March emcee Willow Reichelt holds a sign (right) while ADTS director Patti MacAhonic speaks to the crowd before the Fraser Valley Women’s March 2018 began. (Jennifer Feinberg/The Progress)

Women’s March in Chilliwack taps into worldwide movement

The second annual event is this Saturday starting from the Ann Davis parking lot on Young Road

The 2019 ‘Fraser Valley Marches for Women’ slated for Saturday afternoon in Chilliwack will be tapping into a women’s rights movement that’s growing internationally.

The second annual women’s march in Chilliwack starts with gathering and sign-making in the Ann Davis parking lot on Young Road at 11 a.m., before heading down the road to city hall for some short speeches at noon.

Chilliwack is the only city centre on the Lower Mainland outside Vancouver to host a women’s march this week.

“This march is something that’s very much needed in Chilliwack, as the movement has been growing on a global level,” said Patti MacAhonic, executive director of Ann Davis Transition Society.

The inaugural event in 2018, which was inspired by the Women’s March on Washington in 2017, saw more than 100 people take part in Chilliwack.

READ MORE: WATCH video of the first march

Establishing a women’s march locally has allowed Chilliwack and other Fraser Valley residents to be part of something larger, and joining with women across Canada, who are trying to get across the notion that women’s rights are human rights.

What is different for 2019 is that Wilma’s Transition House and the Fraser Valley Labour Council have come on board as partners in the Chilliwack march, which was launched by ADTS and University of the Fraser Valley.

“The first Women’s March I attended in Vancouver a few years ago was just so awesome. On a deep level I feel this work is worthwhile,” said MacAhonic. “In my job with ADTS and in my personal life, as a mom, and grandmother, I need to lead by example by encouraging women to be empowered, and to speak their truth whatever it may be.”

The official Women’s March Canada mission statement is simple: “Inspiring, uniting and leading the charge for the advancement of women across Canada.”

“Although it is 2019, women still don’t have wage parity, domestic violence is on the rise, and Indigenous women are still over represented in violence against women and homicides,” according to the 2nd annual march notice.

Marchers will gather and make signs at Ann Davis offices at 11 a.m. and then will head out from the parking lot at 9046 Young Rd by about 11:30 a.m. There will be speakers, drumming, and info available following the march at city hall. Speakers will include Sto:lo elder Dionne McGrath, UFV’s Marnie Wright, FVLC’s DJ Pohl, and ADTS’ Patti MacAhonic.

READ MORE: Inaugural event drew 100+


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