20,000 Women Strong Print E-mail
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Thursday, 22 March 2018 00:00

The 20,000 Women Strong Empowerment Rally made its way to the Marion Jones Sports Complex from the Memorial Park on Friday, March 16, 2018 in their call to gender parity. While the march did not actually see 20,000 participants, there were hundreds of people who came out to show their support under the theme “Nurturing the Next Generation- #PressForChange”. The first 20,000 Women Strong march was held in 2014 and ever since then, Kim Simplis Barrow, first lady and Special Envoy for Women and Children, has teamed up with other agencies to make the march a success. With women and children having become the victims of sexual attacks and other forms of violence, even more recently, women, men, and children took to the streets to lend their voice to the empowerment rally.

The parade was led by students and marching bands who were followed by representatives from participating businesses and organizations, all decked out in their symbolic orange shirts. Simplis Barrow explained that the turnout for this year’s rally was definitely more than last year’s and with most schools participating, it was a bigger parade. Although the numbers were more than last year, Simplis Barrow admits that the purpose of walking is more important than the crowd. “But, you know, it is not about the numbers, it is what we walk away with. Each woman out there will walk away with something and hopefully if we can change the minds and the mindset of our people in some way or the other, then we have accomplished something.”

The rally’s #PressForChange was a movement that was seen circulating all over the news, local channels, and even social media. Simplis Barrow says that it means a lot and is not one directional. “It means press for progress in all different directions – to end violence, increase equality for women in partnership. It is just so profound – the message is so profound and so timely especially at this time when we are experiencing so much violence in our country, and especially against our children. It is very concerning and so we definitely want to continue pressing for progress. There is so much more that we can do.”