Why We March

For 35 years, IWHC has nurtured the women’s movement, funding and supporting feminist organizations in more than 40 countries. Our work teaches us that collective action is the key to change.

Photo by Greg Zulkie via Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Photo by Greg Zulkie via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

On January 19, 2019, the International Women’s Health Coalition is proud to join advocates and supporters of women's rights as we march to mark the anniversary of the Women's March in the United States.

As we take to the streets alongside our peers, partners, and allies, we are reminded of the power of women’s movements to drive change. Time and again, the mobilization of women has proven pivotal to the advancement of human rights—especially sexual and reproductive rights.

The victories of the past year—from Argentina to South Africa—are a testament to this power. They tell a story of women’s resilience, determination, and hope. In Argentina, hundreds of thousands of women in green scarves created a “green wave” of protest, leading a historic campaign for abortion rights. In Kenya, women’s mass mobilization on social media led the Kenyan government to backtrack on its efforts to prevent Marie Stopes International from providing abortion services. In South Africa, survivors of violence called for a #TotalShutdown of rampant sexual harassment and abuse in the country. And in India, 2019 kicked off with millions of women coming together to create a “wall of women” against gender inequality.

This is a global day of activism and an opportunity to celebrate the strength and solidarity of women and girls. It is a powerful display of what women can accomplish when we stand together and present our demands.

The year 2019 marks IWHC’s 35th anniversary. Since our founding, we have nurtured the women’s movement, funding and supporting feminist organizations in more than 40 countries. Our work teaches us that collective action is the key to change.

Together with our peers, partners, and allies, we march because equality is within reach; because we, the women’s movement, are the most effective advocates for our rights.

We march for sexual and reproductive rights, for access to health care, for equality, and for justice.

We march against all forms of oppression that keep women and girls from living healthy, empowered lives.

We march because love is greater than hate; because diversity makes us stronger.

We march because change is never achieved alone. And, when we march, we are marching in step with our sisters across the world with one goal: human rights and equality for all.

Wherever you are, you can join us by sharing messages of strength and solidarity, by marching in your own community, or by supporting organizations that are fighting to advance women's health and rights every day. We encourage you to get involved in whatever way feels right to you. 

Download and Print Your Solidarity Poster

Display these messages of strength and sisterhood and show your commitment to stand up for women's health and human rights everywhere. PDFs are sized for 11x17 inch paper but can be printed at any size.

Watch: IWHC Partners Stand Together

The International Women's Health Coalition and our grantee partners in every region of the world stand together and with women and girls everywhere to uphold sexual and reproductive rights and fight oppression.

Join the Fight - Support Our Work

Your gift to IWHC will ensure that women and girls in every region of the world are funded, trained, and prepared to defend their rights and achieve their full potential. When you sign up to make a monthly donation, you'll become a Movement Builder and join a growing community of dedicated supporters that provide consistent support for our core programs and help us plan for the future.

Get Updates from IWHC

Stay up to date on the latest in the fight for women's rights and learn more about opportunities to take action.

Latest News

Circumspect Thoughts About Adult Circumcision

About a year ago, my colleague was in Swaziland and drove by this billboard promoting adult circumcision. Driving too quickly to do a double-take, she returned to the site later to confirm that she had read the the billboard correctly. Three African studies in 2006 showed that male circumcision could significantly reduce a man’s risk … Continued

Three Ways to Reduce the Burden of AIDS Caregiving on Women

The 53rd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is taking place at the United Nations from March 2-13. Every CSW has a theme; this year it is “the equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including caregiving in the context of HIV/AIDS” I represent Sonke Gender Justice, a South and Southern African non-governmental … Continued

Nigerian Government Denies Existence of LGBTQQI* People

Next Wednesday, March 11th, in Abuja, Nigeria, the National House of Assembly will hold a public hearing on the simply named “Same Gender Marriage Bill.” The intent of this law is to criminalize marriage between consenting adults of the same sex. The passage of this law, a narrower version of the law that failed to … Continued

If Men Died During Childbirth, the World Would Care

The most dangerous place in the world to be pregnant, an article which appeared yesterday in The Western Mail, hones in on Sierra Leone as the most dangerous place to deliver a child. There’s nothing exceptional about the story. It’s been written hundreds, probably thousands of times, with good reason. In the last twenty years, … Continued

UNAIDS sets new standards for universal access to prevention

The Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) has a new director, Michel Sidibé, who has outlined his plan for creating universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention and care. In every region of the world, more women are living with HIV than ever before. The international Women’s Health Coalition is the secretariat of the With Women … Continued

Indian Sex Workers Fight Penalization

After months of speculation and stress, sex workers rights advocates have reason to celebrate this International Sex Workers Rights Day. Last week, the Cabinet failed to approve an amendment to India’s Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Bill that would have further stigmatized sex workers by criminalizing the purchase of sexual services. This is a major victory for … Continued

Activist Embarrassment at the Beginning of CSW

Today begins the 53rd United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). I’ve spent a lot of the last week at a training that IWHC held for young advocates from Africa, Asia and Latin America (we had a couple from the US this year too, as part of a collaboration with the Girl Scouts), … Continued

School Can Change a Girl’s Life

I come from a village called Sathin, small city in western Rajasthan, India. I have heard my village has around 700 people,but I cannot say for certain because in my culture, girls are not allowed to go outside of their homes. My father is illiterate. My mother left school when she was 12 and was … Continued

Reproductive anatomy diagrams in Cameroun and Brazil

Teaching anatomy is one of the most fundamental pieces of comprehensive sexuality education. The naming of the parts begins pretty much as soon as a child starts to be aware of his or her body and wants to know “what’s this?” as she points to different body parts. This of course isn’t necessarily about genitals … Continued

IWHC's 2009 Advocacy in Practice Training

From February 26-28, the International Women’s Health Coalition hosted an Advocacy in Practice (AiP) training for fifteen youth activists from ten different countries. Since 2007, IWHC has held four AiP sessions, each of which coincided with an important conference or United Nations (UN) negotiation. In these sessions, we have trained over 60 advocates from 35 … Continued