Cuenca women protest against sexual discrimination and Donald Trump

Jan 22, 2017 | 43 comments

Text and photos by Fernando Pagés

A crowd of about 70 joined worldwide women’s rights demonstrations Saturday in Cuenca, many of them protesting the positions of new U.S. President Donald Trump.

Ana Gvozdić from Bosnia address the crowd.

Gathered in front of Iglesia San Sebastian in San Sebastian Plaza, women took turns telling stories of how discrimination had impacted their lives. Ana Gvozdić, a young women from Bosnia, spoke about the machismo culture in her homeland, and praised the “Ni Una Menos” movement in Argentina for fighting femicide.

Older women told stories of their struggles to obtain advanced degrees and to overcome the obstacles they faced advancing in male-dominated professions.

Laura Nelson, one of the organizers of the Cuenca demonstration, spoke of her experience becoming a commercial airline pilot in Colorado in 1973. When her flight instructor gave her her pilot’s license, it bore the message: “There’s no place for a woman in the cockpit, but I find no reason not to give you this license.”

Laura Nelson tells her story.

In the United States, where an estimated five million participated, organizers tried to keep the marches and demonstrations apolitical, focused on women’s issues.

“This is first and foremost a pro-women’s event, not an anti-Trump event,” said Ana Espinoza, one of the participants at San Sebastian. “We cannot control what Donald Trump does but we can control our own lives.”

For more about Saturday’s event, click here.

Part of the crowd in San Sebastian Plaza Saturday.

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