People have been fighting injustice since they could speak. Without such actions, the United States might still be a British colony, unions and work safety regulations might never have emerged, France might still be a monarchy, and women anywhere in the world may have never obtained the right to vote.
The power an defiance of women has emerged in the form of protests, many of which have spread from one country to another changing the course of history.
During the final years of the war between Athens and Sparta, Greek playwright Aristophanes wrote his final peace play, Lysistrata. In the play, women in a city at war withhold sex from their husbands in an attempt to put an end to the war. While Lysistrata is pure fiction, women have held sex strikes for centuries as a way to gain political power. Other forms of protest, from marching and general labor strikes to boycotting public transportation, have all proven effective as ways to garner power and political influence.
The protests on our list were led by women who spent countless hours and sometimes years meeting, organizing, and fighting for an array of causes. In the end, whether it was the right to drive, have an abortion, or simply exist in peace without the threat of violence, these protests achieve tangible results and continue to inspire women into action.
In honor of National Women’s History Month celebrated in the United States every year, 24/7 Wall St. compiled a list of 17 women’s protests that have shaped the world. Dozens of media reports, historical articles, and women’s organizations were reviewed to assess the protests’ demand, achievement, and its significance.