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Chants of a different sort greet U.S. Rep. Omar upon her return home to Minnesota. Also on our Friday rundown: A new report says gunshot survivors need more outreach, support. Plus, sharing climate-change perspectives in Charlotte.

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"Hear Our Voice" – Iowa Women Ready to March for Equality, Justice

Iowa women will march for equity, justice and more on Saturday  some locally, and others in Washington, D.C. (Timothy Krause/Flickr)
Iowa women will march for equity, justice and more on Saturday some locally, and others in Washington, D.C. (Timothy Krause/Flickr)
January 20, 2017

DES MOINES, Iowa - On the day after Donald Trump takes office, thousands of Iowa women will take to the streets to defend human rights and call for change.

The Women's March on Des Moines is expected to draw as many as 6,000 people. One of the organizers, Sandy Mostaert, said women's rights are human rights, adding that she believes many voices were lost in fear after the election. She said people fighting for social justice don't want to be silent anymore.

"We're going to be on the Capitol grounds to show that we are here, that we have a voice and we are watching," she said, "and we'll make sure that our rights as women will not go backwards and will always be moving forward."

The topics the marchers say they are concerned about include health care, equal pay, women's rights, ending violence against women, respect for gay marriage and education. The Des Moines march is a "sister event" to the March on Washington, which nearly 1,200 Iowans are expected to attend.

Stefanie Munsterman-Robinson, who is among those headed to the nation's capital, said the events being held across the country this weekend are rallies for action. She said she believes keeping the marches peaceful is paramount.

"Your voice is much more likely to be heard when you're speaking clearly, logically and with peaceful tone and peaceful words," she said. "This is not a 'protest movement'; this is marching for equity and for justice."

Munsterman-Robinson, who also is a Women's March Iowa representative, said she's been impressed by how quickly the grassroots movement exploded in the days after the November election.

"I'm not sure why I'm surprised," she said, "considering how many people and women that I knew were very upset about some of the rhetoric in the last political campaign - against women, against LGBTQIA, against people who are from Muslim background and faith."

She said she's convinced the work won't stop once the marching ends. This year, she said, advocates will survey Iowans about the issues that are important to them so they can develop an agenda for action.

More information is online at

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IA