'The future is female': Regina girls march in solidarity with women around the world

Hundreds of people of all ages hit the streets of Regina Saturday morning to march for equality.

Regina YWCA says Sask. has highest rate of intimate partner violence in Canada

Even the young were passionate about marching in Regina on Saturday morning. From left to right: Brooklynn Brennand, Ellys Strong-Garcia and Edyn Strong-Garcia. (CBC News/Alex Soloducha)

Hundreds of people of all ages hit the streets of Regina Saturday morning to march for equality, joining hundreds of thousands of others around the world.

The Regina Women's March, organized by the local YWCA, was part of a larger movement of marches taking place in cities around the world.

The marches come a year after similar marches to call for women's rights and protest the election of U.S. President Donald Trump. Saturday's marches were held a year to the day after his inauguration.

Regina mother Heather Day marched while pushing her 14-month-old daughter in a stroller. Both mother and daughter were at their second march for equality.
Regina mother Heather Day, left, pushing her 14-month-old daughter at the march. (CBC News/Alex Soloducha)

Day said she was marching for women's safety, pay equality and to protest workplace harassment.

"I want to teach her that you don't have to just suck it up and deal with it," she said, referring to her daughter. "You can speak out and help to change things."

Judy Henley held a sign that read, "It's 2018 … Time's Up!" a reference to the growing #Time'sUp movement.

"It's really sad. I could have carried the sign that I carry 20 years ago because not a lot has changed."

Henley said she wants to see issues with child care addressed.
Signs held by the marchers drew the attention of those driving by, leading to cheering and honking throughout the march. (CBC News/Alex Soloducha)

At the young age of 11, Edyn Strong-Garcia, whose mother works at the YWCA, said she was there on her own resolve.

She said she spent her Friday night watching a movie about feminism and Emmeline Pankhurst, who helped some women win the right to vote in the U.K. in 1918.

I would like to see it change so that no one ever has to use the hashtag #MeToo ever again.- Brooklynn Brennand, age 12

"It was so bad back then and I'm glad it's gotten better, but it's still not there yet where we're equal. I don't want women to be inferior to men," she said.

"I think even at school there are young boys who can be sexist to young girls and I think that needs to change."

Brooklynn Brennand, 12, carried a sign reading "the future is female," and echoed her friend's sentiment. She said she hoped the large group of marchers gained the attention of the entire city.

"I would like to see it change so that no one ever has to use the hashtag #MeToo ever again," Brennand said, in reference to the movement that has been calling attention to the prevalence of harassment and sexual assault.
Attalee Young, left, was at the march with her three-year-old daughter Aubrey-Ella, middle, explaining to her what the chant, 'My body, my choice' meant. (CBC News/Alex Soloducha)

Attalee Young was at the march with her three-year-old daughter, Aubrey-Ella, and explained to her the meaning of the chant, "My body, my choice."

"I want to teach my daughter that she has a voice. I want to show her by leading what it's like to be out with women in solidarity and support women of all genders and all races," she said.

Young also shared her concerns about violence in the community, saying, "Indigenous women face violence at an unprecedented rate."

According to the YWCA, Indigenous women in Canada report rates of violence, including domestic violence and sexual assault, 3.5 times higher than non-Indigenous women and are five times more likely to die of violence.
Hundreds of people of all ages and all genders participated. (CBC News/Alex Soloducha)

In Saskatchewan, 67 Indigenous women were murdered from 2001 to 2014, a homicide rate more than six times higher than that for non-Indigenous women.

Overall, Saskatchewan has the highest rate of intimate partner violence in Canada and the rate of sexual assault in the province is double the national average.

In Regina, the reported sexual assault rate has risen by 16 per cent in the last year, the YWCA said.