The March for Women’s Safety
Updated: Oct 24, 2019
by: Alecsa Dobrin
On Saturday, the 19th of October, me and 2,000 other people marched for all women’s safety. I have taken part in a lot of protests and marches, but this one was, from my personal point of view, one of the very best, and I don’t think I will ever forget it. This year's Bucharest march was organized by Feminism Romania, Centrul FILIA, GirlUp Romania, A.L.E.G and many other Romanian non-profit organizations focusing on gender equality.
In the beginning, before the march started, a short play took place in the park where we had gathered, which was really touching for everybody who attended. An actress wearing a woman-mask was trapped inside a cube and tied up with transparent foil by three others wearing man-masks. A group of women then proceeded to cut the foil with scissors that read “Believe us!”, thus freeing the one who had been trapped. A short, but powerful scene, that symbolizes the fact that women and society as a whole should support each other without ridiculizing or disbelieving victims of abuse or victims of any kind. After the emotional display, a few women representing different organizations from around the country each gave a speech addressing the way they view the problems in our society regarding women's safety. Then, everyone who had come proceeded to start marching towards Piata Victoriei.
The crowd was a homogenous mix of people from every social background, people from every category and minority you could imagine: little kids, teens, couples and parents. What shocked some was the presence and implication of a lot of men, especially teenage boys, who were all taking part in the protest and proudly chanting along with everyone. This can only make us realize we should be proud of our generation for realizing what the real problems are, and what we would have to deal with if we don’t try to change for the better. The things we are marching and protesting for now could have a significant impact on our future.
Chants like “Solidarity!”, “Down with the aggressors”, “We’ll beat the patriarchy” and “Don't stay away, don't be sad, together, we'll start the feminist revolution” could be heard from the crowd wherever we marched, and it was a truly heart-warming sight to see the entirety of the protest shouting as one. There were dogs and children running around and playing, and everybody was happy despite the sad circumstances of why the march was needed in the first place. That alone contributed enormously to how much energy people had: even though the walk from Piata Universitate to Piata Victoriei lasted around two hours and is around 3 km long, no one seemed to feel the tiredness.
Coming from someone who has previously also been to slightly less peaceful protests, sharing this experience with so many others was an eye-opening opportunity. The crowd was louder than anything most people there had ever heard, and it comes as no surprise that people all around had the chills half of the time. Voices cracked and throats became sore, legs grew tired from walking, while arms grew tired from carrying hand-painted signs. Still, not a single person looked as if they regretted coming.
The march ended at around 6 PM in Piata Victoriei, after people chanted and danced on the beat of drums, bright smiles all around.
From a more personal perspective, I have to admit I felt invincible. I felt empowered, I felt like my voice was finally being heard, I felt the happiness of being surrounded by so many wonderful people who share the same views and beliefs as me. I once again realized what incredible things we are capable of doing if only we pay attention and try our best to do what needs to be done.
If you feel like you can’t do something, anything for that matter, we are telling you that you can. It's been said million times and it will be said for as long as needed: you are capable of achieving anything and everything! This march has proven that. A crowd of like-minded, determined people put together something crucial for such an important matter in today’s society.