Buffalo joins International Women's Day demonstrations

Mar 9, 2017

International Women's Day protestors marched from Buffalo City Hall to Tupper Street Wednesday, seeking a variety of legal changes and more equality in hiring and promotions.

"Women power, with pride, women power, with pride...," protestors chanted as they marched.

Nationally, theya are concerned about past accomplishments being lost through action by the new administration in Washington, in particular, potentially cutting back on women's health assistance and contraception.

Locally, University at Buffalo Law School Professor Tara Melish is among those pushing for an annual gender analysis of hiring and promotions in City Hall.

"Looking at the gender impact of all policies that are taken by all agencies and departments and then, on the basis of that gender analysis, to then put together a plan of action on how we are going to address the gender inequities that are identified through the data-driven gender analysis," she said.

Melish said it is not clear how badly women are doing because there is a lot of data that is not released.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown spoke to the protestors at City Hall, telling them his administration is looking at the proposal and that he is hiring and promoting women.

"We have hired the most women under my administration than ever in the history of the City of Buffalo," he said to applause. "We have also promoted women to many leadership positions, many board positions and we will continue to do that."

Ellie Dorritie, with the Worker's World Party, arranged the protest to pitch the group's messages to commuters.

"This is an opportunity for people who are headed out to the suburbs to participate in a way that they might not have expected they be able to when demonstration happens on a very important day," she said. "And, this way, they can honk to their heart's content. They can read all the signs."

Dorritie said the protestors were concerned about issues from health care to refugees to LGBTQ issues.