January 20, 2018 8:16 pm
Updated: January 22, 2018 6:02 pm

Thousands take part in Calgary’s Women’s March

WATCH: Calgary's second Women's March attracted a large crowd on Saturday. As Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports, organizers say the #MeToo movement helped give a voice to many people in our city who never would have spoken up in the past.

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An estimated 3,500 people took part in Calgary’s Women’s March on Saturday that travelled  from Stephen Avenue Mall to City Hall.

Much has happened since the first Women’s March in the city a year ago.

The #MeToo movement with its focus on sexual harassment gave a voice to many women around the world and here at home, according to organizers.

“The #MeToo movement was humbling,” co-organizer Ashley Bristowe said.

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“We were all incredibly humbled by the pain and honesty and bravery of so many of our loved ones, our friends and our elders and teachers and our children. It was an incredible opening up. It was the beginning of a healing moment for all of our lives.”

READ MORE: Photo Gallery: Across Canada, women march in solidarity

12-year-old Grace Shipley was at the march with her dad.

“Even though I’m only 12, I still have a very big heart and I love women. And I just want to show that we are all powerful and we all have equal rights,” Shipley said.

Supporters said the march in Calgary drew a large crowd in part because of the continuing focus on pay equity issues and sexism in the workplace.

“I think that we’ve learned a lot from it and a lot of women are gaining strength and we’re getting strength from each other,” Becky Noblet said. Noblet attended the march with her husband and children.

READ MORE: Across the U.S., a march for female power

The march had a uniquely Canadian spin with some pushing for an updated “O Canada” to include women.  Efforts to replace “all thy sons command” in the anthem stalled last year in the Senate.

“It’s very disappointing that even though the Senate committee studied it and agreed that it should be changed the male senators are frustrating Canadians.  We realize that Canada more than ever needs women and good hearted men together to build it,” Frances Wright said.

Organizers said the diversity of the crowd speaks to the wide range of people who have been touched by the Women’s March message.

“The #MeToo  movement was enormous. I don’t know if there’s anybody on the planet who wasn’t touched somehow directly or indirectly. It was a huge shift to our culture. Speaking up for those marginalized voices and people who have never spoken up about their pain or their experience before,” Bristowe said.

While many expressed frustration with revelations from the past year, others said this has just only strengthened their resolve.

“I think there is still a lot more work to do and that’s why we are here today,” Amy Finn said. Finn took her daughters to the march.

“I think all of these people should know there is more work to do and we are willing to do that so we are going to show up every year until a big change is made.”

 

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