Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

The organizers helped "galvanize a potent global movement to resist infringements on the rights and dignity of women and many other groups." (Photo: Getty)

The Resistance Is Female: PEN to Honor Women's Marches With Courage Award

Marches were 'an assertion of human rights and an exercise of free speech in the broadest possible sense,' PEN president said

Nadia Prupis

The global women's marches that took place after President Donald Trump's election will receive the Freedom of Expression Courage Award from PEN America, the literary organization that champions human rights.

PEN announced on Wednesday that "The Women's March" has won the PEN/Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award. Bob Bland, a woman who helped organize and served as a co-chair of the march, will accept the prize on behalf of the movement at PEN's literary gala on April 25 in New York.

"The Women's March began as a quixotic idea shared with friends on Facebook. In the hands of 99.9 percent of people, it would have ended there, as a pipe dream. But Bob Bland and the group of women who joined her forged a powerful, diverse coalition that worked with immense drive to win over skeptics and build the support of an extraordinarily broad coalition of which PEN America became part," said Suzanne Nossel, executive director of PEN America.

PEN also praised co-organizers and co-chairs Tamika D. Mallory, Carmen Perez, and Linda Sarsour for helping to "galvanize a potent global movement to resist infringements on the rights and dignity of women and many other groups."

Andrew Solomon, PEN America president, added that the march "demonstrated the power of women and, in turn, the power of the vast diversity that is America. It was an assertion of human rights and an exercise of free speech in the broadest possible sense."

Indeed, as at least one recent poll discovered, the resistance—to paraphrase a popular feminist slogan—is female.

A survey by Lake Research Polling found that middle-aged women make up a huge proportion of the Trump resistance movement. Of the more than 28,000 people who take part in civic engagement through an app called Daily Action, 86 percent are women, and 66 percent were over the age of 45—with 72 percent saying they'd already participated in a protest against the president, and 77 saying they would likely do so in the future, Lake Research found.

PEN's gala will also honor composer Stephen Sondheim, imprisoned Ukrainian writer-filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, and CEO of Macmillan publishing house John Sargent.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

UN Chief Reminds Leaders of Need for 'Clear and Unambiguous Commitment' to 1.5°C

"There is no pathway to this goal without the leadership of the G20," he said after a disagreement over a climate communiqué.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Climate Change Is Here,' Says Oregon Governor, 'And We Have to Take Action'

As wildfires devour her state, the Democrat declares that the climate emergency is "like a hammer hitting us in the head."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Hello Somebody!' Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Campaigns for Nina Turner in Cleveland

"I think it's extremely clear that Nina Turner is the candidate in this race that answers to the people of Ohio first and foremost."

Jessica Corbett ·


Medicare for All Advocates Take to the Streets of Over 50 US Cities

"How can we have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness when we live in constant fear of illness, bankruptcy, or homelessness because of the outrageous for-profit healthcare system?"

Jessica Corbett ·


Thousands Join Budapest Pride Parade to Protest Attacks on LGBTQ+ Hungarians

"A lot has happened over the last few years, and it's time to show that we're not okay with it," said one of the organizers.

Jessica Corbett ·