Over 500 walk in Lake Tahoe Women’s March (photos)

As marches in support of women’s rights took place across the world on Saturday, over 500 men, women and children gathered on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore to peacefully march down U.S. 50.

“The future is female,” “Love not hate makes America great,” and “Women’s rights are human rights” were just a few of the common phrases written on marchers’ signs as they walked from the parking lot at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to the South Lake Tahoe Senior Center on Jan. 21 — just one day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

With narrowly plowed sidewalks, marchers took up an entire lane of the road as volunteers and law enforcement officials followed along to keep everyone safe.

After a snowy hour-long trek, the marchers arrived at the senior center where Peg Kortes and Annie Davidson delivered speeches on the history and future of women’s rights.

“Women have been walking and advocating for a long time,” said Kortes, pointing to the first women’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848.

But there is still much work to be done, she said, and a lack of female representation on a national level is an example of that

“Women have been elected to local boards — there are two of them here [councilwomen Brooke Laine and Wendy David] — they have been elected at the state level and the national level, except we are lagging at the national level,” expressed Kortes.

“Nineteen percent of the House of Representatives is female. Twenty percent of the Senate. Wouldn’t it be nice to have our elected representatives look like us both in gender and in ethnicity?”

Kortes also pointed to the pay gap between men and women that still exists today, despite the passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963.

“Another place that we’ve marched is for equal pay. This has been a long march. At the moment, nationally … women are paid for equal work 80 percent of what men are paid. The pay gap is worse for women of color,” said Kortes.

Annie Davidson took the stage next to urge women to stay involved after the march.

“I think women have a very important history that we have to look at … and the theme that we know is that we have been controlled in the past. … We’ve had to take leadership and take direction from our husbands and from our leaders,” said Davidson.

“We’ve also gained the right to vote and are continuing in the direction of moving what we have in our homes — the direction and leadership — and now bringing it to the public sphere, bringing it to our institutions and our communities.”

The crowd cheered as Davidson, with her young daughter at her side, passionately implored women to take the longstanding tradition of “care” out of the home and out into the world.

“If you take the chairlift to the top of that mountain and you look out at this beautiful basin and that Tahoe blue, and if you care about the earth, then get involved. If you are knowledgeable, because we are, that management is important to taking care of our government and fiscal responsibility matters, then get involved,” continued Davidson.

“If you look into your own children’s eyes … and you care about children, and you care about the future, then get involved. And if you care about your body, and being in charge of it … then get involved. If you care about life and every life, then get involved. You have to be involved if we are going to create the democracy of the future.”

Councilmember Brooke Laine concluded the event with a fist pump and a simple message.

“Tahoe women, you rock!”

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