LOS ANGELES – Hundreds of mothers, daughters, workers, immigrants, feminists, and even the LGBT community led by Filipinas took to the streets of Los Angeles in celebration of International Women’s Day.
Since 1909, International Women’s Day has been celebrated, with Los Angeles among the biggest of the global rallies.
“All the issues that we’re highlighting today, from police brutality to immigration, immigrant women’s rights–they impact our community,” said Jollene Levid of AF3IRM. “It’s important for us to do this every year because no one is going to do it for us.”
The group made its way through the police station, city hall, federal building and prison calling for the improvements in lives of women of all sectors.
For members of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, women’s rights is a personal battle as they fight for labor issues.
Myrna Baldonado of NDWA said they’re in solidarity with all the women who do unpaid work and suffer from wage theft.
“At the heart of it, it’s the women’s work that should be valued,” said Baldonado. “We go back to the root of the problem of not recognizing that.”
With 2016 as an election year in the US and the Philippines, women’s rights activists say they will keep close watch on those elected.
“They should fight for women’s rights,” said women’s rights activist Fe Koonz. “They’re part of the system, that’s why we’re taking it out on the streets because it’s always the grassroots that needs to be mobilized.”
Levid said AF3IRM has not backed any candidates, and instead is focusing on building its community base with women and the community.
“Whoever wins knows we’re here,” said Levid. “We’re organized. We’re ready to ask for what we need.”
While they rally for a day, the fight for women’s rights take place every day. Year-round these feminists take to the streets, classrooms and ballot boxes, raising and fighting for women’s issues.