First Lady of New York Chirlane McCray fired up thousands at a demonstration rally in the shadow of the United Nations in New York City, calling for women’s equality on International Woman’s Day, Sunday, March 8.
McCray, a self-professed feminist while addressing the crowd, said, “you are marching in the footsteps of generations of feminists, many who called New York City their home.”
“International Women’s Day started right here in 1908, 15,000 women marched through these streets, demonstrating for better pay, voting rights and shorter working hours,” said the wife of Mayor Bill De Blasio.
“A lot has change since 1908, but New York is still a pioneer of women’s rights,” said McCray. She added, “Last November New York became the first U.S. city to join the safe cities global initiative of keeping all of our public spaces free from harassment.”
Noting that Mayor De Blasio is a true believer of women power, McCray also called the rest of her family feminists.
She noted the mayor’s groundbreaking initiatives including universal Pre-K, paid sick leave and an office to combat violence. This office, she added, served more than 36,000 people last year.
“This march started a century ago, but we still have a long way to go for equality, but we are going to get there, I know it,” added McCray.
McCray who later joined the march, said, “Today we made history, tomorrow we start making a brighter future for our mothers, our sisters, our daughters and for our families.” She shared the platform with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.
Ban Ki Moon in turn shouted, we need global action, action! “Thank you for standing shoulder to shoulder to demonstrate our commitment and solidarity,” he said.
Caribbean nationals turned out in full, some carrying signs that read, “End Domestic Violence Against Women In Guyana Now,” “Caribbean CARICOM The time is Now,” and “Caribbean Women Enough Is Enough.”
“Women Rights Are Human Rights,” “Bring Back Our Girls,” “We Need Love And Peace,” read other placards, while some demonstrators chanted, “We want equality, and we want it now!”
The UN Women for Peace Association themed: Empower Women, Empowering Humanity Picture IT- commemorated the 20-year anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
The organization has a “step-up timeline” to bring about gender equality by the year 2030.
The parade began at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, and marched to Times Square where another rally was held. The festivities concluded with the singing of “We Shall Overcome” in the spirit of Martin Luther King.