The Women’s March suffers from an identity problem.
This problem has plagued the Women’s March since its launch in January 2017 following the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Was it one big anti-Trump protest? A platform for the Democratic party? Or was it a legitimate attempt to unite all women? Organizers, supporters, and the media couldn’t seem to agree. But with each passing year, it’s become more and more clear: Despite its claims of “inclusivity,” the Women’s March has no interest in representing, celebrating, and defending the rights of all women.
First it was pro-life women (and the unborn) who were given the boot. Then prominent conservative women disappeared. As one conservative female columnist put it at the time, “The issues we feel are important as women do not meet the litmus test that feminists and progressives have staked out on behalf of our entire gender.”
Now in its third year, the Women’s March is back in the headlines—this time over stunning revelations of deep anti-Semitism among Women’s March national leaders. As a result, many prominent voices have called for new leadership for the Women’s March, while others have ended their involvement with the March entirely.
In just a few years of existence, the Women’s March has managed to publicly alienate and reject millions of women.
In fact, if you compare the original Women’s March Guiding Vision and Definition of Principles from 2017 with what appears on the March’s website today, you might notice that the phrase “all women” is now noticeably changed to just “women.”
Coincidence? Typo? I doubt it.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of non-partisan issues facing all women that the Women’s March could focus on if it truly wanted to be inclusive. Religious freedom is a big one. It continues to be a serious issue facing women in the U.S. and around the world, with numerous examples of women experiencing government harassment, abuse, and even punishment for practicing their faith.
That’s why organizations like Alliance Defending Freedom and ADF International are standing with women who are fighting for religious freedom.
None of the women listed below would likely be welcome to share their story at the national—or even a local—Women’s March. So today, we’re giving their stories a platform and speaking out on behalf of freedom for all women.
The Vulnerable Women that Downtown Hope Center Serves
The city of Anchorage is investigating Downtown Hope Center because it offers a safe overnight shelter only to biological women. Most of the women the Hope Center serves are survivors of rape, sex trafficking, or domestic abuse. They need and deserve a safe place to sleep—and that’s what the Hope Center offers them. It’s appalling that the city of Anchorage would even consider forcing these women to sleep or disrobe mere feet from a man. And it’s unacceptable that the city would target the Hope Center for operating consistently with its faith—the very faith that inspires it to serve these women.
In their rush to push religious beliefs out of the public square, Anchorage officials are pushing these women out in the cold. ADF has filed a lawsuit to protect the shelter and the vulnerable women it serves.
Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski of Brush & Nib Studio
As Joanna and Breanna were starting their calligraphy and hand-painting business, they kept seeing news reports about the government forcing Christians in the wedding industry to celebrate same-sex wedding ceremonies. These young entrepreneurs soon realized they could be next. Right now, the City of Phoenix interprets its law to compel Joanna and Breanna to create custom artwork expressing messages that violate their core beliefs. The punishment for violating that law? Each day they do not comply means up to six months in jail, $2,500 in fines, and three years of probation.
Joanna and Breanna have fought against this injustice all the way to the Arizona Supreme Court. There is a lot on the line—not just for these two artists, but for anyone who believes Americans should be free to live and work consistently with their faith.
German Homeschooling Mom Petra Wunderlich
All Petra Wunderlich wanted was the best for her children. At home, she and her husband could emphasize the aspects of learning they most wanted their youngsters to appreciate—and they could ground that education in their deep Christian faith. That was not something a German public school could offer their family. But Petra soon learned just how many rights parents don’t have in Damstadt, Germany when one day the State showed up and took their four children away.
Last week, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that German authorities did not violate the Wunderlich’s rights when they forcibly removed the children from the family’s home and left their legal status in limbo after returning them.
Washington Floral Artist Barronelle Stutzman
When Rob Ingersoll, a longtime friend and customer, walked into Barronelle’s flower shop one day and asked her to help him celebrate his same-sex wedding, she respectfully chose to follow her conscience. She led him to a quiet part of her shop, took his hand in her own, and gently told him that she couldn’t do what he asked because of her faith. She then referred him to three other floral artists who she knew would do a good job for him. Rob said that he understood, and they hugged before he left the shop. Soon after, the Washington attorney general read about what happened on Facebook. He decided Barronelle needed to be punished—so he sued her. Then the ACLU joined in and sued her as well.
Barronelle is now at risk of losing everything she owns just because she wants to live and work consistently with her faith. But she continues to fight. It’s not just her own religious freedom on the line—it’s yours too. If it can happen to a sweet grandmother like Barronelle, it can happen to any of us.