20 Photos of Female Activists Throughout History

I am woman. 

Throughout history, women have had plenty of reasons to be upset. From being denied the right to vote, to being robbed of basic civil liberties, to being told what they can and can’t do with their bodies, female oppression has long existed, and it was only relatively recently that women gained the courage to speak up. We’ve come a long way, but as Rush Limbaugh showed us just last week, we still have a ways to go. In honor of International Women’s Day, we take a look back in photos at the issues that have ignited outrage among women over the past century.

(above) 1909: Girls march against child labor at a labor parade in New York City.

1913: Suffrage parade.

1917: Throngs of women charge New York’s City Hall to protest the soaring cost of food.

1917: Woman’s suffrage protest in Washington, D.C.

1917: Suffragists picket the White House in Washington, D.C.

1938: Hosiery workers protest the Japanese Silk boycott in Washington, D.C.

1938: Spanish-born women protest the arms embargo on Spain in Washington, D.C.

1939: Jewish and-Palestine White Paper demonstrations in Washington D.C.

1956: Rosa Parks sits in the front of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, after the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed segregation.

1962: Women strike for peace at the UN building during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

1963: Woman participating in the Civil Rights March on Washington D.C.

1968: Anti-war demonstrators in support of Eartha Kitt.

1976: Anti-abortion demonstration at the Democratic National Convention in New York City.

2008: Pro-choice Walk for Life in San Francisco.

2008: Save the Seals protest in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

2009: Proposition 8 same-sex marriage protest in Fresno, California.

2010: G-20 Toronto Summit protests.

2011: Slutwalk protest against excusing rape because of appearance.

2011: Occupy Wall Street riles up the 99 percent.

2011: Women across the country stand with Planned Parenthood as funding is cut.


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Jessica Marati

Jessica Marati currently resides in New York City and covers travel and sustainability for EcoSalon. Catch her weekly column, Behind the Label.