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Hundreds Of Women's Marches Planned Worldwide Saturday


People from across the country are in D.C. today to take part in the Women's March on Washington. And there are many others who would like to participate but just can't make the journey. So they are marching where they live. The website for the marchers estimates that there are 673 events that are taking place not just in the United States but around the world. We're going to check in on one of them. We're joined now by Brandi Calvert, who's organizing the women's march in Wichita, Kan. Ms. Calvert, thanks for being with us.

BRANDI CALVERT: Thank you for having me.

SIMON: And what made you want to organize your own march there in Wichita?

CALVERT: I wanted to take part in the march in Washington. And it wasn't feasible. We couldn't make it. And I thought, we have a voice here in Wichita. Why not do it here?

SIMON: What kind of...

CALVERT: Why not let our voice be heard?

SIMON: What kind of turnout are you getting?

CALVERT: Oh I wasn't expecting many people to pay attention. And I believe we are now over 1,700 and expect more.

SIMON: And what...

CALVERT: So it's pretty incredible.

SIMON: What kind of issues would you like to draw attention to?

CALVERT: Women's rights - to be viewed as human rights.

SIMON: Well...

CALVERT: I mean, there - we could be here all day, touching on all of the issues.

SIMON: We can take a minute or so. Tell us what's on your mind, please.

CALVERT: Violence against women and sexual assault in particular, especially regarding our college campuses. That's typically viewed as a PR problem instead of a human-rights problem. People do little to no jail time. I think we've seen that on national news. That's something for me. And everyone will be marching with their own torch for their own reason. And I have a now-20-year-old niece in college. And that's really scary to think about - that that would be viewed as more of a PR problem than keeping her protected.

SIMON: You mean a PR problem for the university, as opposed to a real human problem.

CALVERT: Correct.

SIMON: Yeah.

CALVERT: Correct. Yeah.

SIMON: What else would you like to - you have the public microphone now. What else would you like people to hear?

CALVERT: I think it is important for people to know that human rights is not a partisan issue. It is obviously a political issue. But it shouldn't be partisan. And if we can empower and educate and unify and keep the momentum of today going, I think love will win. I have seen on the news the rioting from yesterday. You can't fight hate with hate. You won't get anywhere.

SIMON: Yeah. I think that was a relatively small percentage of the people who had turned out, although, of course, you're right. You see...

CALVERT: Very small.

SIMON: ...Smashed windows and stuff. And that can be upsetting. Well, I want to thank you very much for being with us. Brandi Calvert is organizer of a women's march that's going to occur today in Wichita, Kan. Thank you so much for being with us, Ms. Calvert.

CALVERT: Thank you for having me. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.