KAGAWONG – It looks like the weather will be more co-operative for the second annual Kagawong Women’s March taking place this Saturday than it was during the -30° Celsius weather that greeted the first Island iteration of the global march aiming to raise awareness of women’s issues last year.
“The Women’s March is a global movement that started four years ago in response to (US President Donald) Trump,” said local organizer Meg Middleton. “With all of the cuts that were hitting Ontario last year, cuts to conservancies, midwifery, teaching as well as the ongoing situation regarding murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls and continuing wage disparities—these are all issues that impact on women.”
The movement has a global and a local focus, noted Ms. Middleton. “There are still systemic issues that impact women, services that are not available to us,” she said. “It is the same all around the world—we are seeking global change, but local changes as well.”
The Kagawong Women’s March for change is open to everyone, she adds. “Men, women, children, allies and anyone who wants to march for change.”
The march will take place on Saturday, January 18 starting at 11 am and will follow the same route as last year, starting from the Kagawong sign at the top of the hill above the village and down to the Aus Hunt Marina. This year those planning to attend are encouraged to come early and park at the Kagawong Park Centre.
“We will have shuttles starting at 10:15 to take people up to the start,” said Ms. Middleton. “That way people will end the march close to where their cars are parked, instead of having to march back up the hill.”
The Park Centre will be open from 9 am for sign production. “Anyone who wishes to make a sign can come and make one,” said Ms. Middleton.
The march is called the Kagawong March for Women, but it is open to members of all Island communities. “We don’t call it the Manitoulin March for Women because we don’t want to interfere with any other community that wishes to have a march,” she explained.
Should anyone wish to sing, dance or drum during the march they are encouraged to touch base with Ms. Middleton. “People can contact me by calling 705-348-1461 and we will have a Facebook page ‘Kagawong Women’s March 2020’ to help co-ordinate things.”
According to the website WomensMarch.com, “The mission of Women’s March is to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change. Women’s March is a women-led movement providing intersectional education on a diverse range of issues and creating entry points for new grassroots activists and organizers to engage in their local communities through trainings, outreach programs and events. Women’s March is committed to dismantling systems of oppression through nonviolent resistance and building inclusive structures guided by self-determination, dignity and respect.”