Women in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon stand up in support of women’s rights around the world.
Millions have gathered around the world, including in the Middle East, in a display of support for women on US President Donald Trump’s first day in office.
The Women’s March on Washington started as a Facebook event which aimed to send a clear message to the new administration: Women’s rights are human rights.
The event quickly went viral, and led to the formation of more than 670 sister marches worldwide, which took place on Saturday, January 21 across countries including Iraq, Kenya, Australia and Japan.
Organisers are estimating a global turnout of at least 4.7 million people, who took to the streets to protest the 45th President of the United States’ controversial stance on women’s rights, reproductive rights and immigration, along with some of his misogynistic comments about women.
Marches in the US in particular attracted some star attendees, including Emma Watson, Madonna, Alicia Keys and Scarlett Johansson.
But what about closer to home? Well, there were three official sister events planned across the Middle East; in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. Here’s what we know about what took place.
Erbil: Women’s March on Iraq
A group of demonstrators in Iraqi Kurdistan, both locals and expats, met at the Erbil Main Square Citadel on Saturday night to show their support for women’s rights.
— Ivana Chapcakova (@chapcaki) January 21, 2017
— Raveen Aujmaya (@raveenaujmaya) January 21, 2017
Riyadh: Saudi Women Rise
More than 800 women planned to gather at the Riyadh Marriott Hotel on Saturday morning, however, the official Saudi Arabia march got off to a rough start when its website was hacked.
“Actions like this reiterate how imperative it is for this message to get out there; and we intend to continue marching to ensure this message is not silenced,” organisers wrote in a Facebook post.
Beirut: Day of Action
A women-led event consisting of dialogue and action workshops was held in Lebanon in lieu of a public rally.
“We want to create links between existing networks and feminist/anti-oppression actions in Beirut, show solidarity with Washington and women around the world, and take action as individuals and as a collective,” organisers said.
— Jennifer Nish (@jennifernish) January 21, 2017
— Amber Parkes (@AmberParkes) January 21, 2017
Image: Ivana Chapcakova/Twitter