Nearly 5000 women gathered at the Women's Convention, "Reclaiming Our Time", in Detroit to discuss some of the most pressing women's issues and strategies to build strength and resilience.
The Convention held at Detroit's Cobo center was a part of the historic Women's March on Washington. And it comes at a time when a vast majority of women are taking a stance against sexual harassment and the U.S President's "war on women", which includes his anti-abortion stance as just one of many issues.
One of the many remarkable things about this convention was its intersectionality and inclusive nature, as opposed to the Women's March on Washington in January, which was heavily criticized for not being inclusive enough and for giving a platform to anti-choice groups, among others, thus dissolving the cause altogether.
The convention that spanned three days, starting Oct. 27 was funded by Planned Parenthood. It opened with a celebration of Indigenous women.
The overarching focus of the event was training, voter turnout and networking ahead of the 2018 U.S. midterm elections. Among many events such as "Crimmigration : Fighting the prison and the Detention Industrial Complex," "Lawyering up for Gender Equity in the Age of Trump. "Confronting White Womanhood" was deemed as one of the most popular events with two of the three speakers on the panel being white. The event heavily attended by white women had sessions on issues like "white saviorism," among others.
Many key speakers took a jab at the U.S. President, with the crowds chanting "Impeach 45!" referring to Donald Trump, who is the 45th U.S. president.
“Now we need the work and the movement,” Linda Sarsour, a lead organizer of the Women’s March, said in her address.
Maxine Waters, a Democrat U.S. Representative for California, who delivered the keynote address, said, (Trump’s behavior) "sends a message to men and young boys out there that if the president of the United States can get away with it, so can I."
"We’re waging our own war against rape and sexual harassment," addressing the ongoing Harvey Weinstein debacle, she added. "We’re waging a war against the perverts who believe we can be misused or exploited in the interests of a job, or recognition, or even so-called love."
Waters also acknowledged that the "Me Too" campaign has been instrumental in making the personal political as it has helped women shed light on an epidemic-like issue of sexual harassment.
"We’ve learned that it's not only Hollywood actresses and entertainers who have been targeted and assaulted by such perverted and disgusting people,” she said.
Women in the roles of politicians, nurses and in the military "have now boldly come forward with their own Me Too stories," Waters added.