Activists unite at Women’s March Sydney’s choral event

Citizens of Sydney can’t keep quiet about women’s rights as the global fight for equality gains momentum.

At 1pm, on April 8th, over one hundred men, women and children united in song at Sydney’s Hickson Park Reserve to raise a voice to women worldwide. Australian singer/songwriter ILUKA, a proud ambassador for women’s rights, lead multiple community choirs, and other activists as a part of the snap action rally, singing ‘Quiet’ by Los Angeles artist MILCK.

Sydney was the first of many cities to participate in the global action, #ICANTKEEPQUIET. Co-founder of Women’s March Sydney, Kate Taylor, worked with her team of co-founders and volunteers to pull the event together in just two weeks –

Women in music really stepped up and said “Yes I want to speak out about my feminism”. We’ve been really inspired by all people’s responses to the question of why they can’t keep quiet’.

The event symbolizes Sydney’s support for the Women’s March movement and the organisation itself. Choirs around the world from Berlin, to Hong Kong, to New York (with MILCK herself) were involved in the project. Ms Taylor says Women’s March Global has united women and feminists from around the world. ‘In addition to being able to share things through the media, we’ve also got personal connections now, and that’s what helps events like today come about’.

The song, originally performed by MILCK and a small choir in January at the Washington Women’s Rally, has become an unofficial anthem of Women’s March. It is an uplifting ballad that confronts MILCK’s own experiences of depression, abuse and oppression, issues that many women can relate to. Empowerment is at the heart of this hauntingly beautiful song, a feeling that Women’s March volunteer, Amber Loomis, says is at the centre of revolution –

‘I think empowerment is really important, and that’s what makes change’.

For women’s rights activist Kimmie Neidhardt, the #ICANTKEEPQUIET movement is more important than ever before. ‘I used to not really give a shit, and then I became a mother, and just four days ago my four-year-old daughter told me that men were more powerful than women and it upset me so much, and it kind of made me see her future go downhill right before my eyes’.

Hearing this inspired her to attend the event with her partner and their daughter, but her experience in a male-dominated workplace, in which she is part of the 3% of female senior creatives, has showed her just how uneducated and unaware many individuals are about the oppression of women.

Events like this have inspired many cities, communities and individuals from around the world not to keep quiet, and to speak up about the oppression and inequality they deal with on a daily basis. As well as the effects these issues have upon their lives. It is paramount that we, as a society of all ages and genders, bind together to remove the stigma of previously tabooed subjects, and to remove the rigid structure and ideals placed upon women. As Ms Neidhardt says,  ‘I think this is a massive social movement that’s taken huge steps forward in the past year or so, and in twenty years from now we’ll be really happy to have been part of it and it wont even be discussed anymore – I really hope that’s true’.