Women's March

Kris Hoffman, Mary Arave and Helen Fisher take a selfie with the crowd behind them that gathered at the Idaho Women’s March on Jan. 21, 2017, in downtown Boise. The 2020 march takes place on the steps of the state Capitol on Saturday.

BOISE — At the first Idaho Women’s March in 2017, over 5,000 people flooded the streets of Boise to bring awareness to women’s rights. It was one of dozens of marches around the country to coincide with the national Woman’s March in Washington, D.C.

Event organizers are again expecting a big turnout for Saturday’s Idaho Women’s March.

While this year’s event will still be held on the same day as the national march, event organizers are planning to shake things up a little bit. The event is being run by Idaho Voice, a nonprofit organization focused on civic engagement and voter rights in Idaho.

Paulette Jordan, former candidate for Idaho governor and chairwoman of Idaho Voice, will serve as the master of ceremonies for the event. For Jordan, the event is about giving a voice to the voiceless.

“You’re going to see a lot of people there who are tired of the way things are going,” Jordan told the Idaho Press. “It’s a nonpartisan event, with support coming from men and women, right and left aisle.”

Holly Cook, spokeswoman for the march, explained that another major difference in this year’s event is that it will be a march in name only. According to her, it will be more of a rally than anything, taking place at the steps of the Capitol building.

The theme for this year’s march is “Demonstrating the power of Idaho women in our democracy,” according to Cook. A fitting theme for 2020, as this year makes the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote across the United States.

Apart from Jordan, the event will feature around a dozen other speakers from various government and activist organizations around Idaho to speak about “equality, tolerance and the empowerment of women,” according to a press release about the event.

“These speakers are designed to inspire young women,” Jordan said. “To help them find mentors and to build relationships.”

Those relationships are key, Jordan says. Quoting a study by finance site WalletHub, which appeared in the Idaho Statesman in August 2018, Jordan said Idaho has consistently done poorly in supporting its women. The study ranked Idaho 49th in the country for women’s equality, based on 16 metrics related to workplace environment, political empowerment and education and health, the Statesman reported.

Jordan wants Saturday’s event to be a chance to inspire women to stand up for themselves.

“We need to honor barrier breakers,” she said.

The event is also sponsored by the city of Boise. Music will be provided by a group of young women from the Boise Rock School.

* Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the following correction: The name of the nonprofit organizing the event is Idaho Voice. An earlier version of the story included the wrong name.

Ashley Miller is the Digital Editor for the Idaho Press. You can reach her at amiller@idahopress.com. Follow her on twitter @aminboise.

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