How You Can Protect Women’s Rights in 2017

After the election, many women and minorities felt a range of emotions from fear to desperation to hopelessness. Now, though, is the time to act. We’ve had time to mourn, but it’s time make our voices heard and our opinions known. More than ever, men and women need to be vigilant and involved, engaged and persistent.

If you want to make sure women’s rights are protected in the new year (and beyond) here are concrete ways you can do so, with specific resources to help you.

Volunteer at an Organization That Serves Women

Many organizations aimed at helping marginalized groups are at risk under a Trump presidency. You can help protect these organizations and the work they do by providing your time and energy. Want to protect women’s reproductive rights? Volunteer at Planned Parenthood or NARAL Pro-Choice America. Or, you can volunteer for the National Sexual Assault Hotline to provide support for victims of sexual assault. You can also search for volunteer opportunities that suit your interests on Volunteer Match.

Donate to an Organization That Serves Women

If you want to put some of that holiday money you got to good use, there are many, many women’s rights organizations who could use your help. These organizations fight to protect and advance women’s rights or ensure women are able to get the help and support they deserve. Jezebel created a comprehensive list of excellent organizations that need help in the next year, as did Bustle, again and again.

Join an Organization That Serves Women

Are you seeing a pattern here? Good. There are many organizations you can join to protect women’s rights. You can even join local chapters to ensure women in your area are supported and protected. These organizations will provide you with further actions to take throughout the year. Join your local chapter of the National Organization for Women and get frequent action alerts and newsletters to stay up-to-date on issues in your area. The Younger Women’s Task Force works to amplify young women’s voices and help them collaborate with other women to make a difference. Or join another organization that suits your interests.

Promote Female Politicians or Run for Office Yourself

One important way to make sure women’s rights are protected is by making sure women are equally represented in government, which, currently, they’re not. If you’re tired of having a bunch of old, white men making decisions about women and their bodies then support female candidates. They don’t have to run for president; local politics are very important.

Or, run for public office yourself. Don’t convince yourself there are better, more qualified candidates out there than you. Remember, an utterly unqualified oompa loompa will be our next president. You’re more than qualified to run for local office.

Protest

Make your dissent known and join a protest. There are plenty happening on and around Inauguration Day to get you started. The Women’s March on Washington will take place the day after the inauguration, January 21, and will “serve to amplify the voices of women and minorities.

Pay Attention to Local Politics

You know all those terrible abortion restrictions happening across the country? Yeah, they’re happening at the local level. To stop them from happening, we have to pay more attention to politics on a local level. Anti-women politicians are able to sneak their discriminatory legislation into the books because no one is looking until it’s too late.

If you want information about the issues in your area and how to take action, sign up for Daily Actions. When you provide your phone number and zip code, you’ll receive a text message every work day with info about an issue in your area. Then, you’ll automatically be routed to the relevant representative.

Contact Your Representatives

Speaking of representatives, contact them! It is their job to represent your interests. Make those interests known. The most effective way to get your representatives to listen to you is to call, but you can also email and write letters. If enough people put pressure on their representatives to support women’s rights, we will be very hard to ignore.

Okay yes, you can also tweet, but please don’t just tweet. Not every member of government monitors their Twitter mentions as closely as Donald Trump.

Stand Up for Others

If you see women or other marginalized people being harassed in front of you, say something. Whether that’s some racist white woman yelling at innocent shoppers or a flight attendant kicking someone off a flight for speaking another language, say something. If you see a woman being harassed for wearing a hijab, stand up for her. Everyone has the right to be in a public space without experiencing harassment. You can stand up for those rights by speaking up when you’re a bystander.

Attend Local Political Meetings

Remember how I said local politics are important? Well there are many ways to get involved. Attend your local town hall meeting or school board meeting to make sure women and minorities are fairly represented. Join the PTA or local school board. Speak up at town hall meetings when women and minorities are being ignored. If you’re a man, make sure women’s voices and ideas are being heard and not talked over.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

74 comments

Marie W
Marie W8 months ago

Thanks for sharing!

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George L
George L8 months ago

thanks for posting!

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Chen Boon Fook
Chen Boon Fook9 months ago

Thanks

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Past Member
Past Member 9 months ago

noted

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Jess B
Jess B9 months ago

Thank you for the tips

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven9 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Olga Troyan
Olga Troyan9 months ago

Thank you for the tips.

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Deborah W
Deborah W9 months ago

More than ever, men AND women need to be vigilant and involved, engaged and persistent. WE combined are the change needed -- THE ONE FAMILY OF MAN, for good or bad. Which will it be ???

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Rhonda B
.9 months ago

Don't let Christen ISIS take over the USA!!!

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Siyus C
Siyus Copetallus9 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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