Women and their allies participated in marches across Canada, including in Ottawa. People gathered in the frigid cold demanding the advancement of the rights of women and other vulnerable groups.

The march started as a rally on Parliament Hill with speeches and indigenous drumming. It then took to the streets for a march down Bank Street to Lansdowne.

Sherry Moran has never missed a Women’s March. Saturday she had company- joined by her great-niece Natasha.  She says she wants her to know, “Girl power is important and she should be working with men who are supporting gender equality. And together we can make this a much better place.”

Marches have been organized across the world, including in Canada, in solidarity with those marching in Washington, D.C. The movement started in the U.S. following President Donald Trump's inauguration in 2017.

Mikaela Baumann marched in the first women’s march in 2017. “I think it’s super important that everyone is coming together, it’s not just in Ottawa but around the world at the same time. I think that speaks volumes.”

The movement also works towards protecting reproductive rights and acknowledging issues faced by the LGBTQ community, Indigenous people, immigrants, workers and people with disabilities.

Jenna McLennan made her sign denouncing Ontario Premier’s Doug Ford policies. “I think it’s important not just to make change but also to not feel alone if you feel about certain issues.”

Another demonstrator says “I think it’s terrible that women are still having violence against them... and that I shouldn’t feel safe. All women should have equality and treated the same.”

Representatives from all levels of government attended Saturday’s March. City Councillor Theresa Kavanagh, council’s first liaison for women liaison for women and gender issues proclaimed January 19th Women’s March Day in Ottawa.

With files from The Canadian Press