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Thousands march in Augusta for women's rights

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AUGUSTA (WGME) -- One year after the historic march on Washington, thousands of men and women marched in Augusta to stand up for women's rights.

Organizers say that the movement is a chance for people to come together and talk about ways to bring about a change to gender inequality, and to get more women motivated to run for office.

"2018 is already being called the year of the women, and that's because women are stepping up. They're stepping up in their towns, their communities, they're getting ready to run for office in unprecedented numbers, and they're going to win," said Emily Cain, Executive Director of Emily's List.

Emily's List, not named after Cain, is a political nonprofit that supports women who want to run for political office.

"When we look at the past year, the story hasn't been about a reckless president, but rather, about the strength and perseverance of women who stood up to raise their hands and say Me Too, and turn that to action," she said.

Women in the crowd say they marched for a variety of issues.

"I believe Maine women are incredibly strong and powerful, and have helped to build this state. We need to talk more about healthcare, and women can do that," said M.J. Viano-Crowe.

"I think property taxes and the environment are important," said Caitlin Hills.

The Augusta March included speeches from politicians such as State Speaker of the House Sara Gideon (D), a women who relied on DACA, and a transgender woman. Those in attendance say it was powerful to see so many wonderful women and men in attendance.

"I really hope that this is an empowering event for men and women. I want people to leave here thinking about what they can do to change the course of history," said Linda Garson-Smith.

The event concluded with a march from the entrance of the state house, around capitol park, and back to the state house. Speakers at the event say that this rally will symbolize the importance of the change they're fighting for.

"We're here, by the thousands in Maine and across the whole country to say that we haven't gone away we have only gotten stronger," said Cain.

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