Women gathered to share their stories, hardships and life experiences. These women carry stories. Stories of resilience, perseverance and the notion that while women have come so far, the work they have is nowhere near finished.
On Thursday, March 8, a crowd assembled to call for action, demonstrating what International Women’s Day is and to show how important the day is for everyone in San Francisco at City Hall.
Hundreds of women from various backgrounds represented several different organizations to speak in front of those who attended about how far women have come as well as to recognize how much progress is still to be made.
“It’s a day we can all stand together and enjoy and support what women have done over the years and what we’re doing [being] done now and what we do in the future,” said Jackie Smith, an endorsed Democratic nominee
running for District 6.
Smith hopes to be elected to the California State Assembly and to continue to make a difference for not only women but for the LGBTQ+ community in her district.
“I joined the LGBTQ caucus. I started the first ever LGBT group in Placer County just outside of Sacramento which is a
predominately red district,” said Smith.
Smith’s support for the LGBTQ+ in Placer County shows how much of a difference one woman can make. Just starting the LGBTQ+ group in a county that’s been around for 167 years can make all the difference for everyone in the future.
“I would say it is a continuation of our fight to gain a sense of equity in the world, not only that but bringing everyone’s voice to the table and all women to the table,” said attendee Emily Anne, holding the same purple felt banner that Smith brought to the rally.
La Colectiva de Mujeres is an organization that started in 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Latinas had to gather together to show that rights matter, according to Guillermina Castellanos, the cofounder of La Colectiva de Mujeres.
“International women’s day, like every day, means to come in front to respect women’s rights and [women’s] work. Women’s Day is also important [in order to] remember that women with or without title[s] mean a lot,“ said a
member of La Colectiva.
Even students from SF State gathered to unite and express their concerns with the current climate in the Philippines.
“International women are the ones that are exploiting their labor, power [and] their bodies in order for us to keep the world going,” said Katrina Liwanag, an SF State student who’s part of the League of Filipino Women also known as LFS.
The political climate abroad has encouraged the activism in San Francisco on behalf of women
International Women’s Month, which extends until the end of March, reaches far beyond the
borders of San Francisco.
“In Spain, there’s a big movement going on right now, we’re here to help out. I’ve been living here for two and a half years,” said Carolina Alquezar, an SF resident from Spain. “We’re starting the conversation with one problem, so
we can eventually solve the others.”
Despite the different backgrounds of every woman from the gathering, their unified message was inclusivity.
“We find that today is a great day to continue the working class origins of women today. There’s been a lot of repression happening in the Philippines especially with the macho fascism of President Rodrigo Duterte,” said Macy, an officer for GABRIELA-USA and SF State aluma.