Big Issues

“Hear Me Roar”: All The Best Signs From The 2019 Sydney Women’s March

A lot has changed over the last three years, but in that time the Women’s March has grown only stronger.

The march was first conceived of as an anti-Trump protest, and was launched following the inauguration of the 45th President, an alleged sexual predator.

Yet even then, the march went beyond just Trump. It was a rallying cry for women across the globe; a moment to address domestic violence, and the pay gap, and a wide range of gendered issues.

Now, having grown bigger every single year, the Women’s March is a massive intersectional protest, celebration, and rallying cry.

Some of the signs at the Women's March referenced the historical suffragette movement

Image: Rae Johnston

The recent murder of 21-year-old student Aiia Maasarwe hangs heavy over the 2019 iteration of the march.

Police have arrested a 20-year-old in relation to the murder of Maasarwe, an exchange student who was killed while heading back to her accommodation after attending a comedy show.

The Women's March in Sydney is one of the biggest demonstrations of its kind

Image: Rae Johnston

In a recent interview with SBS, Megan Date, the head organiser of the Sydney iteration of the Women’s March described it as an opportunity to “address the crisis that is Australia’s culture of violence against women.”

It is expected that 5,000 demonstrators will attend the Sydney Women’s March, from the old and the young; to families, and to groups of friends.

The Women's March was full of committed demonstrators, and great signs

Image: Rae Johnston

The Women’s March was kicked off with a welcome to country, conducted by Aunty Norma Ingram.

Bhenji Ra, a Sydney-based artist and dancer, then took to the stage with a powerful call for unity and intersectionality.

Later, Jane Brock, executive officer at Immigrant Women’s Speakout, addressed the ramifications of violence against women, and called for a need to end the ongoing crisis.

Other speakers included Bri Lee, the author of the acclaimed Eggshell Skull, and Junkee’s own Rae Johnston, who highlighted the need for togetherness and unity.

Attendees of the Women's March were in some cases quite young

Image: Rae Johnston

As the March itself began, attendees repeated the chant, “Safe streets now.”

Attendees at the Women's March in Sydney

Image: Rae Johnston

Others began to chant, “Gender equality now” as the procession moved through the streets.

Attendees of the 2019 Women's March in Sydney

Image: Rae Johnston

Many of the signs called for an end to violence against women, highlighting the threat that domestic violence continues to pose.

Attendees at the 2019 Sydney Women's March

Image: Rae Johnston

The march moved through the city, picking up demonstrators as it did so.

A sign held aloft by a demonstrator at the Sydney Women's March

Image: Rae Johnston

As the march was wrapping up, demonstrators began to chant, “Stop killing women.”

One of the many signs held aloft at the Sydney Women's March

Image: Rae Johnston

Ultimately, television presenter Yumi Stynes summed up the energy and effect of the march perfectly in her speech.

“I march because together we are powerful,” she said, simply.