On Sunday, January 22nd, a group of local activists will be holding a Kingston Women’s March at City Hall, in Confederation Park. The march, which will begin at 12pm and end at 2pm, is being held in solidarity with women and gender diverse people’s movements both internationally and in Canada.
The event is focused on a wide range of causes, including reproductive rights, justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, the Ontario government’s attacks on the bargaining rights of public sector workers, limited access to reproductive healthcare in Canada, the Iranian Women’s Revolution, and the movement against the Roe vs. Wade judgement in the United States.
The master of ceremonies and first speaker for the event will be newly elected City Councillor Wendy Stephen. Other speakers include Donya of the Iranian Association at Queen’s, retired Nurse and lifelong activist Marilyn Birmingham, and Martha Williams, who has spent her lifetime fighting for equity for all marginalized groups.
The organizers of the march are emphasizing that access to reproductive healthcare is especially difficult for Indigenous, rural and poor women, who often have to travel to access abortion and other reproductive healthcare services. They also point out that Canada’s healthcare systems place the burden of finding and funding access to this healthcare on the individual, and that financial accessibility is an issue, as abortion is not covered while out of an individual’s home province.
The activists are calling for a fair and just reproductive healthcare system in Canada, and are standing in solidarity with their American neighbors who no longer have access to such a system. They stress that, rather than praising ourselves for being better than the United States, we must turn our efforts to ensuring that Canadian people have the same rights and access to healthcare.