This article is the first of a series dedicated to recognising the remarkable feminists that have graced our society. The women mentioned in this article have changed the world and moulded how we live today. These women are remarkable, and we must credit and admire them for the sacrifices they have made in the name of feminism.
Yousafzai, originally from Pakistan, has a remarkable story. When Yousafzai was just 11 years old, her hometown, Swat Valley, was invaded by the Taliban. As a result of this invasion, many things were banned; this included girls having access to education. If anyone was defiant towards these rules, the Taliban carried out harsh punishments; some were fatal.
Yousafzai knew that stripping girls of this right was inhumane, and she spoke publicly against the Taliban, standing up for what was right. This resulted in Yousafzai being shot in the left side of the head. After this attack, Yousafzai received treatment in the UK. Once she had recovered, she and her family began their new life in Birmingham, England.
Yousafzai has since established her charity called the Malala fund, dedicated to allowing every girl to create their own path and not be stripped of any opportunities due to their gender. Yousafzai has since travelled worldwide listening to the stories of young girls who were victims of wars, child marriage, poverty, and educational restrictions due to their gender and continued to voice their stories globally. She also went on to win a Global Peace Prize in 2014.
Yousafzai inspires me to value everything I have and the everyday things we take for granted, such as access to free education. With this appreciation, we must also recognise the children that don’t have these opportunities and help stand up for them and allow their voices to be heard – just like Yousafzai does.
You can learn more about Yousafzai HERE.
Naomi Wolf could be considered controversial by some and applauded by others. I wanted to include Wolf in this article as she has used many different opportunities to highlight issues within society for women today. She was also a pleasure to research.
Wolf is an American Liberal Feminist considered as a leading spokeswoman for third-wave feminism. Not only has Wolf been a political advisor for American President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, but she has also published many books.
Wolf’s books have targeted societal issues regarding gender inequalities and have been considered some of the most influential books of the 20th century. For example, in “The Beauty Myth”, she discusses industrialised sexism concerning women’s beauty standards. In addition, she also discusses women and sexuality (a topic often ignored) in her book “Vagina”. You can access her books here:
Vagina by Naomi Wolf – £8.19 (Paperback)
The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf – £9.15 (Paperback)
You can learn more about Wolf HERE.
Emmeline Pankhurst and The Suffragettes
Emmeline Pankhurst, what a woman. Leader of the world-famous group, the Suffragettes, of course she had to be mentioned in my first article of the series; how could she not?
Pankhurst is an inspiration who moulded our society to be more accepting and fair towards women. She dedicated her whole life towards fighting for women’s right to vote in a patriarchal society built for men and would go to all lengths to achieve it, from being arrested, tortured, and even going on hunger strikes.
She led the famous group, the Suffragettes, who spent their lives standing up for their political beliefs; some women died, some were tortured all so that we could have the right to vote. Pretty incredible women, right?
Pacifists often criticised Pankhurst’s rebellion methods, and there were never any agreements on the correct way to go about things. But Pankhurst and the Suffragettes were given no choice but to use violence to get their government’s attention; women needed to get power back. Without the Suffragettes, society could’ve been so different; we must always recognise the sacrifices these women made so that we could have a voice today.
You can learn more about Pankhurst HERE.