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Mexican Women’s Day march: facing the bully together

The crowd at the International Women's Day march in Mexico City listens to mothers speak about their missing children. (Regina López/YJI)

MEXICO CITY – It’s a unique and strange kind of pain to know there’s something really wrong with the world and particularly in your country. It’s similar to a lifelong bully you have to face every day, but for your safety you must not fight. 

Each year, on March 8, thousands of women from Mexico City come together to demand what are supposed to be their birthrights. 

Women chanting at the march. (Regina López/YJI)

According to calculations by the government, this year, 180,000 women walked down the Reforma street to the Zócalo, the main square of Mexico City’s downtown. Usually they go to the march as part of contingents so they can look after each other. 

A lot of women attending are not in any way related, but for this day we were all marching, chanting and hoping for something to change.

The march went on as usual, everybody was chanting and moving forward, then the girls in the front started to lift their fists, which means to be quiet.

Women hold their fists in the air, indicating to those behind them that there is a moment of silence. (Regina López/YJI)
A little girl at the march. (Regina López/YJI)

A loud voice told the crowd to get down. 

The purple sea of people got down to the floor while their fists stayed up.

A girl had gone missing and her mom was looking for her. Different voices started yelling her name: “Berenice! Berenice!” 

Five-year-old Berenice was found a couple of minutes later. It served as a reminder to everyone of the reason we were there.

We’re there so every girl feels safe among a crowd and for every girl who is missing to come home safe. 

According to the national General Attorney Office, between 10 and 11 women were victims of femicide every day in Mexico in 2023. That translates to thousands of girls who also went missing and didn’t come home.

The National Palace, located inside the Zócalo, is where the president and Mexico’s political authorities work. This is the main reason why different demonstrations take place outside of it.

A moment of silence in front of the Latino tower. (Regina López/YJI)

Groups of women came together and listened to each other tell personal stories, sometimes opening up about the traumas that they typically keep inside.

Dancers, musicians and artists expressed their struggles in different ways. Mothers looking for their missing children gave speeches and demanded justice for them and their families.

You don’t realize when you’re doing it how many things you lock inside you. I would describe the march as a safe space to scream and for once to have others listen and understand what you’ve been through.

“Pretty, but never quiet.” (Regina López/YJI)

Almost everyone present has been through something and almost everyone has a specific memory in their heads constantly reminding them why they’re there. 

The march is a chance to fight and to face the common bully together.

As one of the many signs read, “I have always been brave, but now I have decided not to be quiet.”

A young marcher. (Regina López/YJI)

Regina López is a Senior Correspondent with Youth Journalism International.

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