Around 50 supporters of women’s rights on diverse issues made their presence known late Saturday morning in a sidewalk march from 8th to 12th Street in downtown Anniston.
The Women’s March was just one of many held in cities around the country Saturday to bring attention to issues such as reproductive rights and equal pay in the workplace compared to men. The Calhoun County contingent for this effort began their march at the Calhoun County Democratic Party headquarters at 8th and Noble and went north to the Federal Building.
Men, women, and children alike donned their Ruth Bader Ginsberg shirts or “my body — my choice” signs and geared up to march along Noble Street in support of women’s rights.
National women’s rights activist Lilly Ledbetter was there to pump up the crowd and serve as a beacon of motivation for those marching. Ledbetter is nationally known as a strong force in the fight for closing the pay gap between women and men. Huntsville marchers had invited Ledbetter to be with them, too, but she agreed to speak at Anniston’s march.
“I’m fired up today” Ledbetter said, bringing about boisterous applause.
Ledbetter said in 1963, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was signed, but in 1998 she still was not receiving equal pay at the company she worked at.
“Nobody enforced it,” Ledbetter said. “Just because you get a bill on the books don’t mean you’re treated fairly.”
Ledbetter’s words rang through the party headquarters hall as she spoke of the sight of the bus burning, echoing the words of Hobson City Mayor Alberta McCrory.
“We stand on the shoulders of great women and men,” McCrory said, taking note of women such as Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who all fought against injustices of their era. McCrory said these women and men have done quite a bit of work to make sure women have rights, and it is women’s duty to make sure they protect and exercise those rights.
“Let us come together to work for the change that we need to work for,” McCrory said.