Akande calls on women to ‘unpack the burden of division’

Thousands of women, including many
from the Caribbean, show up at Nathan
Phillips Square for the 2018 Toronto
Women’s march on Saturday.

Thousands of women, many of them from the Caribbean community, descended on Nathan Phillip’s Square on Saturday for the Toronto Women’s March.

The event marked the anniversary of the Women’s March on Washington at which millions rallied against the Donald Trump presidency, sexual assault and several other feminist issues.

But with  both provincial and municipal elections due this year, concerns were also raised

at the 2018 march about local issues, according  to the organizers.

Zanana Akande, a former politician who served as minister of community and social services in Premier Bob Rae’s NDP government, was  one of the speakers at the march.

In an address at  Nathan Phillips Square, Akande called on the women to ” unpack the burden of division” that occurs because of sexuality, race or religion.

” We really don’t need to be divided along those lines.” she said.

” And finally, we could do without the division that comes from social  class,” she added.

“It’s time to  make sure that we leave no woman behind.”

Akande who was born in Canada of Caribbean immigrant parents, noted that ” women of colour ” were well  represented at the march.

However, while some women of colour held placards at the march highlighting issues of concern to their communities, they were not optimistic that they were seeing sufficient progress in the  struggle for change.

” Yes, we certainly feel left behind,” one of them remarked.

But Kavita Dogra, one of the organizers, noted that the march for equal rights has been strengthened by the #MeToo movement that thrown sexual harassment and abuse into the spotlight and has created a renewed sense of ambition for deeper social and political change to women’s rights

“We are hoping to keep people inspired to take action, to keep the movement going forward, trying to build a city that is great for everyone,” Dorga said.