Hundreds of people packed the grounds in front of the B.C. Legislature on Saturday as they united for a common cause.

“I want to actively support women’s rights in society,” said supporter Malcolm Coulter. “I think women still are unfortunately second class citizens in our society and we need to change that.”

“We just want to have women stand in solidarity with one another,” said volunteer Shay Lynn Sampson who was part of the organizing group.

Carrying signs with slogans on a wide range of issues, supporters came out in droves to the annual Women’s March in Victoria.

Organizers stated how violence against women is an epidemic in Canada affecting more than half of all women.

“Indigenous women in Canada face a disproportionate amount of violence, so it’s really important to be here and to add our voices to the conversation,” said Hillary Ronald with the Victoria International Development Education Association.

The march is part of a day of action worldwide, drawing more than 10,000 supporters to places like Washington and Seattle.

In Canada, thousands attended rallies in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver demanding the advancement of the rights of women and other vulnerable groups.

“Marginalized communities and vulnerable people are being attacked and now more than ever it’s really important for people to show up and fight back,” explained supporter Kavita Dogra.

“I see the violence that happens to our trans women,” said protester Charlotte Nolin.  “I was a victim of the violence two years ago and I think it’s sad time that people started realizing that we’re here to stay.”

In Victoria, political leaders praised the actions of previous generations who fought to strengthen women’s rights but said the fight for equality is far from over.

“The rights that have been hard won and hard fought are never secure if we take them for granted,” explained Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.

People of all different generations and genders marched to Centennial Square in solidarity.

“More men should be standing up and defending women in our society,” Coulter explained.

Standing as one around the world so their message is heard in the fight for a better tomorrow.

Ceilidh Millar