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Women prepare to march in Seneca Falls a year later

From the 2017 march held in Seneca Falls.
Greg Cotterill
From the 2017 march held in Seneca Falls.

This weekend, women will be marching all over the nation in the name of equality. Reverend Leah Ntuala is  pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Seneca Falls and one of the organizers for a Women’s March happening in Seneca Falls on Saturday. She says it’s time to check in since last year and ensure all women are being heard and advocated for.

“We want people to be there,” she said. “We realize that feminism is not defined exactly the same for every single person and part of being a feminist is about making sure that the doors of opportunity are open not all being exactly the same.”

The Seneca Falls march is being called “per-Sisters for Women's Equality.” It’s a play on the word persist and was designed by Auburn artist Sandra Shutter who also created the march’s logo. It attempts to convey that women of all backgrounds can come together as sisters to fight for equality.

Some of these marches have been criticized for their lack of diversity but Ntuala says they are organizing the rally with all women in mind.

“We’ve tried to get a variety of speakers to speak on each of the topics we’ve indicated that we want to make sure we lift up. So disability rights, getting someone to speak about that, how they’ve changed and what they are. Same with LGBTQIA. We’ve tried to get a diverse group of speakers,” she said. These speakers can share their experiences with women who have no knowledge of these issues. But they also often bring their own audience- people who care about the same issue and are excited to see it elevated to the women’s march agenda.

The march will start Saturday morning Women’s Right National Historic Park, loop past the First Presbyterian Church where the Equal Rights Amendment was proposed, past the National Women’s Hall of Fame and end at Seneca Falls Recreation park. Ntuala says it’s meant to inspire women for the upcoming year of fighting for equality as well as reflect on the many battles that sprang up during the course of the year.

According to the rally’s Facebook page, more than 16,000 people are interested though Ntuala expects closer to 6,000. She said she knows people are tired but this just underscores the need for “per-Sisters.”

“I’ve heard recently people feeling exhausted about how aware they have to be and how exhausting that is. But being able to turn that off is a privilege. Not to have think about it is a privilege,” she said.

For more information head to their Facebook page. The entire rally will be recorded professionally and details of that video will be posted there. The march starts at 10 a.m. Saturday.