McHenry County and members of the local chapter of the National Organization of Women are organizing a Women’s March next week on the Woodstock Square.
The march is slated to be one of hundreds to occur nationwide Saturday, commemorating the 2017 Women’s March on Washington.
March organizers said they believe the 2020 election may well be the most important of their lifetimes, and the march is tied to the importance of voting in this year’s elections.
“Women have watched these past three years as basic human rights have been trampled on, as issues important to women and families have been ignored,” said Ruth Scifo, a spokeswoman for Women’s March-McHenry County and co-host of the event. “Polls have found that they are highly motivated to go to the polls and do something about it.”
The march will feature speakers including U.S. Reps. Sean Casten, D-Downers Grove, who represents the 6th Congressional District, and Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, who represents the 14th Congressional District.
Illinois NOW President Laura Welch, Amanda Garcia of the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago and Carol Heisler of the Crystal Lake-area branch of the American Association of University Women also are scheduled to speak.
The march will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the gazebo on the Square, 121 W. Van Buren St., and is expected to last about an hour.
“We would like to tie our theme of ‘Women Rising’ with women rising up to vote, especially in the 2020 elections, and to reflect the importance of women using their vote to make their voices heard,” said Anna Gifford, president of the McHenry County chapter of NOW.
The first Women’s March was hosted three years ago and touted as the largest-known single-day protest march in U.S. history, organizers said.
The event galvanized residents across the country and created a new wave of the women’s rights movement, which has gained momentum every year since. Since its inception, more women have run for office and have been elected to posts, supporters said.
This year, the nation will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which later expanded critical voting rights and protections for people of color.