The history of female activism



Womens rights have been fought for from as early as the late 1700’s. Mary Wollstonecraft being one of the earliest and most prevalent feminists. A great chunk of female activism is based around the fight for equal rights among women and men as this cause was and is the most important for women globally. The rights of females are still being fought for up to this day. The western world is probably the most forward thinking in regards to equal rights.

I can safely say that I feel that I have the same and equal rights as any male, and have felt like this all my life. I feel very lucky and am so thankful for the women who have fought for my freedom and equality before me. This is the perspective of a middle class young woman living in the western world, but this perspective may not be shared with other females of my age in different parts of the world.

I dont mean to brush over the Women’s Rights movement, it was and still is probably the most important cause woman across the globe unitedly are fighting for, but it is known that a woman is going to fight for her rights for equality. I want to focus on other sucessful areas of activism that have been carried out by females in history and up to the present.

Slavery is of course unjust, there have been many women in history who have fought for the rights of slaves and the banishment of the term. While these women may have been subjected to unequal rights themselves, they sought to fight for what they felt was morally wrong and most important, the end of forced labour and entrapment of human slaves. Susan B. Anthony campaigned for the rights of slaves, women and workers rights. She one of the earliest compassionate human rights activist who made a dent in history for something more than just the rights of women.

Rosa Parks is probably one of the most influential women of the civil rights movement. Rosa Parks fought for equal rights, when she refused to give her seat up to a white person on a bus. Parks started the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955. She became a prominent spokesperson and figurehead for the American civil rights movement.

Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded a Noble Peace Prize for her opposition to military rule in Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest for many years due to her opposition and advocation of nonviolent resistance.


Shirin Ebadi is an Iranian judge and lawyer. She fought for the right for women to purse a legal career in Iran. Helen Keller who was deaf-blind from early childhood, campaigned tirelessly on behalf of deaf and blind people. Elizabeth Fry was a prison reform campaigner. Fry was instrumental in raising awareness of the poor conditions in British prisons and campaigning for more humane conditions.

Wangari Maathai was a Kenyan environmental and political activist. In the 1970s, she founded the Green Belt Movement which was a non-governmental organisation promoting environmental conservation and women’s rights. Billie Jean King is another inspiring activist who is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. King fought for the equal pay of women at a time when their was a disparity in prize money awarded to men and women in the 1960’s.

In my next post I am going to speak to you on the topic of modern day female activists and how they use our digital culture to fight for their cause’s.



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