Thousands of women gathered in Washington D.C. Jan 21, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, to march in support of women’s rights. One UNF faculty member also made it out for the march.
Jenny Hager, professor of sculpture with UNF’s Art and Design department, traveled to the capital to fight for her beliefs.
Hager said the march route was so full that it became less of a march and more of a mass of people, it was so crowded that supporters stood shoulder to shoulder in the streets of D.C.
For Hager the march was a family event: three generations of her family went to show their support. She flew from Jacksonville the day before while her sister, 4-year-old niece, and mom drove eight hours from Kentucky.
Hager said she marched for Black Lives Matter, the LGBTQ community, and women’s rights.
“I went to show solidarity with all of the people in the U.S. who have been marginalized. I went to send a message to Donald Trump,” Hager said. “I went because I think that my silence, if I were to be silent, I would be part of the problem.”
She also said the next four years are going to be full of battles and hopes that people will continue to fight.
“I hope that’s what people do. I hope they stand up. UNF students are going to be affected the same way the rest of the world is, we will have a leader who doesn’t really believe in equality for everyone,” Hager said.
While Hager continues to fight for what she believes in, lawmakers in Florida are also working on women’s equality.
House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz and two of her colleagues are filing the Helen Gordon Davis Fair Pay Act in the Florida House and Senate. The goal of the bill is to decrease the gender pay gap in Florida.
Cruz previously introduced the bill before the legislature without it getting far. However, Hager said any progress is good.
“That [closing the gender pay gap] is really important, women have been fighting for equal pay for a very long time, I’m definitely for that, and I support that,” Hager said.
For those who couldn’t travel to the capital, Jacksonville had its own women’s march Jan 21. “I think it’s great, I know a lot of people who participated,” Hager said. “I’m happy that we are one of the many cities that had a march. I was proud of Jacksonville.”
In spite of the progress, Hager believes the next four years are going to be tough.
“It’s going to be a really hard road, unfortunately, they’re already doing damage to the health care system, they’re doing damage to women’s reproductive health issues; they’ve already signed legislation into place to take away those things which is very disheartening,” Hager said.
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