As Trump begins second year, women stage nationwide protests

WASHINGTON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Many thousands of women and their male supporters turned out on Saturday for the second Women's March, a nationwide series of protests against U.S. President Donald Trump marking the end of his tumultuous first year in office.

The coordinated rallies in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and about 250 other cities featured speakers who blasted Trump for policies that many said hurt women and urging voters to turn out for congressional elections in November. Sister rallies were staged in cities overseas.

“Your vote is the most powerful tool at your individual disposal,” actress Eva Longoria told the Los Angeles rally. “Everybody who has the privilege of voting must do so.”

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2018 Women's March around the world
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2018 Women's March around the world
Women demonstrate against sexual harassment, violence and U.S. President Donald Trump in solidarity with American women during the Women's March along with the #MeToo movement,on January 20, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Andrea Ronchini/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Thousands of people participate in the Second Annual Women's March in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
People take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
People take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Women demonstrate against sexual harassment, violence and U.S. President Donald Trump in solidarity with American women during the Women's March along with the #MeToo movement,on January 20, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Andrea Ronchini/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
People participate in the second annual Women's March in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Bernstein
People gather prior to the second annual National Womens March on January 20, 2018 in New York City. / AFP PHOTO / Kena Betancur (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
People gather before the second annual National Womens March on January 20, 2018 in New York City. / AFP PHOTO / Kena Betancur (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman holds a poster as she attends the second annual National Womens March on January 20, 2018 in New York City. / AFP PHOTO / Kena Betancur (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
Women pose as they attend the second annual National Womens March on January 20, 2018 in New York City. / AFP PHOTO / Kena Betancur (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
A demonstrator holds a sign that reads 'Girl Power' during the Women's March on Washington in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. One year after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, thousands of people will again gather to protest for equal rights at the 2018 Women's March. Photographer: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A demonstrator makes signs during the Women's March on Washington in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. One year after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, thousands of people will again gather to protest for equal rights at the 2018 Women's March. Photographer: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Demonstrators rally near the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool and Washington Monument during the Women's March on Washington in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. One year after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, thousands of people will again gather to protest for equal rights at the 2018 Women's March. Photographer: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Demonstrators hold signs outside of the Lincoln Memorial during the Women's March on Washington in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. One year after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, thousands of people will again gather to protest for equal rights at the 2018 Women's March. Photographer: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
People participate in the second annual Women's March in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Bernstein
People participate in the second annual Women's March in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Bernstein
People participate in the Second Annual Women's March in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Jessica Kourkounis
People participate in the Second Annual Women's March in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Jessica Kourkounis
People take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
People take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Crowds gather to participate in the Second Annual Women's March in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Jessica Kourkounis
People take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
People take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Codepink activist Paki Wieland, dressed as Lady Liberty, participates in the Second Annual Women's March in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
People take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
People arrive to take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
People arrive to take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
People take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
A group of people wearing "pussyhats" ride the subway at 42nd Street as they head toward the Women's March in Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
A group of people wearing "pussyhats" board the subway at 42nd Street as they head toward the Women's March in Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Women hand out pink hats as people arrive at the Second Annual Women's March in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Jessica Kourkounis
People take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
People participate in the Second Annual Women's March in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
ROME, ITALY - JANUARY 20: Women demonstrate against sexual harassment, violence and U.S. President Donald Trump in solidarity with American women during the Women's March along with the #MeToo movement,on January 20, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Simona Granati - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
A woman lifts her fist while holding a banner reading 'Hear our voice' during Rome Resists demonstration part of the Women's March in downtown Rome, on January 20, 2018. The Women's March Rome, designed to show solidarity for the protection of civil and social rights, women's rights and the environment included Italian actress Asia Argento, one of the first women to accuse US film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. / AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
A Woman holds a banner reading 'The future is female' during Rome Resists demonstration part of the Women's March in downtown Rome, on January 20, 2018. The Women's March Rome, designed to show solidarity for the protection of civil and social rights, women's rights and the environment included Italian actress Asia Argento, one of the first women to accuse US film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. / AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman holds a banner reading 'Womwn united will never be defeated' during Rome Resists demonstration part of the Women's March in downtown Rome, on January 20, 2018. The Women's March Rome, designed to show solidarity for the protection of civil and social rights, women's rights and the environment included Italian actress Asia Argento, one of the first women to accuse US film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. / AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman holds a poster reading 'Our button is bigger than yours, vote' during Rome Resists demonstration part of the Women's March in downtown Rome, on January 20, 2018. The Women's March Rome, designed to show solidarity for the protection of civil and social rights, women's rights and the environment included Italian actress Asia Argento, one of the first women to accuse US film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. / AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
Italian actress Asia Argento (3rdL)) attends the Rome Resists demonstration part of the Women's March in downtown Rome, on January 20, 2018. The Women's March Rome, designed to show solidarity for the protection of civil and social rights, women's rights and the environment included Italian actress Asia Argento, one of the first women to accuse US film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. / AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
A Woman holds a banner reading 'The rising of the women means rising of us all' during Rome Resists demonstration part of the Women's March in downtown Rome, on January 20, 2018. The Women's March Rome, designed to show solidarity for the protection of civil and social rights, women's rights and the environment included Italian actress Asia Argento, one of the first women to accuse US film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. / AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
Women hold a poster reading 'Came for pasta, stayed for resistance' during Rome Resists demonstration part of the Women's March in downtown Rome, on January 20, 2018. The Women's March Rome, designed to show solidarity for the protection of civil and social rights, women's rights and the environment included Italian actress Asia Argento, one of the first women to accuse US film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. / AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - JANUARY 20: Women demonstrate against sexual harassment, violence and U.S. President Donald Trump in solidarity with American women during the Women's March along with the #MeToo movement,on January 20, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Simona Granati - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - JANUARY 20: Women demonstrate against sexual harassment, violence and U.S. President Donald Trump in solidarity with American women during the Women's March along with the #MeToo movement,on January 20, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Simona Granati - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - JANUARY 20: Women demonstrate against sexual harassment, violence and U.S. President Donald Trump in solidarity with American women during the Women's March along with the #MeToo movement,on January 20, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Simona Granati - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - JANUARY 20: Women demonstrate against sexual harassment, violence and U.S. President Donald Trump in solidarity with American women during the Women's March along with the #MeToo movement,on January 20, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Simona Granati - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - JANUARY 20: Actress Asia Argento, who spoke out against Harvey Weinstein who allegedly sexually assualted her, demonstrates against sexual harassment, violence and U.S. President Donald Trump in solidarity with American women during the Women's March along with the #MeToo movement,on January 20, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Simona Granati - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
People take part in the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
People take part in the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
People take part in the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
People take part in the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
People take part in the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
A protester wears a President Donald Trump mask during the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
People take part in the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
People take part in the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
People take part in the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
A protester wears a President Donald Trump mask during the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
People take part in the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
People take part in the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
People take part in the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
Lillian Neubel poses for a photo with her sign during the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott TEMPLATE OUT
Emma Hughes poses for a photo with her sign during the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
Merchandise is seen for sale as marchers participate in the second annual Women's March in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Bernstein TEMPLATE OUT
Actor Whoopi Goldberg speaks to demonstrators as they take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Members of the New York Police Department watch people walk down Sixth Avenue as they participate in the Women's March in Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
People participate in the second annual Women's March in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Bernstein
People participate in the second annual Women's March in outside the White House in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Bernstein TEMPLATE OUT
Kelly Duncan chants with "Gone 2020" slogan painted on her cheek as she participates in the Second Annual Women's March in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
Demonstrators participate in the Second Annual Women's March in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
People dressed as a wall take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
People walk down Sixth Avenue as they participate in the Women's March in Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
People hold placards as they participate in the Second Annual Women's March in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
A woman marches in a costume during the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Gabriela Bhaskar TEMPLATE OUT
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 20: Thousands of men and women hold signs and rally while attending the Women� March on January 20, 2018 in New York, United States. Across the nation hundreds of thousands of people are marching on what is the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump's swearing-in to protest against his past statements on women and to celebrate women� rights around the world. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 20: Thousands gather for a rally at Cal Anderson Park prior to the Women's March on January 20, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. Across the nation hundreds of thousands of people are marching on what is the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump's swearing-in to protest against his past statements on women and to celebrate women's rights around the world. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 20: Thousands march down 4th Avenue during the Women's March on January 20, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. Across the nation hundreds of thousands of people are marching on what is the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump's swearing-in to protest against his past statements on women and to celebrate women's rights around the world. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
Actress Kathryn Hahn attends Respect Rally Park City to celebrate community victories, honoring the one-year anniversary of the Women's March and Park City's March on Main on January 20, 2018 in Park City, Utah. / AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, CATALONIA, SPAIN - 2018/01/20: A woman shows the Catalan and Spanish flag during the demonstration. Organized by the Jusapol Foundation, thousands of Spanish agents of the National Police and the Civil Guard have taken to the streets of Barcelona to demand equal salaries with the regional police of Catalonia and the Basque country. (Photo by Paco Freire/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A participant attends Respect Rally Park City to celebrate community victories, honoring the one-year anniversary of the Women's March and Park City's March on Main on January 20, 2018 in Park City, Utah. / AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
Colorado Captain marches with demonstrators during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
A demonstrator marches during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
A demonstrator listens to speakers before marching during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
A demonstrator holds up a pinata of US President Donald Trump during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
A demonstrator dressed as a vagina marches during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
Rachel (L) and Jordan Roth (R) march with their son George during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators march during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
Kaia Watson, 8, of Highlands Ranch, Colorado dressed as a character from the 'Handmaid's Tale' listens to speakers during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Marti Matsch of Denver, Colorado marches during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Demonstrators march during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
A paticipant holds u pa sign during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
Sarah Dooly dances as she serenades demonstrators during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: People gather at the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool to rally before the Women's March on January 20, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Across the nation, people are marching on the one-year anniversary of President Trump's swearing-in to protest against his past statements on women and to celebrate women's rights around the world. (Photo by Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)
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Trump responded on Twitter by touting what he said were economic gains of the past year that benefited women.

"Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March," he wrote. "Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months. Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!"

Joblessness among women was 3.7 percent in December, below the overall U.S. unemployment rate of 4.1 percent, according to the Labor Department.

Even so, Katie O'Connor, a 39-year-old lawyer from Knoxville, Tennessee, who traveled to Washington's National Mall, said she wanted Trump out. "I don't believe this administration is going to do anything good for women," she said.

Many of the protesters wore pink knit "pussy hats," which were created for last year's march as a reference to a comment made by Trump about female genitalia. The caps quickly became a symbol of women's empowerment and opposition to the new president in the early days of his administration.

Saturday's march follows what many see as a pivotal year for women's rights, with the rise of the #MeToo and #TimesUp social media campaigns against sexual harassment and misconduct. The movements sprang up after a string of scandals involving powerful men in Hollywood, Washington and elsewhere.

Many of Saturday's speakers highlighted the theme of sexual assault, urging all Americans to fight back against what they see as a culture that tolerates the mistreatment of women.

“When it happens to a girl, it often means that she has to stand alone,” actress and model Olivia Munn said in Los Angeles, referring to sexual assault. "We will always support you, stand beside you, so you don’t have to stand alone.”

Los Angeles Mayor Mayor Eric Garcett estimated the crowd at a half-million strong, saying it was the largest march in the country.

In Washington, a parade of Democratic leaders addressed a gathering that appeared much smaller than the massive crowd that flooded the nation's capital on Jan. 21, 2017, the day after Trump's inauguration.

"So while we have this president celebrating his one-year anniversary, let's give him an 'F' (grade) for his performance," House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said while flanked by fellow Democrats. "We don't agonize, we organize."

An estimated 5 million people participated in the nationwide rallies in 2017, making it one of the biggest protests in American history.

SMALLER CROWD

In Chicago, thousands of mostly female marchers gathered in Grant Park, with many carrying protest signs with slogans such as "Strong women raising strong women."

City officials had put the size of the crowd at between 200,000 and 300,000, or about the same as the 2017 rally, according to Fawzia Mirza, one of the emcees. But the streets did not appear as crowded as the year before.

Michelle Saunders, 41, a software saleswoman from Des Plaines, Illinois, came to the rally with her 14-year-old daughter, Bailey.

“A smaller crowd will not mean people are any less angry,” Michelle Saunders said. “We are unhappy with the current administration and what it stands for, and want our voices to be heard.”

Since the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump has had sharply lower approval ratings among women than among men. A Pew Research Center poll in May showed 46 percent of men approving of Trump's job performance, while only a third of women did.

March organizers hope to build on the energy felt by Trump opponents after his surprise election victory and channel it into gains for progressive candidates in November's midterm elections, using the theme "Power to the Polls."

Organizers want to register 1 million new voters and get more strong advocates for women's rights into office.

Activists say Trump's policies rolling back birth control and equal pay protections have propelled many women into activism for the first time. In Virginia state legislative polls, 11 of the 15 newly elected Democrats were women.

(Additional reporting by Phoenix Tso in Los Angeles, Bob Chiarito in Chicago and Tom Ramstack in Washington; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Alistair Bell)

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