First, I have to say I never thought of myself as someone who would march down the street singing and chanting in protest. But here I am in the front line marching down Market Street in San Francisco for the third time advocating for women’s rights. Although I have always fought for women’s rights as a researcher and academic, and went to the California State Capital to speak with members of the legislature about women’s rights in the workplace, I never participated in a march until 2017.
At the 2019 Women’s March, the speeches were as passionate and inspiring as always. However, I was saddened by how few people participated in the march.
On the other hand, I was excited to march with my childhood friend. At one point during the march, I turned to her and said, “When we were 9 years old did you ever think that one day we would be marching down the streets of San Francisco fighting for women’s rights?” At that moment, something felt magical like our destinies had been interwoven since childhood, especially since we both grew up in New Jersey and accidentally reconnected in 2004 when we ran into each other at a grocery store in San Francisco!
Also walking with me in the march was my 6 year old son. (Notice the little boy with the black and grey shirt in the photo above.) During the 1.5 hour march, my son stayed surprisingly focused and never really complained. He marched with the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women. He sang their native song and chanted “No more stollen sisters.” I can only hope exposing my young, impressionable son to the struggle of women and people who have ethnic backgrounds different from his own will help him develop a social conscience.
What did I learn from this years Women’s March? I learned about the suffering of Native American women in the United States from the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women called MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women). For example, the U.S Department of Justice found that American Indian women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national average.
Homicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among 10-24 years of age and the fifth leading cause of death for American Indian and Alaska Native women between 25 and 34 years of age (statistic courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Homicide). In addition, Native people are more likely to be killed by police officers than any other minority group in the Nation.
Below are statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women also called MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women).
If you would like to learn more about the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women in the United States or to support their work, please go to https://www.csvanw.org
About the Author
Dr. Christine E. Dickson is a cognitive psychologist in private practice who holds a Dual PhD in Clinical Psychology and Industrial-Organizational Psychology. She is a member of 9to5 The National Association of Working Women, and has spoken out against unfair employment practices affecting working mothers and fathers since 2003. Christine is a regular guest on local TV where she provides self-help advice to nearly 200,000 viewers. Her work is also featured in Wikipedia, the world’s largest online encyclopedia. To learn more about her workshops, coaching, and counseling services, please see her website.