transphobia, homophobia and ableism; the gender pay gap; underfunding for domestic violence services; menstrual poverty and climate change denial.
This wide-ranging philosophy echoes that of the Women’s March on London in 2017, which drew together activists and individuals fighting for many different political and social causes.
Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu is the founder of the publication Women in Leadership and one of the co-organisers of the Women’s March on London. Speaking to stylist.co.uk, Dr Mos-Shogbamimu described the Time’s Up rally as “our stand in solidarity with our sister marches in the US and worldwide, as well as all advocates calling ‘Time’s Up’ on acts and tolerance of inequality, oppression, bias, phobia and harassment.
“Women’s March London has created a platform to galvanise action and opened the gateway for more women to be emboldened to speak their truth and share their experiences,” she continued.
“2018 is a year of infinite opportunities to drive home our call for action from the streets to the places of Government, and Time’s Up is a perfect example of women being emboldened to speak up.”
Other speakers at the rally will include Women’s Equality Party leader Sophie Walker, comedian Ava Vidal and Marchu Girma of Women for Refugee Women. Children are welcome, and the organisation Bloody Good Period will be collecting sanitary towels for those who are unable to buy them.
The Time’s Up rally will start at 11am on Sunday 21 January at Richmond Terrace, London, SW1A, and will end at 1pm. Find more information at womensmarchlondon.com.
Throughout 2018, Stylist is raising the profiles of women past and present – and empowering future generations to follow their lead – with our Visible Women campaign. See more from Visible Women here.
Images: Rex Features / Courtesy of Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu