WASHINGTON, D.C. – Several North Carolinians made their way to the nation’s capital Saturday for this year’s Women’s March.
Stephanie Gardner drove up from Charlotte Friday in order to attend the D.C. March for the first time.
“I think that this is as much a celebration as it is a resistance and a protest this time,” she said.
Gardner is still riding high after the midterm elections, when Democrats took control of the U.S. House by by a historic new class of female lawmakers.
The participants from North Carolina quickly meshed their voices with thousands of other marchers from across the country, gathered on Pennsylvania Avenue. While the overall attendance is smaller than the first march two years ago, participants say the fight is by no means over.
Gardner and others say they want to see equal pay, better healthcare, and an equal rights amendment.
“Women’s rights are human rights, so that’s why I’m here,” said Chuck Tryon from Holly Springs, N.C.
The Women's March has seen its own problems recently, with reports of infighting. Some in its leadership ranks are facing claims of anti-Semitism.
However, the women Spectrum News spoke with say unity is their mission.
“In a way, it’s a good thing, because it forces the movement to get stronger, it forces us to address some of these issues, and to be able to talk to one another,” Gardner said.
Some at the march even made a point of emphasizing their diversity.
“I’m here for our family, I’m here for sisters, I’m here for other women who because of oppressive policies are being affected in their daily lives,” said Hena Zuberi, from Washington, D.C.
Walking together through downtown Washington, participants from North Carolina say now is no time to slow down.
“For so many years, women have been told, you can’t have that job, that you can’t have that pay, that you shouldn’t be here. We are here and we’re at the table, and we’re going to continue to be a voice,” said Jennifer Roberts, the former mayor of Charlotte.