You feared the pandemic would prevent the Women’s March 2021? Well no! Despite the lockdown in force in the various countries and the directives on social distancing have in fact caused the postponement of demonstrations in person this year, Women’s March Global, the organization that takes care of the annual mobilization for gender equality, has invited its supporters to make their voices heard – but digitally.
An activist participates in the Women’s March Los Angeles 2018 in Los Angeles, California, January 20, 2018.
© Sarah Morris
On January 21, 2021, the day that would normally have marked the fifth ‘physical’ protest (i.e. in presence), the movement launched Global Count, one of the largest world mapping surveys ever conducted, with the aim of documenting the cultural, economic and social barriers that hinder women’s progress. Designed to include women, non-binary and transgender people from every continent, the project aims to identify those issues that need urgent solutions as the world ‘recomposes’ itself in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
How does Global Count work?
In the 10 minutes that the survey lasts, you will be asked what country you live in and what are the greatest difficulties for you and the community to which you belong. It may be about ending violence, refugee rights,empowerment juvenile, reproductive freedom, environmental justice and race equality. Then you will be asked which factors – political, cultural, economic, educational or technological – currently constitute the greatest obstacle to progress in promoting change in these areas. The survey ends with a profound and meaningful question, the answers to which should provide a unique picture of what it means to be a woman in 2021: What is the face of progress on women’s human rights over the next 10 years?
Protesters attend the Women’s March on Washington, with the US Capitol seen in the background, 21 January 2017.
© Mario Tama
The survey will remain active until International Women’s Day on March 8. The aim is to encourage participants to share it with their contacts and on social networks in order to involve as many people as possible. Among those who will be the spokesperson for the campaign is the model and activist Munroe Bergdorf and the Nobel Prize Malala Yousafzai. “Every year, since 2017 – (year of the election of Donald Trump, ed) – we came together to voice issues of critical importance, ”says Uma Mishra-Newbery, member of the board of Women’s March Global. “That said, it is time to really understand and collect data on the issues facing people around the world. Data on these pressing issues, both globally and locally, is scarce. But they are vital, not only for movements but also for local collectives, fundraising institutions and the nonprofit sector as a whole. The information we will collect through the project Global Count will be shared with these realities and will immediately entrust the power in the hands of those who participate in the survey ”.
The initiative, which is a collaboration between Women’s March Global and various organizations e policymaker, comes at a time of great need. Episodes of domestic violence have grown dramatically around the world during lockdowns and a report by Care International highlighted how women have been those most affected by the pandemic in terms of unemployment, lack of food and consequences for mental health. For Women’s March Global, the hope is that the survey will amplify the intersectional voices of those communities that historically were most difficult to reach, making sure they have a say in what are the future priorities of the governments of their respective countries.
If you want to promote gender equality, NOW is the time to ‘take the field’ and make your voice heard.