On the 3rd of March 1913, before President Woodrow Wilson's inauguration, several thousand women marched in Washington DC on Pennsylvania Avenue. The suffragettes rode horses and carried flags and slogans in front of a large crowd that had gathered to witness the inauguration of the new president of the United States. What they witnessed instead was a historical women's protest, a milestone for a revolution as the women's right to vote was eventually obtained.
Just over 100 years later, on the 21st of January 2017, the day after the inauguration of the infamous President Donald Trump, Washington will witness another Women's March. The organisers estimate there will be 200,000 participants in Washington, and similar marches will take place in every state in the USA, as well as several countries around the world. So is it a protest – or a milestone for another revolution?
The exhausting and toxic US presidential campaign ended up with Donald Trump's victory. The showman, dirty businessman and populist who was at first taken as a reality star joke is actually taking one of the most important seats in international politics.
Donald Trump mocks people with disabilities, insults Latin American, Black and Muslim communities. He wants to expel migrants, build a wall on Mexico's border and become Putin's friend. He sees women as sex objects and "grabs them by the pussy".
Trump's win is a detonator for the Women's March on Washington and yet it is much more than an anti-Trump protest. The organisers state that the goal of the march is to promote equality, human rights and show solidarity to marginalised groups.
"The Women's March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world, that women's rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us," it is stated on the official website of the event.
The initial idea of the large inauguration-related protest was the anti-Trump resentment, as the night after Donald Trump won the elections, a Hawaiian woman, Rebecca Shook made a Facebook post expressing her disappointment and called women to march on Washington during Inauguration Day. Within 24 hours, more than 10,000 people expressed their will to join such an event out of fear for the future and the beginning of dark times in politics.
And yet, the scale of the event, unexpected for the organisers, not only reveals the anti-Trump sentiments of many Americans, it also reveals something else. Indeed, the Women's March will take place in around 200 cities in 80 countries, from Vancouver to Tokyo, from London to Cape Town. This may be the proof that Trump's win is not the reason of the future bad state of our world, but rather already its result.
On the 21st of January the world will rise in response to the rotten system and its gigantic gap between the governing elites and citizens. It will rise up against the populism that poisons the US and Europe with hate and divisions. And it will rise up against the violence and bloodshed of jihadis and other radicals moved by dogmas. The world will rise up against its status quo.
If many considered Trump's victory, as well as the Brexit and the general rise of populist movements, to be a sign of a majority rejecting an old world order and governments who do not respond to people's needs, the worldwide Women's March must be considered as a sign that populists and the far-right - with their old ideas - are not a solution for the deceived. Populists are popular only before they get to govern, before they get the power to affect people's lives.
And yet, this worldwide uprising is not named the People's March, as some proposed, but the Women's March. Indeed, it could not have another name. The old system and the old world is the world of men, of exclusion based on gender, of different social roles imposed on us according to which sex we are born as. It is this men's world that is represented today by the far-right movements and parties like the 5-star movement, Pegida, UKIP, FPÖ and even the female led Front National that nevertheless targets women and their rights.
Trump's victory will be a historical social failure not just because a disgusting personality obtained the presidential chair (as he is not the first one in the US to do so), but because he took a seat that could be taken by the first female president of the US.
Trump's win amidst the worldwide wave of political movements represents a certain revival of the strength of the patriarchal culture that many feminists today have to be ready to oppose. This is the call we attempted to share to the women of the world when my FEMEN comrades in Spain posed at Trump's waxwork as we called to "grab patriarchy by the balls"
It is our time to speak out, not theirs. Our protests and marches must become the wall against their ideas, and that wall should not have "a beautiful door". It is time for women to speak out loud for themselves, to defend themselves and fight the fact that their rights are being taken away from them, even in 2017.
If a revolution can happen, it must happen under Women's name. Don't 3.5 billion members of the world population finally deserve their own revolution? Let the Women's March on Washington, on London, Paris, Helsinki, Nairobi, Singapore, Sidney and elsewhere become the milestone of the women's revolution our society needs.
Let this day become the inauguration of the fight for a new world. And let this inauguration overshadow the inauguration of Donald Trump, who represents the old world we do not want to live in. There is no more effective cure of social crisis than women's empowerment.
Inna Shevchenko is leader of the feminist protest group FEMEN.