LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Lansing to encourage women to get involved in the political system.

Phoebe Hopps is the organizer of the “Power to the Polls” rally and she says women face unique challenges when running for office.

“Often times women candidates will be asked questions that they would never ask male candidates … how they were going to balance work, life and children … you’d never ask a guy about that when he’s running for office. So, there is some bias and we’re looking to overcome that,” said Hopps.

The rally — on the steps of the Capitol building — is part of a nationwide effort to encourage women to become more politically involved.

Democratic candidate for governor Gretchen Whitmer was among those addressing attendees at the rally.

“When there is not a single person of color, when there is not a single person who is a woman sitting at the table of powers at our Capitol — do we just hope that maybe that will change one day?” asked Witmer. The crowd chanting, “No. We go to work.”

“When the guys in Lansing, and I mean the guys, keep attacking our right to reproductive choice and freedom. Do we just give up?”

“No,” was the reply again, “We go to work.”

Right now, women make up less than 25 percent of the Michigan legislature.

Around the country people marched in masses to voice their message.

Some early arrivers at the Las Vegas women’s march, which is launching a voter drive and targeting swing states like Nevada, say they’re happy to be part of history.

Organizers hope the rally will recruit candidates to push back against the Trump administration and promote issues important to women, progressives and those feeling marginalized by the president’s policies.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Sam Boyd Stadium, which holds 40,000 people, was about a quarter-full by late morning Sunday.
Among the crowd was Paula Beaty, who wore a women’s suffrage outfit from early 1900s.
The tech worker from Durham, North Carolina says women’s rights have been eroded with President Donald Trump in office.

3:40 p.m.
Protesters have gathered near the Eiffel Tower to rally against sexual misconduct and sex discrimination in solidarity with women’s marches marking the anniversary of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Heavy rain fell in Paris during the event on Sunday, which could have been a factor in the small number of participants compared to the marches in the United States on Saturday.
Maggie Kan was one of the more than one hundred people who didn’t let the rain and cold deter them.
Kan told The Associated Press: “It doesn’t matter if the weather is like this. We’re still coming together, and we’re going to still fight against Trump and his agenda.”
Some of the slogans on posters raised at the Paris rally read “Sorry for the inconvenience, we are trying to change the world” and “Look back, march forward.”

2:35 p.m.
Thousands of people have rallied in cities across Australia to support women’s rights and show solidarity with those marching elsewhere around the globe.
The largest march was held in Sydney, with thousands gathered in the city’s Hyde Park on Sunday carrying signs with politically charged messages such as “If you’re not angry you’re not paying attention.”
Smaller marches also drew hundreds in Melbourne and Brisbane.
Melbourne march organizer Melissa Goffin said: “I think last year was that watershed moment of President Trump’s election.” She added: “It’s a new era of feminism.”

2:20 p.m.
Thousands of people have turned out in central London despite sleet and snow to show solidarity with women around the world in demanding equality, justice and an end to harassment.
Demonstrators chanted across from British Prime Minister Theresa May’s office on Sunday with placards reading “We Are Powerful” and “Time’s Up” to mark the anniversary of U.S. President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Marches supporting of female empowerment, several of them massive, also took place on Saturday.
The international events come at a time of reckoning for many men in Hollywood, media and other industries as women speak out about sexual misconduct in the workplace.
In a statement before the London march, activists said they were “coming together to pledge that we are going to make change in big and small ways.”

 

© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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