HALIFAX -- Women's rallies and marches were held nationwide on Saturday with the goal of increasing awareness for the suffering women have endured. In the Maritimes, marches were held in both Halifax and Fredericton, championing the rights of women.

"Women's rights are human rights," chanted over 100 activists in Fredericton who took to the streets on Saturday, demanding an improvement in women's rights globally.

"A lot of things that women are advocating for, from my mother's generation – we're still advocating for today,” says protester, Leanne Lagsiar.

At a rally in Halifax, protesters gathered at Grand Parade square, calling for a stop to wars and acts of international aggression – which have resulted in women and children being killed.

"The 176 precious lives that are termed ‘collateral damage’ – it should never have happened," says activist Rana Zaman.

A notable incident was a recent US missile attack, which killed an Iranian general, as well as innocent people.

"It happened because it was escalated by a leader who did not go through due process and just decided to take out people who were a threat to the U.S.," says Zaman.

Human rights activist, Linda MacDonald says when wars are fought, women and children often die senseless deaths.

"They were children that were affected by war and so they endured torture from spillover violence," says MacDonald.

On a chilly day, the crowds in both cities were not huge. However, Zaman says the size of the crowd does not diminish the strength of their message.

"We need people to be here,” says Zaman. “Especially women, to support one another and to be there for one another."

Zaman notes there will be more opportunities for activists and protesters to make their voices heard as eight marches and rallies are planned across Canada between Saturday and Sunday.