Manitoba

'My feminism is weatherproof,' marchers say at 3rd annual Winnipeg Women's March

Well-bundled protesters bearing red-hot signs gathered at the Manitoba Legislature Saturday in the face of an extreme cold warning to participate in the third annual Women's March.

Dozens turned out to protest during extreme cold warning

A sign at Winnipeg's Women's March, in –28 C weather with an extreme cold warning, reads 'My feminism is weatherproof (No rain or cold will stop me).' (Camille Gris Roy/CBC)

Well-bundled protesters bearing red-hot signs gathered at the Manitoba Legislature Saturday, defying an extreme cold warning to participate in the third annual Women's March.

The marches began around the world on the day after U.S. President Donald's Trump's 2017 inauguration.

In Winnipeg this year, dozens of people braved –30 C to wave placards that read "When the temps go low, we go high!" and "My feminism is weatherproof."

This year's march focused on inclusivity, said organizer Hillary Dux. 

Signs say 'I am a girl. Hear me roar!' 'Fight like a girl,' 'Men of quality do not fear equality,' and 'Protect us, fight for us.' (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

"It was just so sad to see that there's just a lack of communication between the communities of women in Winnipeg," she said.

"We're really working and hoping that … we're drawing people together at the march and that the communities are communicating with one another and that there's, you know, less of a void between us all."

Another major theme is violence against women, represented by wearing red scarves — an idea suggested by the Native Women's Association of Canada to highlight the issue of violence against Indigenous women and girls, Dux said.

Charlotte Nolin, a two-spirit trans woman, said she marched because it's time for equality for everyone. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

Charlotte Nolin, a two-spirit trans woman, said she's experienced sexual violence firsthand and it needs to stop. 

"It's time that people start realizing that we're here to stay. We're not going to go away and we're not asking for any special favours … from humanity — just accept us and allow us to be."

She marched Saturday because she says it's time for equality for all. 

"We're human beings. And as human beings, every one of us has two spirits," she said.

"And being two-spirited that means you walk in balance. You have both, you have [the] best of both worlds.... And I want to teach our young people that it's OK to be two-spirited. It's OK to be trans, it's OK to be LGBT2Q — and that we're human beings first and foremost."

Dozens of people walked around Manitoba's legislative building then kept warm in front of the main entrance listening to speakers. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

Samantha Rayburn-Trubyk spoke on the legislature steps Saturday, with a message that it's time for change. 

"We've made some really great strides over the last few years. The time is now. We need to go forward. It's so important to be seen to show solidarity with women. It's just time," she said. 

Rayburn-Trubyk, who is the president of the Little People of Manitoba, also advocates for people with disabilities. She says being a woman with a disability is "a double whammy."

Samantha Rayburn-Trubyk, president of Little People of Manitoba, spoke to the crowd on Saturday. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

"Just having a disability and being a woman and being taken seriously is something that's been my whole life. I've finally found a workplace that really sees the value in me and sees me for who I am.

"But that wasn't always the case.… Coming to where I am today took time," she said.

"It was hard, it was difficult. It's a path that we're paving still, and it's something that other people are definitely experiencing — and we need to make changes."

Rayburn-Trubyk said going forward, she wants to see more men as allies. 

Dux said organizers of Saturday's march have just formalized a Women's March chapter, and are looking for volunteers to continue to take action. 

Dozens of people went to the legislature despite an extreme cold warning. (Camille Gris Roy/CBC)

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