Sun beamed down on Lower Sproul Plaza Wednesday as women and women’s allies, many clad in red and pink hats, took the mic to read poems, sing songs and speak from the heart in a range of languages, from English to Portuguese to French, at a lively UC Berkeley rally, one of thousands of worldwide events honoring International Women’s Day.
Organizers in more than 30 countries urged women to take the day off work if they could to reveal how much the world depends on women in the workforce.
“Persist,” “Our labor has dignity” and “Free abortion on demand” were among the hundreds of messages the campus community proudly displayed on signs showing support and solidarity for women’s equality and empowerment.
“I try hard not to be angry sometimes,” said Agnes Artoonian, a junior in gender and women’s studies and philosophy, as another woman shook her tambourine. “I believe in the goodness of humankind… and the magic of self.”
“I resist because it is my duty to recognize injustice and fight against it,” said another participant.
Across the globe, women and their supporters took to the streets to protest issues including discrimination, wage inequality and violence against women, and to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.