Volunteers from the Victoria Women’s March organizing committee get ready for the Jan. 20 event where speakers will address the crowd at Centennial Square before marching through downtown to the legislature. Women’s March Canada photo

Victoria Women’s March 2.0 hits the streets Jan. 20

Violence against women has impact on a local level, says march organizer

When Cayla Naumann didn’t see Victoria listed on the 2018 Women’s March Canada (WMC) website, she decided to step up to organize a local event.

This year’s march – organized in partnership with Women’s March Canada and Council of Canadians – kicks off in Centennial Square at 11 a.m. Jan. 20, the anniversary of last year’s march in protest of U.S. President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

“Last year I was actually down at the Seattle women’s march, which was a phenomenal experience,” says Naumann, a biologist from Saanich who felt inspired to bring that awareness back to Canada.

A lot of progress has been made since last year’s march, not just in Victoria, but across the country, she says. But she points to the recent murders of young sisters Chloe and Aubrey Berry in Oak Bay as another example of how violence against women has impacted Victoria.

“For me, that was another reminder that women of all ages and backgrounds still face domestic violence on a regular basis,” Naumann says. “No woman deserves to be in a situation where they have to experience violence at home or in the workplace.”

Last year’s march in Victoria drew close to 2,000 people and Naumann hopes for the same kind of support this year. Speakers from the community who work in areas related to women’s equality will address the crowd before participants head down Government Street toward the legislature, where the march will culminate with a choral performance from local musicians.

It’s really easy to look at the U.S. and point fingers when it comes to equality, representation, safety and economic security, Naumann says, but there are still a lot of the same problems facing women in Canada as well.

She calls the march an opportunity for people in Greater Victoria to come together to show support and raise awareness of some of those issues.

“Indigenous women, disabled groups, women of colour, other gender backgrounds – we need to continue to include women from these backgrounds into the movement … Feminism gets a lot of criticism for being a white women’s movement.”

For updates on the march, visit WomensMarchCanada.com or check out the Victoria Women’s March Facebook page. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, contact Naumann at victoria@womensmarchcanada.com.

And, if you’re unable to make the march but would like to donate, the Victoria Women’s March organizing committee will hold a fundraiser Jan. 19. The book and art sale will run from 2:30-5 p.m. in the Clearihue building (C112) at UVic with proceeds benefiting the Victoria march, and non-profit groups whose values align with WMC.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

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