Women in town for steelworkers conference rally in Downtown Pittsburgh
March 8, 2016 8:46 PM
Elizabeth Vargas, left, of Local 1010, Arlene Allen of Local 434 and Maria England of Local 5613 rally on International Women’s Day as part of the annual Women of Steel conference. The United Steelworkers (USW) Local 3657 organized the rally.
The United Steelworkers (USW) Local 3657 organized a rally on International Women’s Day as part of the annual Women of Steel conference in downtown Pittsburgh tonight.
By Dan Majors / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Hundreds of women in town for a steelworkers conference Tuesday night staged an impromptu rally Downtown to call attention to issues of gender equality.
The women, many of whom were wearing pink hardhats and carrying signs, are here for the United Steelworkers International Women's Conference at the Wyndham Hotel.
Inspired by the occasion of International Women's Day and unseasonably nice weather, the women were joined by a number of men and young people in Point State Park at 6 p.m. They then walked along the sidewalks of the Boulevard of the Allies to the courtyard outside Point Park University at Wood Street where they gathered to hear four speakers using a megaphone briefly address pay inequity and the importance of maternity leave for working women.
"When women rise, families rise and communities rise," one speaker said.
A dozen Pittsburgh police officers, caught unaware by the rally, accompanied the marchers and redirected some traffic to ensure order and safety. The event lasted less than half an hour.
Organizers Maria Soma and Linda Deane said the group did not have the permission of the university to rally, but it seemed like the perfect place.
"It's important that these young women and men who are students here know about the real issues that working women face," Ms. Deane said. "If we don't solve it now, then they will face these same issues."
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